Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland

From Ohio History Central

In 1535, Angela Merici established the Company of St. Ursula, an organization affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Founded in Brescia, Italy, the Sisters of Ursula, as they became known, dedicated themselves to charity and prayer. Merici firmly believed that women had a duty of instilling good moral and godly values into their families and that well-educated women were best suited to accomplish these goals. Thus, the Sisters of Ursula especially dedicated themselves to establishing schools for children and women.

In 1850, four members of the Sisters of Ursula arrived in Cleveland, Ohio. They came at the invitation of Amadeus Rappe, the first Catholic bishop in Cleveland. The Ursuline Sisters immediately founded a school for younger children. Enrollment quickly soared to three hundred students. The organization continued to establish other institutions, including Ursuline College, founded by Mother Mary of the Annunciation Beaumont, in 1871.

During the twentieth century, the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland also began to send missionaries to El Salvador, Mexico, and among Native Americans in Montana. Cleveland Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel was killed while on a missionary trip to El Salvador in 1980. In 2006, the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland had 240 members.

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