Louisville tour affirms work of Catholic sisters
As thunder from an incoming storm rumbled overhead, dozens of people disembarked from a charter bus at the Sister Visitor Center in Portland early Thursday evening and filed past the neatly sorted racks in its clothes closet.
Manager of operations Michele Intravia, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph, Ky., gave the visitors a brief run-through of the group’s work in some of Louisville’s poorest neighborhoods, where requests for food and other assistance keep rising.
The tour was part of an effort to show that Roman Catholic nuns such as Intravia have been providing such services to the needy for more than two centuries.
The Way of the Sisters Legacy Tour 2012 was organized by a group of local Catholics seeking to give a show of confidence to nuns as an umbrella organization of sisters faces a Vatican-directed overhaul.
“There have been a lot of questions about what the nuns and sisters have been doing and questions about what they’re doing currently,” said one of the tour organizers, Beverly Glascock. “We wanted to say this is what they have been doing, this is what they’re continuing to do. It’s important work. It’s very much needed in our society as much today as it was a couple hundred years ago.”
The bus tour took the group to various historic sites involving the nuns, starting at the Cathedral of the Assumption’s Patterson Education Building and traveling to the early sites of other schools, hospitals and orphanages.
“It reaffirms their vision,” said Dolores Delahanty, one of the organizers. “It reaffirms their service to the poor, the hungry, the needy.”
Although it wasn’t the main discussion topic, tour participants were keeping in mind a controversy that has involved the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella organization comprising leaders of numerous female orders. [More]