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In memory of …

(Note: A Throwback Thursday in memory of Sister Marie Brendan Harvey will appear on our website on Thursday, Jan. 5).

A total of 11 Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, have passed away this year.

This month, the Throwback Thursday blog has been dedicated to those sisters’ lives and ministries.

Last week, we focused on Sister Marilyn Therese Lipps and Sister Mary Concetta Ban᷉ez. This week’s blog will focus on the lives and ministries of Sister Mary Esther Lane and Sister Marian Ruth Johnson.

A photo of Sister Mary Esther Lane (formerly Sister Francis Gertrude Lane), taken in 1936.

Sister Mary Esther was born on April 11, 1915, in Loogootee, to Emma Kuebler Lane and Dr. Andrew Lane.

Sister Mary Esther entered the Congregation in August 1933 and was given the name Sister Francis Gertrude.

She taught in schools in Indiana, California and Illinois, including ministering as a teacher and principal at St. Joseph School, located in Terre Haute, from 1952-57.

Sister Mary Esther taught from 1936 to 1979. In all, she taught at 15 different schools in the three states.

In 1979, she began a ministry as the associate coordinator of the Marywood Center in Orange California. She continued with this type of ministry until retiring in 1995. In 1996, she committed herself totally to the ministry of prayer.

In her commentary for Sister Mary Esther, Sister Margaret Quinlan described a story regarding the Sugar Creek Fire Department informing all residents that all roads in the area had to be named and labeled in case of emergency.

A photo of Sister Mary Esther Lane taken in 1979 at Yosemite National Park.

In Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village, many residents who lived on one street decided they had to name it “Mary Lane.” The street was eventually changed to “Mary Lane Road.”

“I understand that Mary Esther loved taking visitors over there to show them the road that is named after her,” Sister Margaret said.

Sister Mary Esther died on Nov. 19, 2016. She was 101 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 83 years.

Ruth Kathryn Johnson was born March 29, 1926, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Earl and Ethel Heidrich Johnson.

She entered the Congregation in February 1945 and was given the name Sister Marian Ruth.

An undated photo of Sister Marian Ruth Johnson.

Sister Marian Ruth ministered for 40 years as a teacher in elementary schools in Indiana, Illinois and California. During that time, she was principal at St. Philip Neri (1967-70), St. Francis de Sales (1982-83) and St. Rita (1983-84). All three schools are located in Indianapolis.

In 1989, Sister Marian Ruth began a 13-year ministry in adult education. Following this, she remained in Indianapolis until returning to the Motherhouse in 2006.

In 2008, Sister Marian Ruth committed herself to the ministry of prayer.

In their commentary for Sister Marian Ruth, Sisters Janet Gilligan and Maureen Abbott said, “She loved life, she loved teaching, she loved the Sisters of Providence, and she loved nature. But perhaps most of all, she loved to fish with her good friend, Sister Mary Pat Peacock.”

Sister Janet and Sister Maureen continued, saying Sister Marian Ruth enjoyed inviting her friends to Saint Joseph’s Lake to share a meal of the fish she had just caught, filleted and cooked.

Sister Marian Ruth died on Nov. 28, 2016. She was 90 years old and had been a Sister of Providence for 71 years. ‪#‎throwbackthursday ‪#‎tbt

Another undated photo of Sister Marian Ruth Johnson.

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Jason Moon

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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  1. Avatar Judy Copeland on December 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    In the new year I’d like to see the life and photos of Sister Francis Catherine Malone. She was my former teacher many years ago. She also had a sister, Sister Gemma.


    Judy Copeland

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