The first Saturday in May 2022 was a time for celebrating at Maple Mount – both Kentucky Derby day and the Brescia University graduation. The final two Vietnamese sisters living at Maple Mount earned their degrees from Brescia and shared their joy with the Ursuline Sisters.
Since 2013, Maple Mount has been home to sisters from various communities in Vietnam. That year, Sister Sharon Sullivan – then congregational leader for the Ursulines – was asked by Brescia officials if the Sisters could offer a home and transportation for two sisters from the Lovers of the Holy Cross community in Vietnam. Brescia agreed to grant scholarships to the sisters following the request of Father Bao Nguyen, a Jesuit priest who sought American education for religious sisters in Vietnam. Sister Huyen Vu and Sister Anh Tran were the first two Sisters to arrive.
In the ensuing nine years, seven Vietnamese sisters have earned their degrees from Brescia while living at Maple Mount. On May 7, 2022, Sisters Trang Le and Hang Nguyen, both Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary-Queen of the World, earned their degrees. There are still Vietnamese sisters attending Brescia, but they live in Owensboro.
To celebrate with the Ursuline Sisters, the Vietnamese sisters spent time on YouTube learning balloon and napkin decorating, then performed a dance to “Such a Happy Day” by the Monroes.
A Vietnamese couple from Evansville, Ind., who have helped support the Vietnamese sisters since they’ve lived at Maple Mount, prepared grilled pork, fried rice and wonton soup. The sisters at Brescia made their beloved egg rolls and provided a display of fruit for everyone to enjoy.
Following the graduation party, the Ursuline Sisters enjoyed a Kentucky Derby celebration, which concluded with longshot Rich Strike pulling an amazing upset.
Here are some photos from the day.