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Help the saints!

The official portrait of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin (Saint Theodora).

Our director of Archives, Sister Mary Ryan, teaches a class on community history that’s held for the benefit of our postulant. However, sisters and staff members are invited, so I’ve been privileged to sit for several of these classes. Time and again, as she shares about various influential SPs, I’m often struck with the thought, “she should be a saint!”

I assure you that one canonization is enough for the SPs, but the stories of these women are incredible examples of faith, perseverance and deep desire to help all of God’s people: women, children, the economically poor, the disenfranchised. Their work always seems to be on the fringes of society with the world catching up to the cause decades later. The infrequently discussed great achievements among SPs seems endless.

This week, Cokie Roberts, the political commentator for ABC News, wrote a blog post about the impact of women religious in the United States. She, too, has been shaped by women religious who were well ahead of the times. She wrote:

“As the story continues through American history, and you look to the work of [Mother Theodore Guerin,*] Katharine Drexel, Francis Cabrini and Marianne Cope—women who worked with blacks, poor immigrants and lepers–you realize that you are reciting a litany of saints.  Each of these women religious has been canonized for her willingness to be ahead of her time—to bring those on the margins into the mainstream.”

*Blogger’s addition because, well, because I work for this saint. 🙂

SPs give their lives to the mission of “being God’s Providence in the world by committing ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people.”

Cokie goes on toward her point, “Day after day these women work with the poor, the sick, the frightened, the incarcerated.  It is literally the Lord’s work.  And it is, by definition, work that doesn’t pay very well in terms of money, even if it results in sainthood.”

Would you consider giving back to the SPs who have given so much to others? We always welcome partners in our mission (like those exploring vocations, volunteering or Providence Associates), outright donations help continue the SP mission in all of these ways and more. Please consider making a gift online today!

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Rosie Blankenship

Rosie Blankenship is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She previously served in positions for the Sisters of Providence as the web site manager and annual giving manager.

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