Sisters say farewell to original Academy building with gratitude

With most of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph at Maple Mount for Community Days, the Sisters gathered at 6 p.m. on July 15, 2022, for a Gratitude Ritual to say goodbye to the building that brought the original Sisters to western Kentucky.

Father Paul Joseph Volk built Mount Saint Joseph Academy in 1874, and five Ursuline Sisters of Louisville traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River to lead the school. The Academy spurred many young women to become Ursuline Sisters, and the community became independent of Louisville in 1912.

The Academy closed in 1983 and transformed to the Mount Saint Joseph Retreat Center. The Retreat Center did not reopen in 2021 following the shutdown due to Covid-19, after it was determined that the original bricks still in use were disintegrating at the foundation. The Ursuline Sisters made the difficult decision in the summer of 2021 to deconstruct the building. There is no date set for that work to begin.

Sister Pam Mueller, in one of her final duties as a Leadership Council member, designed and led the Gratitude Ritual. She is a 1968 graduate of the Academy, and gathered facts about the building to share with the Sisters. The Sisters gathered in front of the 1874 building on a muggy Friday night to pray, share memories and bless the building one last time. Here are some photos.