Sisters of Providence transfer saint’s remains
For the seventh time, the remains of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin have been moved.
On Friday, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, transferred her remains from their resting place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception to the new Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Shrine.
Those who attended the Mass, which took place at 11 a.m., were invited to the procession. The move also coincided with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Feast Day.
According to the Sisters of Providence archives department, this is the seventh time Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s remains have been moved since her death on May 14, 1856.
In 1856, Mother Theodore was buried on the knoll near Saint Ann’s Shell Chapel, along with five other sisters.
In 1864, following the opening of a new cemetery, Mother Theodore’s remains were placed there one day after the five sisters who, in 1840, arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, with her. Mother Theodore’s remains were placed in the center of the cemetery with a special cross. The inscription stated, “I sleep but my heart watches over this house which I have built.”
In 1907, after the cure of Sister Mary Theodosia Mug, Mother Theodore’s remains were examined, as is customary after a miraculous cure attributed to the intercession of a saint. She was placed in a special tomb in the Crypt under the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1958, as part of the process of Mother Theodore’s cause for sainthood, her remains were again exhumed and examined. At that time, bones were saved and placed in archives, for use for relics in the case of beatification and canonization. Some foot bones were left in the cemetery so that a part of Mother Theodore could remain with the sisters who were buried there. Her remains were then returned to the Crypt.
In 1989, due to renovations in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Crypt was closed and Mother Theodore’s remains were moved to the Blessed Virgin side of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and placed under the floor.
In 2006, Mother Theodore was moved to the temporary shrine in the Church of the Immaculate Conception after her canonization.
And on Friday, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s remains were placed in the new permanent shrine under the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, following Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
“Today was her Feast Day in the church,” Director of the Shrine for Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Sister Jan Craven said. “The transfer of her remains is part of the journey of a saint … her final journey to her final resting place. Yes, indeed she sleeps and watches over this house which she has built.”
The sisters will conduct a grand opening of the Shrine for Saint Mother Theodore Guerin for the public, from 1 to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 25.
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.