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More on Mother Theodore’s impending canonization

I think that perhaps, sometimes, we are unaware of the great religious significance of the impending canonization of Mother Theodore Guerin. How important this is not only for the Sisters of Providence, but also for the Catholic Church in Indiana! A Saint! From Terre Haute! Can you imagine? Having spent a number of years in the Baltimore and Emmitsburg area there is a certain “aura” that surrounds the places that Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton frequented. This same “mystique” would now surround the places that Mother Theodore frequented as well, including the people that she came into contact with. Her grave at St. Mary of the Woods, Vincennes, and all the people and places that she touched with her holiness.

That brings me to another point. During her life in Indiana, Mother Theodore experienced a great deal of friction between herself and Bishop Hailandiere. Because of that friction many said she would never be canonized, speculating that Rome would never canonize a person who challenged the authority of a bishop. Although it has remained clear that Bishop Hailadiere, for all the good he did, was unreasonable and controlling. His eventual resignation and return to France is evidence of that as well as his run-ins with others, including Fr. Edward Sorin, founder of the University of Notre Dame.
Will Mother Theodore’s canonization awaken Hoosiers to their collective religious past? Will Catholic schools plan field trips to “The Woods”? Will parishes that had schools founded by Mother Theodore educate their members in the history that has become so important? What about those clergy members who supported Mother Theodore and the sisters in their struggle with Hailandiere? Fr. Corbe, Fr. Lalumiere… Finally (and this is only a muse), will Mother Theodore be known as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin? Or… Saint Anne Therese Guerin, with a note identifying her as “Mother Theodore”?

Here are some links to news and information about Mother Theodore:

1. Sisters of Providence Official Site

2. Catholic News Service

3. Archdiocese of Indianapolis (Criterion)

4. Wikipedia Entry for Mother Theodore

5. Timeline of Canonization


Categories: Postings.