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Fun at the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin FEST

Fest-charactersApproximately 200 people attended the 2015 Saint Mother Theodore Guerin FEST, which also coincided with the Sisters of Providence 175-year anniversary last October. Several activities took place during the two-day festival, including guided meditation, The Living Rosary, “To God Through Music,” and more. Several sisters and others offered historical re-enactments during a guided tour.

FEST character actors, from left, Sister Rosemary Nudd as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, Sister Ann Casper as Sister Mary Cecilia Bailly, Carl Bender as Joseph Thralls, Sister Rita Clare Gerardot as Sister Olympiade Boyer, Providence Associate Charles Fisher as Father Buteux and Sister Martha Wessel as Mother Mary Cleophas Foley.

Old gym gives way to new house

new-house-useThe “old gymnasium” at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods was torn down in June to make way for a new housing unit needed for sisters formerly living in Owens Hall. The sisters built the gym in 1909 for use by the sisters and students at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. A natatorium was added in 1919. The new residence building is designed to house ten Sisters of Providence and was completed in mid-December.

New administration building in former day care now open

inside-office2The Sisters of Providence officially opened their new administration building in the fall. The building is located at the site of the former Woods Day Care/Pre-School at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. A blessing of the building took place Sept. 30, with members of the General Council blessing each area and the staff. The building includes offices for the General Council, the business office, mission advancement, human resources and other administrative offices. Woods Day Care/Pre-School was officially closed in March 2014. Prior to moving to the new building, staff and General Council were housed in Owens Hall. The sisters closed Owens Hall late in 2015.

church-tower-close-up-cmykBuildings and the environment can also be transformed. And that is exactly what has happened in the past year and a half to the bell tower and other projects related to the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. All mortar joints in the tower have been replaced or restored, 39 wooden window frames have been replaced with aluminum frames and new windows and screens, louvers surrounding the bell area have been restored and the entire façade power-washed. The five massive doors of the church were refurbished, new windows placed in the adjoining façade and a disability accessible entry way created closer to the church. The final outdoor work — landscaping, laying of the plaza and church entry-way bricks, placing of benches and of a donor recognition plaque — will be completed in the spring of 2016.

This total transformation was made possible by the generosity of all our benefactors. Our thanks to each of you!

Be an SP!

The Sisters of Providence invite Catholic woman ages 18 to 42 to consider life as a Sister of Providence. The Congregation will be holding a “Come and See” weekend retreat at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, April 8-10, 2016. The weekend is free for women who would like to know more about life as a Sister of Providence. Contact Sister Editha Ben at 812-230-4771 or eben@spsmw.org to learn more.

Christmas Fun

Christmas-Fun-S-Mary-mrs-claus-readEven with temperatures in the 60s and no snow, Christmas Fun at the Woods 2015 attracted more than 600 visitors to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on Saturday, Dec. 12. There were fun activities inside and outside. This year the Sisters of Providence added a carriage ride and a hay ride. At right, Mrs. Claus (Sister Mary Ryan) reads a story to children attending.

Visitors from Taiwan

Taiwanese-pilgrimsSisters Celeste Tsai and Delan Ma accompanied 25 Taiwanese pilgrims to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in late October. The general officers welcomed the pilgrims at Providence Spirituality and Conference Center prior to taking a tour of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Bishop Martin Su of Tai-chung was one of the pilgrims. He co-celebrated the Foundation Day liturgy on Oct. 22 with Father Dan Hopcus.

(Originally published in the Winter 2016 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Paul Beel

Paul worked for the Sisters of Providence for 10 years, first as a Systems Analyst in the Information Technology department and as a photographer/digital media/web developer in the Missions Advancement office. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in electronics technology.

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