Our Story

Who we are

Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart
Blessed Emily Gamelin

Sisters of Providence are Catholic women religious. Our mission is to proclaim Providence as the loving presence of God, active in us and through us, watchful over the created universe, and attentive to the needs of all. We also proclaim the compassion of our Mother of Sorrows in her intimate participation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We live these mysteries primarily by our compassionate love of those who are poor.

What we do

As Sisters of Providence we give a human face to Providence and testify to the love of God. We do this by engaging compassionately with people whose basic needs are not met, the victims of injustice, the rejected, the marginalized and the voiceless.

This commitment requires us to be creative in the use of the talents God has given us, so that our actions are received as an expression of God’s love. We keep the values of humility, simplicity and charity at the center of our lives as we respond to Christ’s urgings to protect and care for our brothers and sisters who are suffering.

Our community is present in Canada, Chile, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, the Philippines and the U.S., active in ministries of health care, education, parish ministry, social services, housing, prison ministry, pastoral care and spiritual direction. We go where the needs are, trusting that our actions bring hope and more dignified conditions for life, striving to be a model for unity in a fractured world.

How we got here

The seeds were planted by Emilie Tavernier Gamelin, a young widow in Montreal, Canada, who was moved to serve the many poor, hungry and sick people who lived around her. Responding to the call of religious life, she founded the Sisters of Providence 1843.

Her example inspired others to support her efforts. In 1856, Mother Joseph of the Scared Heart led a small delegation of sisters from Montreal to establish Sisters of Providence in the Western U.S. Their work laid the foundation for health care, education, housing, human services and social justice initiatives that continue to contribute to the well-being of communities.

Where we are today

Today’s Sisters of Providence are an international, intergenerational, intercultural and interdependent community serving God and others together.

Mother Joseph Province includes 101 sisters and encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and California, along with missions in El Salvador and the Philippines.

The legacy of compassion and good works lives on, guiding those called to share their lives as Sisters of Providence. Contemporary sisters pursue the same goals as their predecessors, while keeping pace with the changes in society today. Blessed Emilie Gamelin and Mother Joseph continue to be an inspiration as we move into the future committed to the mission of Providence.

Providence of God, I believe in you.
Providence of God, I hope in you.
Providence of God, I love you with all my heart.
Providence of God, I thank you for all.

The Providence Prayer