News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 11, 2006

Crowd cheers unveiling of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Memorial Highway sign

ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS — About 250 people gave a standing ovation in the Church of Immaculate Conception when Gov. Mitch Daniels unveiled the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Memorial Highway sign Monday afternoon.

That will be the new name for a section of U.S. 150 near St. Mary-of-the-Woods College between U.S. 40 and Bolton Road.

“We’ve named roads, bridges and other facilities for sports heroes, military heroes and politicians,” Daniels said to the crowd. “That’s all well and good, but we’ve had many of those and only one saint.”

The four-mile stretch will have four signs. Two signs as one approaches the area and two as one is leaving.

Sister Denise Wilkinson, the Sisters of Providence Congregation’s general superior, told the crowd that she thinks Mother Theodore finds the gesture “particularly appropriate” and she’s smiling down on them.

“I think the only thing she asks of us is that we help one another to be saints,” Wilkinson said.

Daniels also talked about how he has a portrait of Mother Theodore hanging in his office, which is part of the Hoosier Heritage Portrait Collection.

“It’s utterly impossible to knowingly do a wrong thing with that lady looking at you,” he said.

In 1840, Mother Theodore moved from France to Terre Haute with five other sisters to establish a ministry. The Sisters of Providence Academy, now St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, was the school she established in 1841.

Pope John Paul II declared her “venerable” in 1992, and she was beatified in 1998 after her first miracle. She is set to be canonized Sunday.

“Mother Theodore lived a life most of us will never approach and can serve as not only an object of pride, but a model of the kind of people we can try to be,” Daniels said.

Crystal Garcia can be reached at (812) 231-4271 or

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    March 12, 2010