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Linden Leaf Gifts schedules grand opening

It has been said that Saint Mother Theodore Guerin was particularly fond of Linden trees.

In the book, “Journals and Letters of Mother Theodore,” she is quoted as saying, “We have gone out several times this summer to gather simples and linden blossoms, etc. In each excursion we discover something marvelous, beautiful and useful in the magnificent forests of Indiana.”

In fact, legend has it that Saint Mother Theodore brought a Linden tree with her from France to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.

Because of the connection between Saint Mother Theodore and Linden trees, the Sisters of Providence have elected to rename the Gift Shop at Providence Center. Beginning June 20, the shop will officially be known as Linden Leaf Gifts.

“We have integrated the themes and loves of Mother Theodore’s life,” Sister Dawn Tomaszewski recently said in regard to the shop.

The sisters have used the Linden tree for many things. For example, Mother Theodore’s knowledge of herbs would have been helpful in using the Linden blossoms for a tea. The blossoms and the inner bark were also used for medicinal purposes at one time.

The processional cross created for the Sisters of Providence Sesquicentennial celebration was made from wood from the Linden tree planted by Mother Theodore. The tree was once located near the front of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, but was struck by lightning and taken down. Wood from the tree was used by local artist Jack Gates to create the cross.

Linden Leaf Gifts will celebrate its grand opening Friday, June 20, with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce.
Since January, the shop had been located in Owens Hall due to the construction of the permanent shrine for Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, the Sisters of Providence foundress, who was declared the 8th United States saint in 2006. The re-location coincided with other major renovations within Providence Spirituality and Conference Center.

The complete makeover of the gift shop has been included in the renovations.

Beginning June 20, the shop will have a completely new look.

“We’re re-branding,” gift shop manager Debbie Victor said. “We wanted to start fresh, go in a whole new direction.”

Victor said plans are in place for the shop to sell more Saint Mary-of-the-Woods-related products, with a focus on nature. In addition, she said more White Violet Center for Eco-Justice merchandise will be available, as well as Linden products, such as Linden Leaf Tea and soap. She added fair-trade items will also be available.

Victor said the shop will also include a café, featuring coffee, tea, juices and other beverages, as well as cookies, muffins and scones.

Linden Leaf Gifts hours will remain the same – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re eager to get back to our space,” Victor said.

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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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

Media contact

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

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