Below you will find some frequently asked questions about who the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods are and about the kinds of women who are joining the Congregation.

MTG walking in woods

Statue of the Sisters of Providence foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who started the Congregation in 1840 and whose legacy continues today in the mission and ministries of the sisters.

Q. Who are the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods?

A. The Sisters of Providence are an apostolic, Catholic Congregation of women religious dedicated to honoring Divine Providence and to furthering God’s loving plans by devoting itself to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people. We value community life, prayer and our common vowed life and are dedicated to the message of the Gospels.

Q. How many members are in the Congregation?

A. Nearly 320 sisters minister primarily in the United States, Washington D.C., and in Taiwan. We live in a variety of cultural and ethnic settings, in urban and rural areas, and serve where the need is greatest.

Sister Su-Hsin Huang, standing, gives a back massage to Sister Rita Lerner as she and Sister Rosalie Marie Weller, right, prepare to say their daily rosary in the Chapel at Providence Health Care.

Sister Su-Hsin Huang, standing, gives a back massage to Sister Rita Lerner as she and Sister Rosalie Marie Weller, right, prepare to say their daily rosary in the Chapel at Providence Health Care.

Q. What are the ways in which you minister?

A. The Sisters of Providence strive toward breaking boundaries and creating hope in our world though diverse ministries. These include areas such as education, pastoral ministry, health care, social and eco-justice, and leadership. Explore the ministry section of our website for a closer look at our ministerial life and see if anything speaks to your heart.

Q. What kinds of women are thinking about joining the Sisters of Providence?

A. Because we are an apostolic Congregation, our sisters have a variety of gifts and talents that they offer each other and use in ministry. Learn a bit more about the discernment process and talk to a spiritual director to see if become a Catholic woman religious is something you might consider.

Q. Are there educational expectations?

A. It is desirable that, in addition to having completed high school, you have at least two years of professional, college or life experience that points toward a ministry consistent with the mission of the Sisters of Providence.

Q. If I become a sister, will someone always be telling me what to do?

A. No matter what life style we choose, we all seek advice from other people. The same is true for the Sisters of Providence. Consideration of others and the good of the Congregation guide our decisions and is done within the context of a discernment process.

Q. How will you help me as I am discerning?

A. We’ll keep in regular contact with you through monthly mailings designed for your ongoing reflection. You will be invited to Vocation Discernment Weekends and other congregation activities and celebrations. When you feel ready, you will receive a “sister discernment guide” who, along with the vocation director, will assist you.

Q. When I am ready to enter the Sisters of Providence, what will happen?

A. After completing an application process and being accepted for membership, you will begin a three-year process of preparation for the first profession of vows. See the Discerning your call page for more details.

Q. What financial obligations will I assume during this period?

A. It is expected that you will be free of any major debts prior to entrance into the postulancy. Let’s begin a conversation and see if becoming a Catholic woman religious is something you wish to learn more about.

Q. How can I learn more about your life?

A. Explore our website. Contact our Vocation office. Meet with a Sister of Providence. Volunteer or sign-up for an internship at one of our ministries to get a better understanding of what it means to be a Sister of Providence.

Our website offers more information about our work in the Ministries section; more information about our Congregation’s history and goals; more information about our donors and fund-raising activities in the Contribute section; and a wealth of news, resources and other information in the News Center.

For more information, email Sister Editha Ben, vocation director,; or call 1-800-860-1840, ext. 2895; or write the Sisters of Providence Vocation Office, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876-1089.