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Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods establish Guerin Outreach Ministries, Inc.

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana have established a new sponsored ministry. As of June 1, 2008, the Sisters incorporated Guerin Outreach Ministries, Inc. to provide educational programs and family services to people without access to such programs.

“This new ministry is an expression of our congregational mission to extend God’s loving Providence to those most in need through works of love, mercy and justice,” said Sister Marie McCarthy, Sisters of Providence general council liaison to Guerin Outreach Ministries.

The newly established ministry serves as an umbrella for three already-existing ministries of the Sisters of Providence. Educational Family Services provides free tutoring services to residents of West Terre Haute, Ind. and the surrounding areas. Providence Family Services in Chicago provides counseling services, English as a Second Language classes, after-school tutoring and computer training to residents of West Humboldt Park and its neighboring communities. Providence in the Desert offers English as a Second Language instruction for adults and music lessons for children to residents of the Coachella Valley in Southern California.

Each of these ministries was founded by a Sister of Providence who saw a need in her community and established a ministry center to meet those needs. Each began with a single program, but all have grown to offer a broader range of services to the clients they serve.

“There is more work to do, and each director hopes to be able to add additional programs and serve more clients,” says Sister Patty Fillenwarth, president of the newly formed Board of Directors for Guerin Outreach Ministries.

The creation of Guerin Outreach Ministries, Inc. allows the ministries to share the administrative, public relations and development services already in place through the Sisters of Providence. This will enable the directors and staff of each ministry to focus on programs and services without having to manage layers of administrative work at the local level.

“I think the creation of Guerin Outreach Ministries, Inc. has created new energy in the ministries themselves. It offers them the opportunity to become more firmly established and therefore have greater longevity of service,” Sister Marie added.

“The creation of this ministry is very much in keeping with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s [foundress of the Sisters of Providence] idea to go out and reach the hard to reach. These ministries are serving the underserved and the hard to serve; the marginalized and the poor. This new alliance is being established to support these ministries by providing centralized administrative support,” said Frances Ginther, the independent consultant who has spearheaded the development and implementation of the new corporation. Ginther also serves on the advisory board of Providence Family Services in Chicago.

“This is an exciting time for all our three member ministries. Our newly established board will continue to dialogue about inviting new members to widen our focus, not only on programs and services, but on new approaches to development and fund-raising. We are continuing to work on our business plan and gearing up for more concentrated development work than the three ministries have been able to do in the past,” said Sister Mary Tomlinson, SP, who serves as the development coordinator for Guerin Outreach Ministries.

Guerin Outreach Ministries’ corporate offices are located at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. Donations of money or gifts in kind are always welcome to allow the not-for-profit ministries to continue to offer their services at little or no cost. For more information about Guerin Outreach Ministries, contact Sister Rosemary Schmalz, SP at 812-535-3131 or by e-mail at rschmalz@spsmw.org.

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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