Ursulines of North America
Ursulines of Brown County (USA)
Ursulines of Brown County
20860 St. Rt. 251
St. Martin, OH 45118
Tel: 513-875-2020 ext. 28 - Fax: 513-875-2311
The Ursulines of Brown County carry forward the pioneering spirit of their foundress, Sister Julia Chatfield, in rural southwestern Ohio and in the nearby city of Cincinnati. With a rich history in education, they minister on new educational, spiritual, and social frontiers of human need.
The Ursulines are teachers and administrators. They engage in parish and music ministries, in counseling, spiritual direction, and retreat organization, in Catholic leadership-training and chapter-facilitation for religious congregations, in visiting-nurse programs and the direction of programs providing essentials to the needy.
A growing Associate Program offers vitality in the present and for the future.
Ursuline Academy and Chatfield College are vital parts of Sister Julia's legacy. Through these institutions the Sisters' educational heritage continues to enrich countless students and alumnae/i. Founded in 1896, Ursuline Academy is recognized among the finest secondary schools in the State of Ohio, empowering its graduates to accept the challenges of today's world with their Voices, Values and Vision. Chatfield College in St. Martin, Ohio, has provided quality education in rural Brown County since 1971. Chatfield is the only private, Catholic, three-year liberal arts college in the State of Ohio accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The men and women who earn Associate degrees are often the first in their families who attempt higher education. Chatfield's second campus, in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati's historic inner-city neighborhood, continues the community's blend of rural and urban.
In 1845, Sister Julia Chatfield and her ten Ursuline companions left their convents in France to settle in rural St. Martin, Ohio, fifty miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. There the story of the Brown County Ursulines begins. The sisters came at the invitation of Bishop John B. Purcell of Cincinnati, who knew Ursulines’ reputation for quality education. Three English Ursulines of the Congregation of Paris left the urban port city of Boulogne-sur-Mer and were joined by eight French Ursulines from the quiet country town of Beaulieu in central France, creating a blend of the urban and rural that endures. So much did the sisters identify with their new environment that they became known legally as the Ursulines of Brown County.
Although others found the location unbearably lonely and desolate, Sister Julia was convinced that the entire affair had been “conducted by an invisible hand” and courageously undertook the construction of a four-story, red-brick boarding-school and convent building. Other buildings were soon added. The boarding school became well known both nationally and internationally until its closing in 1981.
In 2005 the Brown County General Hospital Foundation recognized and honored Sister Julia as a “pioneer nun” for her courageous leadership and bestowed upon her the Heart of Brown County Award. Two years later she was enrolled in Ohio’s Women’s Hall of Fame for her “extraordinary commitment to excellence, achievement and service to others.”
Sister Julia’s legacy encompasses Ursuline congregations in Brown County and in Cincinnati. In 1880 sisters were sent to Santa Rosa, California, to make a foundation which later became part of the Ursulines of the Roman Union. A few years later, two sisters joined other Ursulines to open missions in Montana.
In 1896, the sisters founded Ursuline Academy, a day school in Cincinnati preparing the young woman “for college and beyond by nurturing her soul, intellect, heart and imagination.” They established Chatfield College in St. Martin in 1971.
In the spirit of Saint Angela, Sister Julia said, “To the people I came, to the people I belong.” Brown County Ursulines have continued this spirit, branching out beyond education in the years following the Second Vatican Council into a variety of pastoral and social ministries.
In March 2015 the Ursulines elected Sister Phyllis Kemper as congregational minister for a term of four years, following Sister Lucia Castellini, who completed a four year term.
Country where the congregation is present
1 gennaio 2012
Link: Ursuline Academy
Link: Chatfield College