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Sisters of Providence to celebrate feast of foundress

The Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate the feast day of St. Mother Theodore Guerin on Wednesday.

This will be the first celebration of her feast since her canonization Oct. 15 in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI.

A feast day in the Catholic faith tradition is a day set aside to commemorate the life of an individual or a specific event.

The public is invited for the Eucharistic Liturgy at 11 a.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson will give a reflection. The Rev. Dan Hopcus, the congregation’s chaplain, will be the presider.

Sister Camille Neubauer, coordinator of liturgical music, said there will be an entrance procession. The text of the liturgy will offer the traditional message used on St. Mother Theodore’s feast. The popular song, “Hark on the Wind Swept Breton Shore,” will be sung, as will a new hymn, “Saint Theodora, Teach Us,” which will be sung for the first time.

The public is invited to visit St. Mother Theodore’s shrine before or after Liturgy.

Mother Theodore came to the United States from France in 1840 to establish a congregation of women religious in a dense forest near Terre Haute. Primitive conditions greeted her and her five companions after a tumultuous journey of more than three months.

From that humble origin, a vibrant congregation was given life that is sustained today through Mother Theodore’s foresight, legacy and energy that continues to motivate the generations of sisters who have followed in her footsteps.

Mother Theodore was born Anne-Thérèse Guérin, Oct. 2, 1798, in the village of Etables in Brittany, France. Her inspiration continues today with the current generation of Sisters of Providence. Ministries today focus on maintaining a vital presence in educational opportunities, and on child care, working for justice, preserving the environment, adult literacy, health care to the sick, assisting those in need, spiritual direction and a commitment to non-violence.

People throughout the world continue to contact the congregation for information about its foundress. Pilgrimages and tours can be arranged for those who wish to visit the grounds, or to pray at St. Mother Theodore’s shrine, by contacting Providence Center at (812) 535-4531.

This article comes from the Terre Haute Tribune Star, published September 28, 2007


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