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Linden Leaf Gifts has grand opening

The sense of excitement flowed through the air of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., Friday, as Linden Leaf Gifts conducted its official grand opening.

“This has exceeded my expectations,” gift shop manager Debbie Victor said. “I love the brightness, the openness, the freshness. It’s a welcoming place for everyone.”

“We’re thrilled, we’re blessed and we’re excited,” Sister Paula Damiano added.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College alumna and Linden Leaf Gifts committee member Ellen Morley Matthews said she was pleased with how the new shop appeared.

“It’s fabulous,” Matthews said. “It is really nicely done. The mission is clearly being supported.”

Sister Paula led the committee for Linden Leaf Gifts. On Friday, she also led in the blessing of the new shop.

“I think the design is beautiful,” Sister Paula said. “It really works for our space.”

The shop, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, was initially called The Gift Shop of Providence Center. It had been open for more than 20 years.

Sister Suzanne Brezette, who died in 2005, was the first manager for the gift shop. Friday, June 20, was her birth date.

“Sister Suzanne had a vision to sell Sisters of Providence products, third world products and Mother Theodore Guerin products,” Sister Jan Craven said. “We are ecstatic. I think it’s a thing of beauty. We’re very pleased.”

Since January, the shop has 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 shop closed its doors in Owens on June 9 to begin the process of moving items back to the location in Providence Center.

On Friday, Sister Dawn Tomaszewski greeted approximately 100 people who attended the ceremony.

“We’re pleased to welcome you,” Sister Dawn said. “We’re not just pleased, we are so excited.

“We’re here to celebrate a new beginning,” Sister Dawn continued. “We believe this is more than a gift shop. This is part of the legacy of Mother Theodore Guerin. She is the inspiration for the name and many of the products.”

Sister Dawn also thanked all who were involved in the reconstruction of the shop.

Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce President David Haynes then helped Linden Leaf Gifts employees with the ribbon cutting. Friday was Haynes’ first ribbon cutting since taking the president position Monday, June 16.

“I wish my wife was her. She likes gift shops,” Haynes said. “The place you have here is truly blessed. It has a great future. I’d like to recognize Linden Leaf Gifts and its new beginning. I wish you the very best.”

Haynes also presented Victor with a Chamber of Commerce plaque.

The shop offers more Saint Mary-of-the-Woods-related products, with a focus on nature. In addition, White Violet Center for Eco-Justice merchandise will be available, as well as Linden products, such as Linden Leaf Tea and soap. Fair-trade items are also available.

The shop also includes a café, featuring coffee, tea, juices and other beverages, as well as cookies, muffins and scones.

Linden Leaf Gifts hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call 812-535-2947 or toll-free at 1-866-996-2947.

About Providence Spirituality & Conference Center

Providence Spirituality & Conference Center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., serves as a welcoming center for the Sisters of Providence motherhouse and offers outreach to the community through tours, facility rentals, spiritual programs and retreats, and Sunday Brunch. It exists to provide people of all faith traditions, diverse cultures and ages an invitation to gather, to learn, to meet and to share in a spirit of hope and healing. More information about Providence Spirituality & Conference may be found at ProvCenter.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.

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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.

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