What is “a journey with a saint?” It could mean various things to different people. For many, it is a sacred experience. An average tourist often becomes a pilgrim at the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. A pilgrim is a person who comes to experience sacred healing, prayer and/or renewal at any given place of interest. In this particular instance, the place of interest is the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. It is daily that we Sisters of Providence watch an average person walk in the doors of Providence Spirituality & Conference Center and then, after having toured the shrine and grounds, we see them leave somehow transformed. They have embarked on their own spiritual journey with a saint.
Above is the panel of the first circle, where pilgrims will begin their “Journey with a Saint”.
So where does the journey begin?
The shrine tour begins as soon as a pilgrim walks through the front door of the Providence Spirituality & Conference Center. A person may sense something special is happening here immediately. They are met with a bright green circle that houses the first panel and talks about a Journey with a Saint. There is a small statue of Mother Theodore to greet each person that enters that space. It’s as if Mother Theodore is saying, “welcome to my home”. The panel highlights the shrine as a “living ministry of the Sisters of Providence.”
The message is clear from the very beginning…Providence will not fail us! Mother Theodore was very passionate about leaning with all of her weight upon Providence, which is something that many of us struggle to do–even if we don’t realize it. So you may start your journey by freeing yourself of your fears, your worries, and concerns that lay outside the pathways of that circle. Our hope is that we all grow in our knowledge of the woman and “love the saint and grow in recognition and trust of Providence….”. The stress is that this is a journey with a saint. We are making this pilgrimage with her. This sacred experience is not only learning about a figure of the past, but it is an invitation for all of us to apply her strengths and courage to our lives today and our own journey to holiness right here, right now.
-Sister Jan Craven, director of the shrine