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Saint Mother Theodore

October 3rd, is the Feast of Saint Mother Theodore Guérin, Foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods. An INDIANA Saint!

For the most part I am just repeating earlier posts. There was a lot of good information in there and I wanted to share it again. It is also a day for remembering Bishop St. Palais. This is the anniversary of his being named as the fourth Bishop of Vincennes.

I would first like to point you to an entry in the Indiana Historical Bureau Blog, written last May. It is an excellent summary of Mother Theodore and her journey as well as the journey of the Catholic Church in Indiana.

If you want to see what led up to this honor, the Criterion, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis maintains the “blog” that they published about the time of Mother Theodore’s canonization. You can view that by going here. They also featured an excellent timeline. You can view that here.

Mother Theodore’s journal, which was preserved with the help of the Indiana Historical Society was featured here in 2008. You can find it in the Wabash Valley Visions and Voices website, which also has a number of other interesting links to the general history of Indiana as well as the Sisters of Providence.

Also, on October 3rd, another milestone in the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana, is the appointment, in 1848, of the fourth Bishop of Vincennes, the Right Rev. Jacques M. Maurice Landes d’Aussac de Saint-Palais. Known to most simply as Bishop St. Palais.

Born at LaSalvetat, France, November 15, 1811, he was ordained a priest at Paris, on May 28, 1836. He accompanied Bishop Brute on the 1836 voyage to the United States which brought many of the non-canonized saints who served in Indiana. After the sudden and untimely death of Bishop Stephen Bazin, St. Palais was named Administrator of the diocese. He was named bishop of Vincennes, on October 3, 1848. Consecrated in the cathedral at Vincennes, January 14, 1849, by Bishop Pius Miles, OP, of Nashville, assisted by Coadjutor Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville and Very Reverend Hippolyte Du Pontavice, vicar general of the Diocese Vincennes. Died at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, June 28, 1877. His body is interred in the Old Cathedral, Vincennes.

October is a busy month in Indiana Catholic History, not only in terms of it’s Saints, but also it’s Bishops. Former Archbishop of Indianapolis, Joseph Tobin, was named to succeed Archbishop Buechlein on October 12, 2012. Then, he was named a Cardinal on October 9th of 2016. Bishop Bazin, the third Bishop of Vincennes was born and consecrated in October. Servant of God, Simon Brute was also consecrated in the month of October. With regard to Mother Theodore and her troubles with Bishop Hailandiere, after his resignation, in July of 1847, hope sprang forth with the naming of Bishop Bazin, who came to Indiana from Mobile, Alabama. With his untimely death, that hope, although not lost, was subdued. When St. Palais was named bishop, that hope was renewed, not only because of St. Palais’ ties to the diocese, but also because of his close relationship and support for Mother Theodore and the Sisters of Providence.

There were, of course, other supporters as well. Frs. Corbe, Deydier and others. But, that’s another story…


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