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Sisters of Providence plan closing events for celebration of 150 years in the West

Seven cities will hold events in December to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival on December , 1856, of Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart and four sister companions in the Washington Territory, at what is now Vancouver, WA. Those sisters became early pioneers who helped to tame the West.

Since then, hundreds of Sisters of Providence have continued their legacy of compassion, courage and caring. The December events culminate a year of celebration of all the sisters' many contributions to education, health care and social services in the West.

Just who was Mother Joseph? She was a woman of extraordinary compassion, creativity, skill, vision and deep faith who traveled from Montreal to the West with the aim of filling the unmet needs of God's people on the frontier. In 1980 she became Washington State's second honoree with a statue placed in Statuary Hall in the nation's capitol. In addition, her birthdate of April 16 is a state holiday.

Mother Joseph Province, which carries her name, includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, California and El Salvador.

Why is the coming of these five women to the West so significant?

  • Under Mother Joseph's leadership, more than 30 hospitals, schools and homes were opened for orphans, the elderly and the sick in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and southern British Columbia.
  • The sisters established the first permanent Catholic longines watches school in the Northwest (Providence Academy, Vancouver, WA, 1856), a school for Native American children in St. Ignatius, MT, and the first schools in Walla Walla and Sprague, WA.
  • They founded the first true permanent hospitals in Vancouver, Spokane, Seattle, and Walla Walla, WA, Portland, OR, and Great Falls, MT.
  • The early sisters financed their ministries by taking lengthy, dangerous trips by horseback, stage coach, wagon and river boat to make begging tours to communities, mines and lumber camps.

December 8 events celebrating their arrival in the West are as follows:

  • Burbank, CA - The sisters' local community will attend replica watches uk a liturgy at one of their sponsored ministries, Providence High School. That evening, the sisters will have prayer, then go out to dinner. They plan to use the local community's charity fund to make a donation to a worthy cause in honor of the 150th anniversary.
  • Portland, OR - 5:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, NW 18th and Couch Street. Celebrant will be Archbishop John Vlazny. A reception will follow in the parish hall. The public is invited.
  • Seattle, WA - 6:30 p.m. Mass in the chapel at St. Joseph residence, 4800 37th Avenue SW, followed by refreshments.
  • Spokane, WA - 6 p.m. Mass in the chapel at Mount St. Joseph, 9 East 9th Avenue, followed by refreshments and entertainment. Sisters, Providence Associates and friends are invited.
  • Walla Walla, WA - Sr. Helen Mason and area Providence replica hermes handbags Associates will plan and participate in the liturgy for the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church. The public is invited. They also will undertake a group project for the poor by contributing to Heifer International, which purchases animals to give to poor families.
  • Yakima, WA -vRenewal of sisters' vows and Providence Associates' commitments at 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church. The public is invited.

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