Visiting a ‘Saintly’ relative
When she arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Delphine Le Brun could hardly contain her excitement.
Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, is an ancestor of Delphine’s – whose father’s paternal grandmother was the great-niece of Saint Mother Theodore.
Delphine had never visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, but thought being in Alabama provided the “perfect opportunity for me to come and visit.”
Delphine is from Les Sables-d’Olonne, a town in western France. She came to the United States in 2006 and lived in New York City until 2014. She then moved to Oregon to study aerospace engineering and is now serving as an intern for NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama.
When she drove up to Providence Spirituality & Conference Center to meet with Sister Jan Craven, she was thrilled.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Delphine said. “This is very special. I’m a little shaky.”
She had contacted Sister Jan to discuss her desire to visit Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, to see where “Saint Mother Theodore Guerin lived, where she died, reflect on her life, her sainthood and learn more about my great-great aunt.”
So, she drove the six-hour trip from Alabama to Indiana on Saturday, July 22.
Delphine’s grandmother, Colette, and her sister Anne-Lise, attended the canonization of Saint Mother Theodore in 2006, where they met Sister Marie Kevin Tighe (RIP), who at the time, ministered as the director of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Sister Jan currently ministers in this position.
During her weekend visit, Delphine was provided a tour by Sister Jan. She also met with many Sisters of Providence and attended Sunday Mass before heading back to Alabama.
Delphine said she hoped to connect with Saint Mother Theodore during her visit.
“Sister Jan will catch me up on everything,” Delphine said. “But I wanted to have some time with my ancestor. Some spiritual time. I didn’t realize the grandeur of what Mother Theodore did. My grandmother would be amazed.
“This visit has to do with my individual path. Somehow, everything has converged to this moment.”
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a Congregation of nearly 250 women religious, with more than 280 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. 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 may be found at SistersofProvidence.org.