Sister Janice Smith

We, the leaders of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods IN, believe in the sacredness and dignity of all life. We believe we are to love our neighbor not to kill.

We believe we are to forgive one another, not to seek retribution with vengeance and further violence. Therefore, we oppose capital punishment in all cases. We ask that the sentences of Death Row inmates be commuted to life without parole.

We have a unique opportunity to make a personal effort in opposition to the federal death penalty because the only federal execution chamber is only five miles away, at the US penitentiary just south of Terre Haute, IN. The facility was first used in June, 2001.

On the day of execution of an inmate in any USA state, in our intercessions at Liturgy, we pray for the person being executed and their families as well as the victims and their families. Currently the Congregation is partnering with Indiana Abolition Coalition to abolish the death penalty in Indiana.

Please join the Sisters in prayer for Death Row inmates and their families, for all victims and their families, and for legislators who must weigh the decision of life or death for Death Row inmates.

Adapted from a public statement by LCWR, Region VII. National statement of LCWR Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Sister Rita Clare Gerardot (right) expresses her view to a reporter during a demonstration at the Federal Building in Terre Haute, Ind.


Spokespersons about the Sisters of Providence stance against the death penalty are available to the media. Please contact Jason Moon, media relations manager, at 812-535-2810 or by e-mail at