About the Sisters of Providence

Who are the Sisters of Providence?

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., a Congregation of Roman Catholic women religious, are dedicated to the mission of being God’s Providence in the world by committing ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people.

Where are the Sisters of Providence located?

Sisters of Providence are engaged in ministries in 21 states, in Taiwan and China. The Sisters of Providence were the first American women’s congregation to establish a mission in China. Previous missions have also been in Peru and Antigua. Our motherhouse, or corporate headquarters, is located at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. About 300 sisters live and minister at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

How many Sisters of Providence are there?

Currently, there are more than 350 Sisters of Providence.

Where do the Sisters of Providence work?

Sisters of Providence serve in many different apostolic ministries. Some teach or serve in school administration. Others work in parishes, diocesan administration, social justice services, counseling and health care. Some work in the administrative offices of the Congregation or for other religious organizations. Many sisters serve in prayer ministry – honoring the many requests for prayer submitted to the Sisters of Providence.

When were the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods founded?

The Congregation of the Sisters of Providence was founded in 1840 by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

How does a person become a Sister of Providence?

The process for determining a call from God to become a Sister of Providence is called “discernment.” Single, Catholic women between the ages of 18 and 42 are invited to consider religious life as a Sister of Providence. For more information about discernment and the process of becoming a Sister of Providence, see the Become a Sister section of our website.

How can I find out more about the Sisters of Providence?

There are several ways to learn more about the Sisters of Providence. First, take some time to explore this website. It contains extensive information about the Sisters of Providence and our ministries, and more pages are added all of the time!

Another way to learn about the Sisters of Providence is to subscribe to one of our free publications. See the publications section for more information.

About Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

What is Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana?

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is home to the Sisters of Providence and several of our ministries, including White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, Providence Spirituality & Conference Center, the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence.

Also located at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods are Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College  and Providence Health Care, Inc., both sponsored institutions of the Sisters of Providence.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village, a community of private citizens, is adjacent to the Sisters of Providence property.

How many people live at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods?

About 200 Sisters of Providence live and minister at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Also, about 300 women live and attend school at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Where is Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.?

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is located 10 minutes northwest of downtown Terre Haute in west central Indiana.

When was Saint Mary-of-the-Woods founded?

The village known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods was named prior to the arrival of the Sisters of Providence. The Sisters of Providence Congregation was founded in October 1840. In July 1841, the Sisters of Providence founded an Academy at the same location that later became Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

How big is Saint Mary-of-the-Woods?

The grounds of the Sisters of Providence are comprised of about 1,230 acres, with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College operating about 70 of those acres. Forests and organic farmland cover much of the area, providing some income for the Sisters of Providence.

Can I visit Saint Mary-of-the-Woods?

Yes! Providence Center serves as the welcoming facility for all visitors to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

How do I get to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods?

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is 10 minutes northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., off U.S. 150. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is 77 miles west of Indianapolis; 190 miles south of Chicago; 160 miles east of St. Louis; and 113 miles north of Evansville. See further directions here.