Compassion, courage, caring

November 3, 2005


CONTACT: Jennifer Roseman, Director of Communications & Development
(509) 474-2395 or (509) 994-5032

For photo availability, contact Jennifer Roseman

Remembering and celebrating a rich history

Imagine: It is the winter of 1856 and you and four female companions set off on a 45-day, 6,000-mile journey from Montreal, Quebec, to the Washington Territory. You arrive on a steamer at Fort Vancouver, on the banks of the Columbia River. Your native French language is not the only barrier you face in this frontier region where only English is understood. You have landed in a largely male society of trappers, traders, farmers, merchants, laborers and lumbermen.

But you are determined and faith-filled, and the needs of the people are great. Impelled by the charity of Christ, you determine to give your all to serve the poor, the sick and the needy.

This is no work of fiction but a true story of five pioneer women, led by Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart, who made a tremendous impact on the development of the West. Their legacy continues today through the ministries of the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province. For one year, from December 8, 2005, to December 8, 2006, we will celebrate the impact all of the sisters have had on the West over 150 years.