YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown are about to embark on a major milestone: a century and a half of service in the Mahoning Valley. The history of the sisters was highlighted during a lunchtime talk at the Mahoning Valley Historical Center on Thursday.

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown have a deep-rooted history in the Mahoning Valley. They first came to the area in 1874 to teach at St. Columba School, when Youngstown was still a part of the Diocese of Cleveland.

“I think the impact of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown has been enormous,” said Sr. Mary McCormick.

Sr. Mary McCormick is one of 27 current Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. She says as the Catholic population in the area grew, so did the Ursuline Sisters’ outreach. These efforts included the establishment of the Beatitude House and an HIV/AIDS ministry in the 1990s.

“It’s been a blessing, you know, both historically and spiritually to the people of the Mahoning Valley,” said Jessica Trickett with the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society is helping the Ursuline Sisters mark their 150-year milestone. An exhibit dedicated to their service is on display inside the Tyler History Center. It includes artifacts dating back to the very beginning of their presence here in Youngstown. It gives visitors a chance to learn about the impact the Ursuline Sisters have had on the community.

“I hope they really do understand the legacy that the Sisters have left here, the impact they’ve had on the Mahoning Valley over time,” Trickett said.

“This is our home and we’ve made it our home and we want the life of people in Youngstown to flourish over the next 150 years and more. Who knows what that’s going to look like but it certainly is very much part of what we hope and believe in,” Sr. Mary McCormick said.