The Sunday Chronicle; San Antonio’s Ursuline Academy


photo above from a 1954 album found in the old Ursuline museum.

The recent trip I took back to San Antonio to visit friends had one mandatory visit. The site of our childhood school, Ursuline Academy.


photo above is a painting of the school that is in the school’s museum

A Bishop Odin of Galveston sent French Catholic Ursuline nuns from New Orleans and Galveston to San Antonio in 1851, under the leadership of Father Dubuis, to establish the first girls school in San Antonio. The architects commissioned were Francois Giraud and Jules Poinsard for a construction of Pise de Terre (rammed earth).


A courtyard


The grotto in back. Envision all the school girls in their blue and white uniforms standing here on the mornings of May, to place a crown of flowers on the virgin’s head and sing her praise…”Immaculate Mary our hearts are on fire…Ave, ave, ave Maria”.

Click on any photo to open the gallery


Yours truly and friends can be found in this photo.

It was a sweet trip home.

The old Ursuline is now the Southwest School of Art. Click here for more history.

About Angeline M

Love travel and photography. Living in Northern California. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
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29 Responses to The Sunday Chronicle; San Antonio’s Ursuline Academy

  1. Victoria de Leon says:

    I went to the Old Ursuline and how lucky I was!!! I am sure it formed me, and nurtured a love for beauty and history.


  2. It seems that you stimulated fond memories of by gone days with your return. The photos and tales of those days tell a story that reveals a younger you. Happy days!
    wonderful photos and story!


    • Angeline M says:

      Many memories to sort through, for sure. It’s interesting to stand in a place as an older woman looking out and seeing the younger me here so long ago. Thanks, Eddie, for stopping in to chat with me.


  3. Really enjoyed your trip into the past–I’m sure that there will be much reflection. The gallery gives us a sense of the possibilities for solitude and much more. Nicely done.


  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Wow, Angeline! Did you ever open up a box of memories. The little girls in my class wearing their uniforms with their little “ties”, singing to the Virgin Mary and her May crowning, the nuns in those habits. For those of us of a certain age, this is a page out of our biographies. Thank you.


  5. Paula says:

    What a beautiful gallery Angeline! Lovely light and tones!


  6. ShimonZ says:

    Nice pictures… and nice that you were able to enjoy a visit to the past.


  7. Alison says:

    Wish my school had looked like that! What a beautiful building.


  8. Amy says:

    I always love the building, but didn’t know the history of the Ursuline Academy. Thank you for the post, Angeline! I’m going to visit next weekend 🙂


    • Angeline M says:

      Good, Amy. I know you’ll love it. If you happen to go during the week, there is a little restaurant, I think it’s called The Copper Kettle, or Copper Skillet, that has good food.


  9. You’ve captured a building that’s full of history across generations, Angeline, and I can see how it evoked thousands of memories. Great shots, really, invested with love and that gorgeous light. 🙂


    • Angeline M says:

      Thanks, M. When I was off shooting the photos in the grotto, I was in tears….for the beauty that I came back to fully realize, after all these years.


      • It shows dear – very emotive photographs 🙂


      • Oh, Angeline! I’ve been planning a blog of my own about the Southwest Craft Center!
        You have brought back such amazing memories for me with your photos of this dreamy and magical place.
        I had the pleasure of living there for an entire year when I was a little girl. I was 9 and my little sister was 3 at the time. My father was teaching art classes (painting) and we got to live there on a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts. I’ve looked for years to find the kind of photos that REALLY capture the beautiful light that I remember and you DID it justice! The photo of the stairs and hallway. That one really triggers so much happiness for me! And the photo of the grotto. Oh! We are kindred spirits! I enjoyed this so much! I’m always a little homesick for this beautiful place on the river.


      • Angeline M says:

        Beverly, how wonderful to meet you here! I’m so glad you found this post given your stay at the old Ursuline. That must have been fantastic to live there. You’ll have to go back for a visit and write your blog post! I made a little visit to your blog over on BlogSpot and see you live in Santa Fe now. That is one place on my bucket list to go for some photo shoots. I have soooo many photos that I took in the short time I was on the grounds of the Craft Center, which reminds me, I will go pull some from my archives and post a few every now and again. I get a little homesick for San Antonio too, and hope I can get back a little more frequently. Thanks so much for connecting with me here.


  10. Interesting travel back in time…

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award ( Maybe one you’d want to add on your award page…
    Have a great day!


  11. Beautiful work. Some look like paintings!


  12. Must have been a great trip – time flies, doesn’t it?


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