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4.5 things you wanted to know


Mother Theodore’s beautiful signature

Perhaps you remember a week or so ago when we posted this question on Mother Theodore’s Facebook page: “What would you ask Mother Theodore?”

I don’t know about everyone else, but I was personally thrilled to see the many responses! I think we’ve all established one thing for sure, and that is that we are envious for Mother Theodore and share a great deal of love for her. I also think it is safe to say that if she was in our presence, we might overwhelm her with our hugs. So, with that being said, here are some of the facts that we could find out about Mother Theodore that some of you were curious about:

How tall was she?

Have you been in her new shrine yet? Have you witnessed Mother Theodore’s shoes? Have you ever noticed the size? They are rather large for a woman’s feet. With that being said, she was a little on the tall side. Our sources tell us that she was approximately 5’9″.

Could she sing? (What was her voice like?)

Unfortunately, the woman lived over 150 years ago. I found it pretty difficult to find someone who has actually heard her voice before (wink). However, sources do tell me that Mother Theodore seemed to be quite fond of music. She particularly enjoyed listening to one of her fellow sisters play guitar while sitting at her feet. Who knew?

SMTG daguerreotype-frame

The “daguerreotype” photo of Mother Theodore

What is the mark under her eye?

This actually came up recently in conversation around the Mission Advancement Office. One of the reasons many of us adore the daguerreotype photo of her is because it shows her true features, including the mark under her eye. However, it has actually been argued that this mark is not a birth mark of any sorts, but an imperfection within the photo (sigh, sad face).

Why did she have such complications with the bishop?

The bishop took Mother Theodore’s being away from St. Mary’s for an extended time as an opportunity to exert more control over the Congregation, something Mother Theodore always resisted. She was following the Rule of the community and according to that Rule, she and her council decided who would enter the Congregation, how long their novitiate would be, and where the sisters would be assigned. The bishop wanted to be the one to do that and  have control and power.

How did she keep courage and determination, and manage to conquer her battles so successfully?

Well, I would suppose this is not one that I can answer for you (hence, the .5 in the title). We all know that Mother Theodore was a strong woman who was determined to succeed regardless of her circumstances. How she obtained these strong-willed qualities is a question to ask her. However, if I had to guess what advice she would give us today, I think she would say, “If you lean with all of your weight upon Providence, you will find yourself well supported.”


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Jena Thralls

Jena Thralls

Jena graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She worked for the Sisters of Providence as a Marketing Manager.

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