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Why do I love Saint Mother Theodore?

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Editor’s note: During the month of October, several Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates will be sharing some of what they love about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. This is our first blog post in the series. Enjoy!

Another year, another October, another season of beautiful fall leaves … and, no doubt, in even greater abundance at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. There are many important dates on our calendar. We, the Providence Community, celebrate two major feasts: Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s Feast Day (October 3) and our Foundation Day (October 22).

I would like to share a practical reflection on how I love our dear Mother Theodore. How do I relate to her as a daughter of Providence?

Daily Wisdom

I have a habit of reading her quote of the day every morning before beginning my “worldly tasks.” It becomes a routine for me to seek some kind of consolation, affirmation or just her daily wisdom before engaging in my daily life. In fact, Saint Mother Theodore’s words are much more than “quote of the day” to me. They become a way of her being present in my life and accompanying me through each day’s journey.

This practice of letting Mother Theodore’s words inspire my actions each day strengthens my faith. It simply progresses by trust, trust that she (Mother Theodore) would speak to my heart in a timely fashion  —  that’s faith. If I trust, I will always find meaning and a special message in her words.

Continued advice

Blog post author Sister Anji Fan, SP, second from right, joins a panel of sisters originating from or ministering in Asia during the 2018 Providence Associates annual meeting.

There is a personal story about how this custom has become ingrained into my daily ritual. One day, I was troubled by an untruthful accusation and struggled to find a righteous answer to that mind-boggling situation. I came across her quote on that day, which told me that “There are some among you who are like old Bouraux. This was a turkey-cock that got angry at the least thing. He did not have one good quarter of an hour during the day because he got mad at everything.” Suddenly, my heart was touched by her frankness and humor. I laughed out loud and the tension was immediately released from my mind — whatever was bothering me must be nonessential! I really trust her wisdom and judgment!

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin always comes through at the time when I earnestly ask for her wisdom and consolation. When I read the daily news on the struggling economy and inflation, she asks the same question that I have: “But again I must talk about money. When will the day come that we shall be able to be occupied only with God?” Her message to me is that she used to face the same challenges, and she handled situations like many of us. The fact that her sainthood and encouragement are so real, so near for us to reach, has become a solid foundation for my faith.

Continuing the mission of Saint Mother Theodore: Sister Anji (in white) joins a table discussion during the Sisters of Providence annual meeting in 2018.

A bit of humor

Recently, I worried about my mental capacity for dealing with academic and professional pressures. My dear Mother Theodore mirthfully teases me with her famous quote: “You are very foolish, my dear sister, to be tormenting your imagination with the fear of losing your mind. … Believe me, my daughter, we cannot lose what we never had.” Oh, dear Mother Theodore, I just do not have the wit to come up with a response to that quote, but rather I diligently ask myself: “What exactly do I have then?”

Oh, how blessed to be a member of this Providence Community! The founding spirit that is expressed so poignantly in Saint Mother Theodore’s words continues to challenge and comfort my soul. May we all experience this season of thankfulness as Saint Mother Theodore said: “With hearts full of gratitude we offered our thanks to God for all the benefits bestowed on us.”

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Sister Anji Fan

Sister Anji Fan

Sister Anji Fan has been a Sister of Providence for 24 years. She has ministered as a high school mathematics and Mandarin teacher in Illinois and Indiana. Currently, she is studying Curriculum and Instruction - Mathematics Education at the University of Louisville.

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  1. Avatar Debbie on October 7, 2022 at 6:42 am

    What a wonderful way to begin a day!

  2. Avatar Marsha Speth on October 7, 2022 at 6:55 am

    Thank you, Anji, for sharing this lovely practice and how Mother Theodore is so present to you!

  3. Avatar Mary on October 7, 2022 at 8:40 am

    I just love this reflection, Anji! You and Mother Theodore made me laugh out loud! Thank you. 💖🙏

  4. Avatar Connie SP on October 7, 2022 at 8:42 am

    Delightful reflection!

  5. Avatar Janet Tosick on October 7, 2022 at 10:46 am

    What an uplifting beautiful story of the ways St Mother Theodore is helping us with her wisdom.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Janet Tosick, PA

  6. Avatar Laura Parker on October 7, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Thank you, Anji, for your thought provoking reflection! I, like you, feel that Mother Theodore’s wit gets me through some tough spots! Happy feast!

  7. Avatar Amy Penne on October 7, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    What a beautiful reflection! Thank you, Sister.

  8. Avatar Paula Modaff, SP on October 7, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Anji, I am certain that our Mother Theodore enjoyed your reflections about her as much as we have. Thank you for being so genuine.

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