Peruvian ministry artifacts on display in Heritage Museum
Responding to a pope’s request in the early 1960s to minister in Latin America, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods began a mission in Arequipa, Peru, when three sisters journeyed there to minister at the all-boys Colegio de San Jose.
The original three sisters, and others who joined them later, stayed about 12 years until political and military upheaval prompted the sisters to leave after the 1975 school year. When they returned, they brought with them several artifacts that are now on display in the Heritage Museum in Providence Center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Among items on display are hand-carved novelties such as Nativity sets, dolls, crosses and Arte Grotesque pieces. Hand-crafted items include blankets, ponchos, napkins, purses, a sterling silver cross and a picture frame. There are also several paintings, photos, school annuals and other items.
Items included in the exhibit are on loan from the Congregation’s Archives and Sisters Mary Catherine Duffy, Patricia “Patty” Fillenwarth, Laura Ann McLaughlin, Elizabeth “Betty” Smigla and Therese Whitsett. Additional assistance was provided by Sister Florence Norton.
The Heritage Museum is open to the public during the Providence Center’s normal hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT), and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT). There is no charge to visit the museum.
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.