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Four Sisters of Providence celebrate their 50th anniversary

Four Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., recently celebrated their 50th anniversary as members of the Congregation. They are Sisters Marilyn Baker, Jane Marie Osterholt, Martha Joseph Wessel and Therese Whitsett.

The celebrants:

Sister Marilyn Baker is a native of New Delhi, India. She currently ministers as an adjunct professor in the Intensive English Program at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Sister Marilyn, the former Sister Ann Cecile, entered the Congregation Sept. 15, 1962, from St. Patrick Parish in Fayetteville, N.C. She professed perpetual vows Dec. 28, 1970.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in education. She received a master’s degree in reading from Salem State University and a doctorate degree in education from Indiana State University.

Indiana ministries:

Indianapolis: teacher, St. Simon School (1980-1983).

Ministries elsewhere:

Halethorpe, Md.: teacher, Ascension School (1967-1969).
Malden, Mass.: teacher, Sacred Heart School (1969-1970).
Fayetteville, N.C.: teacher, St. Ann School (1970-1972).
Charlotte, N.C.: teacher, St. Patrick School (1972-1973).
Washington, D.C.: teacher, St. Ann School (1973-1976).
Lansdowne, Md.: teacher, St. Clement School (1976-1980).
Taiwan: instructor Providence College (1983-1986); associate professor (1990-1998 and 1999-2010), chairperson of English department (1991-1997), Providence University.

Sister Jane Marie Osterholt is a native of Celina, Ohio. She ministry is in transition after having served as a general officer on the Congregation’s leadership team the past five years.

Sister Jane Marie entered the Congregation Sept. 17, 1962, from St. Hyacinth Parish in Fort Wayne. She professed perpetual vows Sept. 16, 1973.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She received a master’s degree in religious studies from Marygrove College. She received a doctorate in ministry theology from Saint Mary of the Lake University.

Indiana ministries:

Indianapolis: teacher, St. Thomas Aquinas School (1967-1968).
Loogootee: teacher, St. John School (1968-1969) and associate director of religious education (1974-1975); Loogootee Elementary School (1968-1969).

Ministries elsewhere:

Berwyn, Ill.: clinical pastoral education staff, MacNeal Memorial Hospital (1975).
Detroit: clinical pastoral education staff, Mt. Carmel-Mercy Hospital (1976 and 1977).
Lincoln Park, Mich.: clinical pastoral education staff, Outer Drive Hospital (1976).
Ypsilanti, Mich.: clinical pastoral education staff, Ypsilanti State Hospital (1977).
River Grove, Ill.: Director of religious education, St. Cyprian Parish (1977-1987).
River Forest, Ill.: Director of religious education, St. Luke Parish (1987-1991).
Joliet, Ill.: leadership formation consultant, Diocese of Joliet (1991-1996).
Kankakee, Ill.: director of Lisieux Pastoral Center, and cathecism consultant (1996-2005); consultant author, Brown/ROA (1996-1997); consultant, Harcourt Religious Publishers (2005-2006).

Sister Martha Joseph Wessel is a native of Ferdinand, and she also lived in Jasper. She currently ministers as administrator of Owens Hall and supervisor of the Office of Records Hall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister Martha Joseph entered the Congregation Sept. 17, 1962, from Holy Family Parish in Jasper. She professed perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1970.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She received a master’s degree in elementary education from Indiana State University.

Indiana ministries:

Vincennes: teacher, St. John School (1967-1968).
New Castle: teacher, St. Anne School (1968-1974) and principal and teacher (1977-1982).
Indianapolis: teacher, Holy Cross School (1974-1977).
Columbus: teacher, All Saints School (1982-1984).
Evansville: principal and teacher, St. Anthony School (1984-1987); principal, Ascension School (1987-1988); teacher, WCCS Intermediate School (1989-1993).

Ministries elsewhere:

Uniontown, Ky.: principal and teacher, St. Agnes School (1988-1989).

Sister Therese Whitsett is a native of Indianapolis. She currently ministers as a teacher of English as a Second Language at St. Philip Neri School in Indianapolis.

Sister Therese, the former Sister Timothy Marie, entered the Congregation Sept. 17, 1962, from St. Anthony Parish in Indianapolis. She professed perpetual vows Feb. 10, 1974.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She received a master’s degree in communication arts from Webster University.

Indiana ministries:

Fort Wayne: teacher, St. John the Baptist School (1967-1969).
Indianapolis: teacher, St. Ann School (1971-1972); Holy Cross School (1972-1979); St. Lawrence School (1990-1991); instructor and outreach ministry, Hispanic Education Center (1991-2006).

Ministries elsewhere:

Arequipa, Peru: teacher, Colegio San Jose (1970).
Fort Yates, N.D.: teacher, Catholic Indian Mission (1979-1981).
Chicago: teacher, Maternity BVM (1981-1989).

For more information

The Sisters of Providence, a Congregation of nearly 400 women religious, have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located northwest of Terre Haute, Ind. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 19 states, the District of Columbia, Taiwan and China.

For more information about any of the ministries of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, visit the Congregation’s Web site at www.SistersofProvidence.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.

More information

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

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