The following reflection was written by Sister Nancy Dawson, OSU, General Superior
“Those who instruct others unto justice shall shine as stars for all eternity”-Daniel 12:3
Sister Marcia WelshWhat a beautiful summary of Sister Marcia Welsh’s life: Instruction/Justice. And she continued those values until the day she died on 9 October 2013 at her Motherhouse home. Throughout her stay in Intensive Care at the hospital, Marcia taught “math” day and night. On an earlier occasion, she was teaching sisters in formation or those in prison or maybe all of us. She repeated, “Read the Life of Christ so you can know Jesus”. But she kept saying, “a page is missing.” Perhaps she was teaching all of us who love her that we need to fill in the “missing pages” with our own lives of Gospel service.
No doubt, Sister Marcia [demanding and persistent at times] in her classroom teaching at Ursuline for 20 years, leaves a legacy of excellent performance to all her Ursuline math students as well as those at YSU in the 40s and 50s.
Sr. Marcia WelshMarcia’s years at S.O.M.E. [So Others Might Eat] in Washington, D.C., impacted not only the poor whom she served but added to the awareness of the entire Ursuline Community. And she did love discussing politics. Many mealtime conversations in family and community challenged each of us to action on social issues. As walking became more difficult, the sisters have a photograph of Marcia walking the “extra mile” to those in prison as they explored the Catholic faith.
Like St Angela, our Ursuline founder, Marcia modeled a love of family in her early years at Ursuline High School after teaching all day, Marcia walked to Windsor Nursing facility at the dinner hour to care for her mom and dad.
What we will miss are Marcia’s educational skills, her love of politics and encouragement to respond to injustices, her advocacy for those in prison and the poor. I am sure there were never enough mailboxes in Congress to accommodate her letters on behalf of the poor.
Indeed, as an Ursuline Sister of Youngstown, Marcia has lived Daniel 12:3 and Matthew 25:31-40. We are confident that she is “one of the stars” that “will shine” for us now and for all eternity. May we, family, community and friends continue her legacy.
At the heavenly banquet, there will be no “missing pages” as Sister Marcia dines with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and all her family members and Ursuline Sisters.


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  1. Rosemary Crossen Scarfo

    Oh, my ! Do I remember Sister Marcia! She was Sister Mary Alice’s assistant novice mistress at our Motherhouse on Logan Ave. She had come into the convent a little older and had a wealth of “street knowledge,” so she knew every trick in the book that we, as 18, 19 year old postulants and novices would try to get away with. She caught me going up the back stairs with a cupcake tucked in my great large sleeve, pulled down over my hands as if I was praying. She knew better. She knew we all prayed that we wouldn’t trip going up the stairs but not with our sleeves down around our hands. A reprimand, a penance given and I was off to bed sans cupcake. I wonder who got to eat it. Rest in peace, Sister Marcia. Thank you for touching my life. “Sister Ann Therese”

  2. Sister Marcia led an incredible, inspirational life. I am writing a story about it — although one story cannot do it justice! I also have photographs of Sister Marcia’s journey over the years…From enchanting a math class at Youngstown University to visiting the Palace at Versailles to modeling new habits for the Ursuline Sisters — they are something to see. We will post this soon. Michele Gatts

  3. Dr. Linda Lucarell Miller

    Sister Marcia visited my junior Social Awareness classes at Ursuline High School in the late 1990’s to talk about her prison ministry. She asked the students to make dozens of cookies for the retreat program she was presenting and this we did. I enjoyed seeing her over the last year or so at the Motherhouse when I was becoming an Ursuline Associate. But I think the best moments were this past week when I had the privilege to sit with Sister Marcia as she was close to death and prayed the Memorare for her. Her face was so lovely. And the witness of her sisters in community as they were so attentive to her is a beautiful memory. Go with God Sr. Marcia and pray for us who continue here on earth. My sympathy to the entire Welsh family and to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. Linda

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