In 1843, Mother Theodore was so desperate for funds to offset a severe financial crisis in the Congregation that she went back to France, despite her recent experience with the perilous Atlantic crossing. She met with many closed doors, but ultimately was granted an audience with Queen Amelia of France. Mother Theodore noted in her journal that “the queen listened like a tender mother.” The queen not only agreed to pay her passage home, but she offered to solicit in France for the desperate Congregation saying, “The King and my children shall contribute. I shall ask them for you.”
Queen Amelia’s friendship, love and considerable influence explain well why we have this special award in her honor. Queen Amelia’s generous response lives on among our benefactors. Like Queen Amelia, the award recipient has offered their valuable resources to assist us in our ministries and mission. We believe it fitting to offer the Queen Amelia Award to an individual, family, foundation or organization who has made significant monetary gifts and gifts of time and talent to the Sisters of Providence and who has promoted the Sisters of Providence to others.
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 — Sue and John Heck, West Terre Haute, Ind.
Like Queen Amelia, Sue and John financially support our mission, but they have her beat in terms of longevity, having given gifts to us for more than 30 years – to the annual fund, capital campaigns and special projects – for whatever was needed. They are always there for us!
Alongside their gifts, have been years of close relationship, for the Hecks live across St. Mary’s Road, and John’s parents lived there before John and Sue. John served Mass here as a youngster. John had two Sister of Providence aunts and Sue had one. Across that road, John for many years tended a HUGE garden and shared its yield with the sisters on the road and across the road!
Sue served on our Woods Day Care board and was instrumental in their capital campaign to erect the building we now enjoy as the SP Administration Building. She continues to serve on our HOPE editorial board and our Guerin Outreach Ministries board, as well as assisting many other groups in the Wabash Valley. Their long-standing faithfulness and their consistent giving of time, talent and treasure have lifted our spirits, just as the queen’s gift did for Saint Mother Theodore.
2016 — Julia and David Fuhs, Jasper, Ind.
2015 — Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, David A. Patterson
2014 — The Helping Hands, West Terre Haute, Ind.
2013 — Ray Stoiber
2012 — Mary Kay and Al Watson
2011— Margaret Monahan
2010 — John F. “Jack” Griffin
2009 — Julia and Frank Ladner
2008 — Marywood, Evanston, Alumnae Association
2007 — Rose Steidl
2006 — Agnes Badura
2005 — Dorothy and Charles Stuart
2004 — Paul and Betty Pfister
2003 — Providence High School Alumnae Association
2002 — Thomas Mulvaney (posthumously)
2001 — James (posthumously) and Genevieve McLaughlin