The Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Companions award recognizes outstanding individuals who evidence the best qualities of the five foundresses who accompanied Saint Mother Theodore from France to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Sister St. Vincent Ferrer Gage, Sister Basilide Seneschal, Sister Olympiade Boyer, Sister Mary Liguori Tiercin and Sister Mary Xavier Leree. These persons came in their youth and remained faithful to advancing the mission, often in trying circumstance.
Sister St. Vincent Ferrer (Victorie Adelaide Gagé) was steadfast in her passion for the mission of the Sisters of Providence, continually worked for self-improvement and persevered through challenges.
Sister Basilide (Josephine Sénéschal) had a youthful determination and spirit, was quick to provide support under any circumstances, always brought a positive outlook and zeal.
Sister Olympiade (Thérèse Boyer) was willing to step up for every task needed — no matter how large or how small — in pursuit of the mission of the Sisters of Providence.
Sister (St.) Liguori (Louise Tiercin) stepped outside of her comfort zone with faith, hope and love.
Sister Mary Xavier (Françoise Lerée) was a most trustworthy companion who forwarded the mission with quiet dedication in a critical time of need.
This award is bestowed annually at the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Dinner, with the constituent receiving an individual recognition plaque.
The main plaque is located in the south corridor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the following recipients listed:
2017 – Dr. Dottie King (Terre Haute, Ind.); Annette “Mickey” Lentz (Indianapolis, Ind.); Margaret McElroy (Charlottesville, Va.); Fred Nation (Terre Haute, Ind.); Select Rehabilitation (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.)
Doctor Dottie King is steadfast in her passion for the mission, has a yourthful determination and spirit, is willing to step up for any task needed, is able to step out of her comfort zone with faith, love and hope, and has a quiet determination in critical times. All of these qualities have surfaced as she works to make Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) a viable and vibrant institution, emulating Mother Theodore Guerin and her passion for education. Along with Dottie’s deep devotion to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, she has a profound understanding of the history and traditions that are the heart of SMWC.
Annette “Mickey” Lentz is passionate about Catholic education and worked tirelessly to establish the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies, a consortium of Catholic schools in the center-city of Indianapolis that work together to offer a faith-based education to students from families with low incomes. She was also instrumental in the establishment of a Cristo Rey model of Catholic education in the Indianapolis archdiocese, calling for a feasibility study and then urging the Sisters of Providence to become the sponsor of Providence Cristo Rey High School. In her own words: “… our primary mission in Catholic education is bringing others to Christ. We are servants to each other, and most importantly, servants to God.”
Margaret McElroy‘s journey brought her as a young woman to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, following in her mother’s and other family members’ footsteps. Margaret was briefly in the Congregation, yet has remained for many years a quiet, dedicated presence and supporter, not only of the Congregation, but of many Sisters of Providence individually. Margaret worked alongside Sister of Providence Margaret Ann Inman (RIP), founder and director of Providence Speech and Hearing Center in Orange, Calif., for years. In her quiet, unassuming way now, Margaret has proven to be a trustworthy companion to individual sisters, visiting them and bringing treats whenever she comes to Saint Mary’s. From her home in Virginia she writes letters and makes phone calls to her sister-friends.
Fred Nation has been a public servant all his life working behind the scenes to make things happen for all of us. Fred “ran” the public relations office at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College back in the 1970s and has stayed connected to the mission of Providence. Most recently, Fred came to the aid of the Sisters of Providence at the time we decided to decommission Owens Hall. He put the community in touch with developers and the next thing we knew we were putting together a senior housing project proposal. What a Providence! Fred also offered significant advice about a possible way forward when Providence Food Pantry was in danger of losing its home in West Terre Haute.
Select Rehabilitation has provided physical, occupational and speech therapy at Providence Health Care since 2012. Honored with the award were Christy Taylor, director; Louella Dalina; Dawn Ewers; Trace Hassler; Robert Lawrence; Tricia Moreschi, Dr. Jimmie Storms and Alicia Thome. Their common trait is attentiveness to the needs and circumstances of each Providence Health Care patient. They address each patient by name. They are encouraging, gentle and respectful. Patients talk often about the staff’s enthusiasm for their work and the upbeat atmosphere in the therapy gym where they work with patients. In the eye of the nominator, they demonstrate buy-in to the mission of the Sisters of Providence and, thereby, contribute significantly to Providence Health Care’s success and good reputation.
2016 – Michael Cassell ( Decatur, Ill.), Johanna Henry (Indianapolis), Frances Ginther (Gary, Ind.), Marilyn and Charles Neuman (Arlington Heights, Ill.), and Dr. Karla Zody (West Terre Haute).
2015 – Keith and Jamie Richey (West Terre Haute)