Saturday, May 8, 2004

'Legacy of love' honored

Marker for Sisters of Charity

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sisters of Charity (from left) Nancy Bramlage, Trish Mirgsberger, Maureen Heverin and Mary Michelle Fisher stand next to the Ohio Historical marker that was unveiled in front of the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse Friday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/ERNEST COLEMAN
DELHI TOWNSHIP - The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati were honored Friday for their contributions to Greater Cincinnati with an Ohio historical marker at their headquarters, the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse.

Mount St. Joseph has served as the motherhouse for the Sisters of Charity since 1884. The order of nuns arrived in Cincinnati in 1829 to open a school and an orphanage, becoming the first permanent establishment of Catholic sisters in Ohio.

More than 80 Sisters, staff and friends showed up for the ceremonial unveiling of the marker, located at the entrance to the motherhouse.

The Ohio Historical Society places markers at sites communities deem worthy of historical recognition. There are about 1,000 markers across the state.

"The marker will help tell the story of the ministry and the influence the Sisters have had throughout the state for more than 150 years in areas of education, health care and social service," said Sister Barbara Hagedorn, president of the congregation. "We are committed to continuing our ministries in Ohio into the future."

Cincinnati City Councilman David Crowley also presented a proclamation declaring Friday "Sister of Charity Day."

"The legacy of the Sisters of Charity is a legacy of love," said State Rep. William Seitz, R-Green Township. "The Sisters have a desire to make society a better and more Christian-like place."

The order of nuns was founded in Maryland in 1809by Saint Elizabeth Bayley Seton. The sisters served as nurses in the Civil War and operated and staffed several Catholic elementary and secondary schools.

The congregation's ministries include Good Samaritan hospitals in Dayton and Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joseph, St. Joseph Infant and Maternity Home, Santa Maria Social Service Agency and Seton High School.

Today there are about 500 Sisters of Charity ministering to Greater Cincinnati in education, health care and social services.


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