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Bon Voyage: Prayers for safe travels

For the first time in the history of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, two sisters have been invited to attend the General Chapter of Foundress Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s original community, the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé sur Loir in France.

The Sisters of Providence leadership team, from left Sisters Laura Parker, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Dawn Tomaszewski, Carole Kimes and Anne Therese Falkenstein, gather for prayer at the shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin as Sisters Dawn and Jeanne prepare to leave for France.

Today the leadership team gathered at the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin to pray for General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski and Vicar Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp, before they left for France. Sisters at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods concluded the prayer by praying our Prayer of Reunion, prayed still today daily by our sisters and those in France.

You too are invited to pray for our beloved travelers and successful meetings over the next two weeks in France. May our Provident God watch over them and all of us in the days to come.

Prayer of sending for our Sisters

April 3, 2024

From the FIRST JOURNAL OF TRAVEL by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Voyage to America

The moment of separation and of death had come at last. We had to leave all. After having made the most painful sacrifices, which had cost our hearts so much, we had to break the last ties by tearing ourselves away from our dear “Providence” of Ruillé, that home so tenderly loved by all the Sisters of Providence.

On the Sea

It would be difficult to describe what passed in my soul when I felt the vessel beginning to move and I realized that I was no longer in France. It seemed as if my soul were being torn from my body. Finally, we left the harbor.

We watched the sails being unfurled one after the other; we saw them swelled by the wing, hurrying us away from our beloved France… Sad, and leaning against the cordage, I was contemplating the shore of my country, which was flying away with inconceivable rapidity and becoming smaller and smaller at every moment… We again offered up to Heaven the sacrifice of all that we loved, and thought of those who were weeping for us.

O my dear friends! O my Country! How much it costs to give you up!



Holy Origin, Creator God,

In 1840, France sent us a woman who was determined to serve the underserved and to build a community of religious women who lived according to the Gospel message of love, mercy, and justice.

Today, as we send our Sisters Dawn and Jeanne from the United States to reunite with our roots in France, we ask that wherever they go, whether it be to a meeting, a sacred structure, a meal, the ocean, a walking trail or even a tourist spot, that all those who greet them may recognize in them the same abundant love, thirst for justice and bold leadership of Mother Theodore Guerin.

May their presence in France, inclusion in the Chapter of 2024 and their interactions with others from around the world strengthen our sisterly bond, transform our communities, assist those whom we serve, and honor Your Divine Providence for years to come.

Keep our beloved travelers in your abundant care always. Amen.


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Sister Anne Therese Falkenstein

Sister Anne Therese Falkenstein

Sister Anne Therese Falkenstein has known the Sisters of Providence she was an infant and entered the Congregation in 1979. She served for many years as a professor at Providence University in Taichung, Taiwan. She currently ministers as a General Councilor for the Congregation.

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  1. Avatar Mary Montgomery on April 4, 2024 at 9:31 am

    Thanks so much for this inspiring article, S. Anne Therese!

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