GREAT FALLS — If you are looking to honor mom this Sunday with food just like she used to make, you need to search no further than the historic Ursuline Centre in Great Falls. Their major fundraiser, a Mother’s Day brunch is once again on the menu.
“It's a great way to spend two or 3 hours here at the center with your mother and family or friends,” said Ursuline Centre Executive Director Thom Trunkle.
A full-service brunch along with a dessert lounge are just part of the ongoing Mother’s Day tradition, now in its 25th year.
“We’ll have historic tours, live music, a display by the Great Falls Camera Club and we’ll have a digital photo booth to capture some great memories of you and your family and your mom as well and tours throughout,” said Trunkle. “We'll have docents on hand in the rooms, historic rooms that we have here in the building to provide information about the history here at the Ursuline Center.”
Historic sections visitors will get a chance to see include the Heritage Museum, the auditorium, the chapel on the second floor and Mother Raphael’s art studio in the tower.
The Ursuline Academy is nearing its 111th anniversary. It opened in 1912 as a K-12 school, and a boarding school for girls.
Through its Heritage Museum, it tells the story of Ursuline Sisters who came to the state in 1884 as missionaries to Native Americans and white settlers.
In the 1970’s, it was almost demolished after needing upkeep and repairs, but an Ursuline sister from California had other ideas.
“Serendipitously, she and a priest that was doing a personal retreat here at the time came up with an idea that gained momentum to create a retreat center here and so that has expanded through since those early days in the early seventies,” said Trunkle.
The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. It regularly serves as a gathering place for numerous civic, non-profit and religious organizations.
It continues to place a high value on learning through its value-based preschool.
Trunkle says it's an opportunity to come for the food and stay for the history.
“I think some people just aren't suspect or know what is entirely inside this building in the history and the beauty itself, the architecture, the artwork and the preservation,” said Trunle. “The vision of previous lay directors and mother superiors too, to protect the building and preserve what is here.”
Trunkle says it takes about 50 volunteers to put on the brunch ranging from preparation and serving food to docents giving guided tours
The Mother’s Day Brunch takes place from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors, and $10 for children aged 6-12 with kids under the age of 6 getting in free.
Tickets are available at the door or can be reserved by calling the center at 406-452-8585.
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