Mother Theodore arrived in the cold, dark wilderness of Indiana on Oct. 22, 1840, and saw no house awaiting her, even though one had been promised by the bishop. She and her companions did not speak English. How bewildered they must have been as they were ushered to the two-room farmhouse of Sarah and Joseph Thralls, where the six of them and four awaiting postulants would join the couple and six of their ten children. The crowd was welcomed with food and shelter throughout the winter in that tiny home. What hospitality! What generosity and presence!

The Sisters of Providence to this day are grateful to the Thralls family for opening their doors and their hearts to our foundress and her companions. We believe it fitting, then, to offer the Sarah and Joseph Thralls Award to a constituent who has shared her/his time, talent and treasures with the Sisters of Providence.

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 — Marilyn Schaaf Rausch, Indianapolis

Marilyn Schaaf Rausch receives the 2017 Sarah and Joseph Thralls Award from Sister Dawn Tomaszewski.

Marilyn’s commitment to support the ministries of the Sisters of Providence in any way she can is strong. Marilyn has given a planned gift in the form of an insurance policy to the Sisters of Providence; she has remembered us in her will, and she and her husband, Mike, support our annual fund and various capital campaigns.

Marilyn has been coming to the Woods for as long as she can remember to visit her Sister of Providence aunt, Sister Mary Agreda Schaaf (RIP). If there is an activity around the Woods today, Marilyn will most likely to be here. She freely shares her talents, which are MANY, in any way she can. She makes jewelry which she donates for sale to Linden Leaf Gifts. She also made 300+ of her glass bead creations for our guests at the dinner this year. Marilyn is also a great baker and contributes many goodies to both the Christmas Bake Sale and the Earth Day Bake Sale.

Marilyn has been a Providence Associate (PA) since 2014 and currently serves on the PA Advisory Board. She is very vocal about her involvement with the Sisters of Providence and engages others to inform them about our mission and ministries.

2016 — Sheila Donis, Jasonville, Ind.
2015 — Stacy Pierce and Penny Frederick
2014 — Andrea “Andi” Kozicki Pocica
2013 — Max Miller, Earl Rodgers and Keith Ruble
2012 — Gaye and Phil Kenny
2011 — Sue Weber
2010 – John W. Perry
2009 – Frank Bussing
2008 – Sondra & Richard Wellman
2007 – Arthur & Camille Snyder
2006 – Charlotte Norris
2005 – David Milroy
2004 – Mary Kathleen Fleming
2003 – Mary Zentmyer
2002 – Mike Lanke
2001– Homer Barton