This map illustrates the Indiana missions begun by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

Mother Theodore (as she became known) and her sister companions faced a daunting task, but trusting in the Providence of God, they set out on the mission before them. Realizing the great need for religious instruction and education, the sisters opened an for girls on July 4, 1841. By 1842, Sisters of Providence schools were established in Jasper, Ind., and St. Francisville, Ill.

By the time of Mother Theodore’s death on May 14, 1856, the Sisters of Providence were running the schools at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Jasper plus these other schools in Indiana: Vincennes, St. Peter’s (now Montgomery), Madison, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, Evansville, North Madison, Lanesville and Columbus. Mother Theodore also opened two orphanages – one for girls and one for boys – in Vincennes. Additionally, the Congregation had grown from six sisters and four postulants to 67 professed members, nine novices and seven postulants.


The Academy is now known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the oldest liberal arts college for women in the United States.