Mother Rose Angela (Mary Cecilia) Horan was born June 13, 1895 in Vincennes, Indiana. She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence on September 6, 1913. After serving as a high school teacher and principal, she was elected in 1954 as First Assistant to Mother Gertrude Clare Owens. Due to the illness of Mother Gertrude Clare Owens it was she who, although still First Assistant, prepared for the Chapter of 1960. At this Chapter Mother Rose Angela was elected the eleventh Superior General.
During her years in office Mother Rose Angela sanctioned a Development Drive for the erection of the College Library and enlisted the cooperation of the sisters in this endeavor. She expanded the resources of Ladywood School in Indianapolis by erecting new buildings and initiated the construction of Mother Theodore Guerin High School and convent in River Grove, Illinois. Marywood School in California was transferred from Anaheim to Orange, with construction of new buildings there. Expenses incurred by these projects made it necessary to procure a loan.
She organized and furthered plans for the division of the Congregation into regional areas and introduced a more representative form of local government in the regions in accordance with Canon Law for Religious. Projects already begun for the higher education of the sisters were continued. The sisters were encouraged to update themselves by reading widely and attending institutes, conventions, and congresses. Mother Rose Angela opened the work of the congregation to other apostolates besides teaching by cooperating in the establishment and management of a home for retired and elderly citizens in New Albany, Indiana.
Duties as Superior General made it necessary for Mother Rose Angela to travel to Rome, France, Taiwan and Peru. In Peru a foreign mission was established at Arequipa. Although the Sisters of Providence first went to China in 1920, Mother Rose Angela became the first Superior General to visit them in the Far East when she traveled to Taiwan, to which the sisters had fled from China.
In the religious and apostolic field Mother Rose Angela actively encouraged the Congregation to adapt to the changing times in the spirit of Vatican II, the Council which took place during her term of office. Her many general letters and directives of this period reflect the rapid pace of changes which were taking place. She was also an active member of the Committee of Major Superiors of Religious Communities for Women.
In recognition of Mother Rose Angela’ accomplishments and of the relationship between Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Indiana State University, in 1965 the latter conferred upon her the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws.
After leaving office in 1966 Mother Rose Angela engaged in research and writing, often being consulted about Congregation affairs within her memory and research. She was also consulted about the development of the National Conference of Woman Religious and the integration of black and white students in the Catholic high schools of Indianapolis, which occurred in 1937 while she was on the teaching faculty of St. John’s Academy. Widely recognized as a poet, historian and author, she died on August 19, 1985.