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May 31, 2012

Peruvian ministry artifacts on display in Heritage Museum

WEST TERRE HAUTE — Responding to a pope’s request in the early 1960s to minister in Latin America, the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods began a mission in Arequipa, Peru, when three sisters journeyed there to minister at the all-boys Colegio de San Jose.

The original three sisters, and others who joined them later, stayed about 12 years until political and military upheaval prompted the sisters to leave after the 1975 school year.

When they returned, they brought with them several artifacts that are now on display in the Heritage Museum in Providence Center at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

Among items on display are hand-carved novelties such as Nativity sets, dolls, crosses and Arte Grotesque pieces.

Hand-crafted items include blankets, ponchos, napkins, purses, a sterling silver cross and a picture frame.

There are also several paintings, photos, school annuals and other items.

Items included in the exhibit are on loan from the Congregation’s Archives and Sisters Mary Catherine Duffy, Patricia “Patty” Fillenwarth, Laura Ann McLaughlin, Elizabeth “Betty” Smigla and Therese Whitsett. Additional assistance was provided by Sister Florence Norton.

The Heritage Museum is open to the public during the Providence Center’s normal hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.

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