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“What was our astonishment to find ourselves still in the midst of the forest, no village, not even a house in sight. Our guide having given orders to the driver, led us down into a ravine, whence we beheld through the trees on the other side a frame house with a stable and some sheds. ‘There,’ he said, ‘is the house where the postulants have a room, and where you will lodge until your house is ready.’”

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, wrote these words in her journal about the evening she and her five sister-companions first stepped foot on Saint Mary-of-the-Woods soil on Oct. 22, 1840. Today, the Sisters of Providence celebrate Oct. 22 as Foundation Day.

To view sketches of some of the early buildings erected on the motherhouse grounds, click here. To learn more about Indiana’s first saint, visit here.

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