In the summer of 1839, the first bishop of , the Most Rev. Simon Gabriel Bruté sent the Rev. Celestine de la Hailandière to France to seek a religious congregation to teach, to introduce religious instruction and to assist the sick in the vast . With only a few priests and a great influx of Catholic immigrants of French, Irish and German descent, the diocese was in need of assistance.

While Father de la Hailandière was in France, Bishop Bruté died in Vincennes, and de la Hailandière was consecrated bishop of Vincennes. The newly ordained bishop requested the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé for sisters for his young diocese.

Mother Mary Lecor, superior general, knew there was only one person who could undertake such a mission in a new country, and that was Sister St. Theodore. Although she was unsure of such a mission at first, after considerable , Sister St. Theodore finally acquiesced, remembering a sentence from of the Congregation, “The Sisters will be disposed to go to any part of the world.”


Vincennes is located on the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana and was founded in 1795.
The Diocese of Vincennes included all of Indiana and the eastern third of Illinois, including the fledgling city of Chicago.
Discernment is to give a great deal of thought and prayer to how God seems to be leading one to spend one’s life as a woman religious.
The Rule of a religious congregation articulates the ideals by which the members strive to live and offers guidelines in terms of prayer, vowed commitment, common life, mission, governance and so forth. It is known as the congregation’s Constitutions.