MATTOON — Immaculate Conception Church in Mattoon recently welcomed Sr. Dawn Tomaszewski, and the Sisters of Providence from St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana for the blessing of their new sculpture of their foundress, St. Mother Theodore Guerin.

St. Mother Theodore came to the U.S. from France in 1840 along with five other sisters at the invitation of the Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana. Overcoming countless challenges, St. Mother Theodore and her sisters helped lay the foundation for Catholic education throughout the Midwest and beyond.

The image of St. Mother Theodore in the sanctuary was created from a mold by the sculptor Teresa Clark of Terre Haute, Indiana. While bronze and plain white images of this model exist, as of now ours is the only painted sculpture of this style.

The sculpture was paid for by donations from alumnae of St. Mary of the Woods College and other benefactors. [The church sees] it as a lasting tribute not only to Mother, the Sisters of Providence, the “Woods” alumnae who are their spiritual daughters, but to all the women religious who have served our parish over the years in the ministry of Catholic education. The Church asks that readers keep all benefactors in their prayers.

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