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Nelson County natives among Ursuline Sisters celebrating jubilees this year

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Four Nelson County natives and three other Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph who ministered in Nelson County are celebrating jubilees of religious profession this year.

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• Sister Rose Marie Craycroft, of New Haven, is celebrating 75 years as an Ursuline Sister. Sister Rose Marie (formerly Sister Mary Clarence), daughter of the late George H. and Josephine Hagan Craycroft, was baptized at St. Catherine Church. She was an educator for 39 years, teaching throughout Kentucky, in Missouri and Nebraska. She was a bookkeeper and secretary for St. Christopher Parish, Radcliff, from 1983-88. She helped care for her father in the last years of his life. She is retired at the Ursuline Motherhouse at Maple Mount, where she is dedicated to the Powerhouse of Prayer.

• Sister Joseph Angela Boone of New Haven, is celebrating 70 years. She is the daughter of the late William Joseph and Mary Josephine Boone. She was baptized at St. Catherine Church. She taught elementary school in Louisville and Owensboro, then served as a math professor at Brescia College, Owensboro (1963-70). From 1970-89, she was treasurer/business administrator for the Ursuline Sisters. She was chancellor and director of administration for the Diocese of Owensboro (1989-2011), followed by being a consultant for finance and administration (2011-14). She lives at the Motherhouse, where she is the daily annalist, an information receptionist and part of the Powerhouse of Prayer.

• Sister Grace Simpson of Fairfield, is celebrating 60 years. She was formerly known as Sister Jean Michael Simpson. She is the daughter of the late Byron Roosevelt and Eleanor Eliza Simpson, and was baptized at St. Michael Church, Fairfield. She was principal and teacher at St. Catherine School, New Haven (1968-76). She was also a teacher at St. Columba School, Louisville (1959-63) and a teacher at St. Ignatius School, Louisville (1963-68). In 1984 she found her true passion in life serving the poor as a caseworker for 30 years at the Sister Visitor Center in Louisville (1984-2014). She is a volunteer at the St. John Center for Homeless Men in Louisville.

• Sister Mary Elizabeth (Mimi) Ballard, of Fairfield, is celebrating 50 years. She is the daughter of the late Lawrence and Mary Orline Ballard, and was baptized at St. Michael Church. She was a teacher at Mary Carrico School, Knottsville, (1971-73), and taught in the Brescia College kindergarten program, Owensboro, (1973-78). Beginning in 1978, Sister Mimi was engaged in parish ministry in Chile and Guatemala. She served as parish minister at Divino Maestro Parish in Chillán, Chile (1978-86, 1993-97), and as parish minister at San Miguel Acatán, Guatemala (1986-89). She ministered to Guatemalan refugees in Chiapas, Mexico (1990). She was a parish minister at San Rafael Parish in Vina del Mar, Chile (1991-93). In 1997, with a group of Chilean women, she founded the Dianna Ortiz Ursuline Center for Women (Casa Ursulina) in Chillán, Chile, where she serves as director.

These Ursuline Sisters celebrating jubilees ministered in Nelson County:

• Sister Mary Durr, of St. Paul, Neb., is celebrating 80 years. She taught music at St. Michael School, Fairfield (1939-40). She also taught in other schools in Kentucky, Nebraska and New Mexico. For more than 25 years, she was a liturgy consultant and AV librarian in the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb. She lives at Maple Mount and is dedicated to the Powerhouse of Prayer.

• Sister Marie Julie Fecher is celebrating 75 years. She was a music instructor and organist at St. Catherine School, New Haven, 1952-54 and 1959-64, and in several other Kentucky schools. She ministered as a music instructor for almost 50 years. For 18 of those years from 1976-94, she was a member of the music faculty at Brescia College (now Brescia University) in Owensboro. She lives at the Motherhouse, where she is engaged in the Powerhouse of Prayer. She is a native of Dayton, Ohio.

• Sister Francis Mary (Fran) Wilhelm, of Waterflow, N.M., is celebrating 70 years. She was a music teacher at St. Catherine School, New Haven (1964-66). She served in New Mexico, California and in South America. She was the first director of the Ursuline Associate program (1983-92). She was an elected member of the Ursuline Council (1984-92). In 1993, she founded Centro Latino in Stanley, Ky. (1993-2000). Centro Latino moved to Owensboro in 2000 with Sister Fran as its director, a ministry she continues today.

Congratulations may be sent to Mount Saint Joseph, 8001 Cummings Road, Maple Mount, KY 42356.