Mother Catherine Spalding (1793-1858) was the cofounder and first leader of one of the most significant American religious communities for women - the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Spalding also founded several educational institutions, Louisville's first private hospital, and the first social service agencies for children in Kentucky. In 2003, the Louisville Courier-Journal selected Spalding as the sole woman among the sixteen most important persons in Louisville's history. ""Pioneer Spirit"" is the first biography of Spalding, who, from the age of nineteen, served the citizens of the Kentucky frontier. By the time of her death, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth extended far beyond Bardstown, Kentucky, to over one hundred sisters in sixteen convents. Spalding's legacy of service continues today with more than six hundred members worldwide.