Sister Ursula Tisdall, former principal of St. Paul the Apostle School, dies at 85

ASTON, Pa.—Franciscan Sister Ursula Tisdall died in Assisi House on Dec. 13. She was 85.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held at Assisi House on Dec. 18. Burial was in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery. A memorial Mass will be scheduled for a later time at St. Matthew Church in Southborough, Mass.

Sister Ursula (Elizabeth) was born in Dublin, Ireland, where she was a member of St. Mary Parish. She entered the congregation in 1949 and professed her first vows in 1952. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 66 years.

Sister Ursula Tisdall

She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Mary University in Emmitsburg, Md., and a master’s in educational administration from Loyola University in Baltimore. She ministered primarily in education and pastoral care.

In the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., Sister Ursula served as principal of St. Paul the Apostle School in Spartanburg from 1988-1993, according to a school history. She was the last religious sister to serve there.

She also served in the field of education for 22 years in the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., teaching at St. Anthony of Padua School and Holy Angels School in Newark. She served as principal of Immaculate Conception School in Elkton and St. John the Beloved School in Wilmington.

Additional ministry in the field of education included teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Bethesda, Md., in the Archdiocese of Washington; and teaching at St. Clement School in Rosedale, Md., in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. She also served as principal of Holy Spirit School in Jacksonville, N.C., in the Diocese of Raleigh.

Sister Ursula also ministered for 17 years in the Archdiocese of Boston. She served as a chaplain at the Metro West Medical Center in Farmingham and volunteered at Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston as well as with the Archdiocese of Boston. For the past five years, Sister Ursula ministered in the Diocese of Worcester, where she did volunteer service at St. Matthew Parish in Southborough.

Sister Ursula is survived by three sisters, Mary Horne, Ursula Corrigan and Sheila Connors; two brothers, James Tisdall and Noel Tisdall; several nieces and nephews; and by her Franciscan family.

Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.