The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, Archives Department includes (seated, from left) Sister Marianne Mader, Sister Janet Gilligan, (back, from left) Sister Maureen Abbott, Sister Mary Rita Griffin and Sister Marie Grace Molloy.

Our Archives collects, preserves and makes available Congregation records and materials which pertain to our origin, history, spirit and growth.

The primary purpose of the Archives is to serve the archival needs of the Sisters of Providence, but researchers are welcome.

The Sisters of Providence are founding members of the Wabash Valley Visions and Voices project (WV3). For more information about this project, click here.

For more information

For more information about Archives, contact the director by email at or by phone at 812-535-2881.

Research Request Form

If you are conducting research and need assistance from the Sisters of Providence Archives, please complete the following form. Please be very specific with your request and provide as much information as possible about your research. Research will be provided according to available records and in as timely a manner as possible.

There is no charge for this service. However, your donation allows us to continue our work of preserving history and making it available to others. Once you submit your request, the DONATE button at the top of this page will allow you to donate online, if you wish. Please mention Archival Research in the “Comments section” or mail your donation to Archives, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN, 47876, again indicating Archival Research on the check memo. Thank you.

If you would like to contact a Sister of Providence who is a former teacher or friend, please complete our Contact a sister form instead.

Fill out my online form.

Contact a Sister Form

Sisters of Providence enjoy hearing from former students and people with whom they have ministered in the past. We will gladly assist you in locating a sister you wish to contact. If you are conducting genealogical or historical research, please complete our Research request form.

Please submit your name, address and e-mail address. Additional information about this sister, such as her last name, whether she was a former teacher and where she taught, would be helpful to us.

Fill out my online form.

Image used with permission of the Indiana Historical Society

Sisters part of IHS Speakers Bureau

Is your group or organization looking for a guest speaker who can address a topic about history? Perhaps the Local History Services Department of the Indiana Historical Society can help you. This department recently updated its Speakers Bureau. Among the many interesting speakers and topics are the Sisters of Providence.





The Sisters of Providence have numerous books written by and about the Sisters.

New Lights from Old TruthsNew Lights from Old Truths: Living the Signs of the Times

Fourth in the series chronicling the history of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, the volume covers the period of expansion between 1926 and 1966, a period when hundreds of thousands of children were the beneficiaries of the Catholic school system in the United States. Many will be able to identify with the educational setting described in these pages. At times the students and graduates may have wondered what life was like for the women in the front of the classroom. The photos, memoirs, diaries and correspondence that were drawn from to assemble this narrative will enable the reader to understand and appreciate religious life from the perspective of those who lived it during these years. The wider picture of how congregations of women religious function within the Catholic Church emerges through descriptions of dealings with officials in Rome and with bishops in the United States, as well as with the network of various Catholic organizations such as the National Catholic Education Association. In addition to the sisters themselves, the reader will meet the men and women whose generous contributions of time, money and contacts were essential to the success of the educational mission. Side by side with the administrative and organizational work of the superiors that provides the backbone of the narrative are stories of daily life.

Saint Theodora and Her Promise to GodSaint Theodora and Her Promise to God

Some people know right from the start what they want to be when they grow up. It was that way for Saint Theodora (Saint Mother Theodore Guerin). She was only ten years old when she promised God that she would do whatever God asked of her. She always believed that would be done best by becoming a religious sister.

What she did not know was that her promise would take her to the American frontier where she and her fellow sisters founded a school for the higher learning of women and the Sisters of Providence religious community of Indiana, both of which continue to this day, as well as Catholic schools throughout Indiana and Illinois, an orphanage, and free pharmacies.

Beautifully illustrated and fun to read, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God, is an inspiring story of how one little girl followed God’s call. Saint Theodora’s legacy of faith changed the course of young pioneers in the wilderness of Indiana in the mid-1800s and continues to do so today. You can purchase the ebook at Amazon.

Related Links

If you would like to learn more about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence, please visit these sites:

“O Miners Awake: Indiana Coal Miners, Their Families, and Their Communities:” This site tells the story of west central Indiana’s coal miners. The Sisters of Providence are a part of this story as they operated their own coal mine from 1894 to 1954.

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices: This digital memory project for West Central Indiana preserves this region’s history and heritage, including the history of the Sisters of Providence.