September 28, 2007

Public invited to celebrate feast of St. Theodora with Providence sisters

Criterion staff report

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate the feast day of St. Theodora Guérin on Oct. 3 with a eucharistic liturgy which is open to the public.

The 11 a.m. Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at the motherhouse will be the first celebration of her feast since her canonization by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 15, 2006, in Rome.

Father Daniel Hopcus, chaplain of the congregation, will be the presider and Providence Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior, will give a reflection.

The text of the liturgy will offer the traditional message used on St. Theodora’s feast. Music will include the popular song “Hark on the Wind Swept Breton Shore” and a new hymn, “St. Theodora, Teach Us,” which will be sung for the first time.

The public is invited to visit St. Theodora’s shrine before or after the liturgy.

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

Her inspiration continues today with the congregation of nearly 450 women religious who minister in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Taiwan and China.

Their ministries focus on maintaining a vital presence in educational opportunities, 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


Pilgrimages and tours can be arranged for those who wish to visit the grounds or pray at St. Theodora’s shrine by contacting the Providence Center at 812-535-4531 or logging on to the Web site at †

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