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Sisters of Providence to observe canonization anniversary

The Sisters of Providence will observe the fifth anniversary of the canonization of their foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, during Eucharistic Liturgy at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The liturgy is open to the public and to people of all faith traditions.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Saint Mother Theodore on Oct. 15, 2006, in Rome. Hundreds of sisters, staff, friends, companions and local residents made the trip to Rome for the celebration.

The Rev. Daniel Hopcus, the Congregation’s chaplain, will bring attention to the anniversary during in his homily during the liturgy.

Also, a 14-minute video remembrance of the canonization ceremony will be shown continuously in the Providence Center lobby during regular business hours which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The video shows Pope Benedict making the proclamation declaring Mother Theodore as eligible for sainthood, the Eucharistic Liturgy outside St. Peter’s Basilica, smaller gatherings at churches nearby the Vatican, and the accompanying celebrations which focus heavily on people who participated in the events.

“We just want to offer a gentle reminder that our Mother Theodore is still with us. Her legacy and spirituality are alive today. She is such a treasure to so many people,” said Sister Denise Wilkinson, the Congregation’s general superior.

Visitors from all 50 states and from dozens of foreign nations have been to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to visit Saint Mother Theodore’s Shrine in the Church in the Immaculate Conception.

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and five companion sisters came to the United States from France in 1840, arriving first in southern Indiana and traveling through Vincennes and the dense forest terrain in western Indiana to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Within a year, Saint Mother Theodore opened an Academy, now known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, which is the oldest Catholic college for women in the United States. Soon afterward, she opened schools in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village and at St. Francisville, Ill. From there, the education ministry grew to schools throughout Indiana and Illinois, and to other cities such as Boston and Los Angeles.

Saint Mother Theodore died May 14, 1856.

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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