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Historical marker honors Saint Mother Theodore

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin was honored during a public dedication ceremony of an Indiana historical marker April 29, 2009, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The marker is located near the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on Grotto Lane.

The bronze plaque commemorates the life of Saint Mother Theodore, also known as Saint Theodora, and her contributions to the historical foundation of Catholic education in Indiana and other states.

State historical markers recognize individuals, organizations, places and events in Indiana history. Markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve and present their history for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists of all ages.

For more than 90 years, the Indiana Historical Bureau, an agency of the state of Indiana, has been marking Indiana history. Since 1947, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has the familiar dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top. There are approximately 500 of these markers across the state.

The inscription honoring Saint Mother Theodore reads:

“Born Anne-Therese Guerin in 1798 in France. In 1823, she entered the Catholic congregation Sisters of Providence of Ruille; received the name of Sister St. Theodore. Noted for her teaching, she led a mission from France to establish schools and orphanages in the Indiana wilderness; arrived here fall 1840 and established the Sisters of Providence in U.S. Guerin opened a female academy in July 1841, the predecessor of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Initially, she and the sisters endured anti-Catholic sentiments and harsh frontier conditions. At her death in 1856, she had directed the opening of 11 schools in 9 Indiana towns. Pope Benedict XVI canonized her in 2006, naming her Saint Theodore Guerin.”

Click here for comments made during the dedication by General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson.

Click here for comments made by Jeremy Hackerd, Historical Marker Program manager of the Indiana Historical Bureau.


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Paul Beel

Paul worked for the Sisters of Providence for 10 years, first as a Systems Analyst in the Information Technology department and as a photographer/digital media/web developer in the Missions Advancement office. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in electronics technology.

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