Our Ministries

painting by Synthia St James of Sisters of Providence and people they serve
“Sisters of Providence” by Synthia St. James. The images of the three foundresses symbolize the ministries of the Sisters of Providence around the world. On the left is Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart who led the sisters to the Pacific Northwest in 1856, attending to Native Americans, orphans and the sick. In the middle is Blessed Emile Gamelin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence in Montreal in 1843, serving elderly women and immigrants, extended today in Egypt, Philippines, Haiti and El Salvador. On the right is Mother Bernarda Morin, foundress of the ministry in Chile in 1853, educating and serving orphans and families. The sister facing us, wearing a “P” pin – today’s insignia for the Sisters of Providence – represents the modern-day sister.

In the tradition of our foundress, Sisters of Providence minister to society’s most underserved members. Mother Emilie Gamelin made it her mission to care for the needy and marginalized citizens of Montreal. As her influence grew and was formalized into the congregation we now call Sisters of Providence, her example inspired others.

In 1856, Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart led a group of Sisters of Providence from Montreal to the Pacific Northwest to establish schools, hospitals, homes of care and other services for the poor, pioneering citizens of this rugged land. The legacy of compassion and service exemplified by Mother Gamelin and Mother Joseph lives on today in those women called to share their lives as Sisters of Providence.

While many continue in the legacy ministries, others have expanded into new ministries as the needs of contemporary society have changed. Sisters of Providence in Mother Joseph Province serve in diverse, fulfilling and relevant ways that make use of each woman’s unique gifts and talents. You will find Sisters of Providence in the following ministries:

Pastoral Care

Retreats, spiritual direction, parish ministry, prison ministry, chaplaincy, mission advancement, prayer & presence

Health & Human Services

Nursing, counseling, social work, low-income housing and support services, hunger relief


Teaching, tutoring, childcare, scholarship programs

Social Justice

Anti-trafficking, death penalty abolition, non-violence, immigration rights, anti-racism, Catholic advocacy

Care of the Earth

Climate justice, reducing impact, responsible investing

Administration & Support

Governance, vocations, finances and accounting, board representation, creative services


El Salvador and the Philippines

“We must be able to do what needs to be done… to do what others do not want to do.”

Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart