News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 15, 2014

Oil, but not enough to drill for at The Woods

ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS — Seismic testing on Sisters of Providence’ grounds shows oil exists, but not in quantities that would make drilling worthwhile, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Sisters of Providence.

After several months of testing on the property at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, officials with Indiana oil co-op CountryMark informed the Sisters of Providence there was oil on their property.

CountryMark officials said the deposit, however, was not enough to warrant more testing or drilling on the land.

In a commentary published in the Tribune-Star in October 2013, when the seismic testing was announced publicly, General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson said the decision to explore for oil was difficult, given the Sisters’ embrace of sustainable living. Funding of the ministry and care of the aging congregation were deciding factors, she indicated.

Despite the testing results, the congregation will continue a study of its buildings and lands in order to possibly find ways of generating more income for the Sisters.

“We will keep looking for operating income that will allow us to keep ministering,” Sister Denise said in the news release.

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