Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

religious order of Catholic sisters in Indiana

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods are an apostolic congregation of Catholic women founded by Saint Theodora Guerin (known colloquially as Saint Mother Theodore) at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, in 1840. Mother Theodore and her companions left the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé-sur-Loir, France, at the invitation of the Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, to found the Sisters of Providence in the United States. In 1843, the Indiana congregation became independent of the religious institute in Ruillé, and the Rules of the Congregation were approved by the Holy See in 1887.More than 5,200 women have entered the Sisters of Providence since 1840. As of 2014, there were nearly 350 sisters in the institute, roughly 300 of whom live and minister from the motherhouse grounds in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Other sisters minister in 17 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Asia.Currently, foreign missions are in Asia. Former foreign missions were in Peru and Antigua.Sisters of Providence are designated by the initials "SP" following their name in print. The congregation is a member of the Women of Providence in Collaboration. Mother Theodore was canonized on October 15, 2006. Her remains are located in her official shrine near the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, as well as a portion buried in the Sisters of Providence Convent Cemetery.
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