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Rosie Blankenship

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Retired teachers never quit; they just choose another course

It’s probably not surprising that a former teacher finds it hard to quit teaching. Like many Sisters of Providence, Sister Patricia Geis has continued teaching as an English language tutor long after she could have called it quits in the working world.

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Bridging transition and loss

Sister Joseph Ellen Keitzer serves in pastoral ministry for St. Angela Parish in Chicago — a Catholic Church that was closed 10 years ago.

No, Sister Joseph Ellen hasn’t taken leave of her senses! Her role, as she describes it, is “gathering the lost sheep.”

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Did you know these 7 ways to give to the Sisters of Providence?

Automatic monthly giving, store rewards programs, amazon rewards, sharing about the Sisters of Providence with others. There are lots of ways you can give to the Sisters of Providence that you may have not ever considered.

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Sister St. Vincent Ferrer Gagé : a founding Sister of Providence

Born at Le Mans, France, June 15, 1800, Sister St. Vincent would have been 40 when the sisters arrived in Indiana, making her older than everyone except Mother Theodore (who was two years older).

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Sister Basilide Sénéchal : a founding Sister of Providence

Described as a “lively, impetuous character,” Sister Basilide likely came from a family of above-average means, as she provided a dowry when she entered the congregation at Ruillé.

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Sister Olympiade Boyer : a founding Sister of Providence

The sister who had, by far, the most physical labors at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods was Sister Olympiade. She came on the mission at Mother Theodore’s suggestion. The two had worked together at Soulaines, where Sister Olympiade served as cook and assisted Mother Theodore on visits to the sick.

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Founding the way: Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s five companions

The portraits below of our founding sisters are from a 1990 article by Sister Joseph Eleanor Ryan (RIP) in the former SP publication Community. We share the profiles of these sisters — each extraordinary in her own way — in celebration of all who devoted themselves to the work of Providence. These women were the roots of our tomorrow.

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Sister Mary Ligouri Tiercin : a founding Sister of Providence

In the Sisters of Providence Mission Advancement office, Sister Liguori is a bit of a legend. She was the object of one of Mother Theodore’s funniest journal lines. During a storm on the Atlantic, Mother Theodore wrote:

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Sister Mary Xavier Lerée : a founding Sister of Providence

Sister Mary Xavier was the last of the foundresses to die, after 57 years of quiet, mostly hidden service.

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God’s garden

“I have never worked with gardeners before,” Sister Mary Ann said. “But they were all patient with me. It is so much fun to be around these gardeners. I have learned so much!”

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Steadfast in her calling: Sister Mary Ann DeFazio

“Where else is church? This is where the church is,” she said. Living and building a community with the people,” she said, is “like we are figuring out where we are as God’s people. … We learn faith by living it as much as possible.”

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SPs honor benefactors at annual Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Dinner

Let’s face it: few among us enjoy getting gussied up on a warm Saturday evening for an indoor schmooze-fest. But our annual Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Dinner is no ordinary party! More than 220 donors joined the Sisters of Providence for an evening of love and laughs at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on Saturday, May 31. Visitors took long-necked peeks down dusty hallways of the under-construction Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and were some of the first to see the front entrance of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center after a construction wall was removed.

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Rosie Blankenship is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She previously served in positions for the Sisters of Providence as the web site manager and annual giving manager.