100th Anniversary of Mother Aloysius Willett’s Death

The Ursuline Sisters celebrated the life of Mother Aloysius Willett on Oct. 1, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the death of the community’s first mother superior.

Mother Aloysius led the community beginning in 1905, when it was still part of the Ursulines of Louisville, and was elected the first superior following the independence of Mount Saint Joseph in 1912. She greatly expanded where the Ursulines served as teachers, first across Kentucky, then into Indiana, Nebraska and New Mexico. She agreed to send Sisters to Missouri in 1921 before her death from a heart attack while on a trip to California.

The Mount Archives staff had several items on display and maple treats for the Sisters in the morning, and the Sisters celebrated a special Mass at 11:15. Much of the music focused on Native Americans, because it was in 1919 that Mother Aloysius sent her Sisters to New Mexico to open three schools. The Sisters served continuously in New Mexico for 100 years. Four Sisters who served in New Mexico – Sisters Marie Montgomery, Michael Ann Monaghan, Elaine Burke and Sara Marie Gomez – presented the gifts at Mass.

In the afternoon, Sister Larraine Lauter, executive director of Water With Blessings, led an online discussion sharing what her ministry is doing to bring clean water to the Navajo nation that has been devastated by Covid-19. Here are photos from the day.