Ursuline Sisters’ History Topic of Lecture Oct. 12

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The history of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown will come to life Oct. 12 when the Youngstown Torch Club sponsors a presentation by Thomas Welsh, who is writing a book about the religious community’s nearly 150 years in the Mahoning Valley.

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in the Schwebel Room of Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University. 

The Ursuline Sisters’ long presence in the valley began in September 1874, when Father Patrick H. Browne, pastor of Youngstown’s St. Columba’s Parish, welcomed a small cohort of nuns from Cleveland’s Ursuline community to staff the church’s elementary school,.

Over the next few decades, the Ursulines established a convent and staffed schools that became part of a robust pattern of parochial education throughout the Youngstown-Warren Area. 

In 1905, the religious community established what became Ursuline High School and operated the institution until 1954, when they relinquished control to the Diocese of Youngstown.  Welsh will track the evolution of the Ursuline Sisters’ ministry, from staffing parochial and diocesan schools to addressing contemporary social issues.

Pictured above is the 1936 graduating class of Ursuline High School. The image was taken in front of the campus’s Ursuline convent (formerly the Chauncey Andrews mansion), which was razed in the late 1960s. 

The Ursulines established the secondary school in 1905 as an academy for young women, but it became a co-educational institution in 1930. 

Thomas Welsh

Welsh, a researcher and professional writer, is the author of “Closing Chapters: Urban Change, Religious Reform, and the Decline of Youngstown’s Catholic Elementary Schools “(Lexington Books, 2011).  He is the coauthor of three works of popular history, including “Strouss’: Youngstown’s Dependable Store (History Press, 2012), Classic Restaurants of Youngstown” (History Press, 2014), and “A History of Jewish Youngstown and the Steel Valley” (History Press, 2017).  Welsh earned a doctorate in cultural foundations of education from Kent State University in 2009.

The Youngstown Torch Club, chartered in January 1927, is an organization of professional people who gather once a month to listen to a presentation, while enjoying dinner, fellowship and conversation.  Those interested in further information should contact Don Butler at 330-856-5897.

Photo at top provided by Father Richard Murphy, CEO of Ursuline High School.

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