Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas

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(CDP, Official Catholic Directory #1010); a congregation of pontifical rite engaged in teaching, nursing, and social service work in the southwest United States and Mexico. It is a branch of the institute founded (1762) by John Martin Moyë in Lorraine, France, for the education of poor children, particularly in country places.

In 1866, in answer to Bishop Claude Dubuis's appeal, two Sisters of Divine Providence of the Congregation of St. Jean-de-Bassel, Lorraine, arrived in Texas to staff a parochial school in Austin, erected to comply with the decrees of the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore. A provincial motherhouse of the American group was established at Castroville (about 20 miles west of San Antonio) and received both natives and European vocations until 1886, when it became an independent diocesan congregation. In 1898 the motherhouse was transferred to San Antonio. The sisters also engaged in work among the African-Americans in Louisiana (1887); the Native Americans in Oklahoma (1902); and the Spanish-speaking population of the Southwest, whose need for organized catechetical instruction resulted in the founding of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence (MCDP). This branch of the congregation received papal approval in 1946. The congregation has been pontifical since 1907.

Bibliography: m. g. callahan, The History of the Sisters of Divine Providence, San Antonio, Texas (Milwaukee 1955); The Life of Blessed John Martin Moyë (Milwaukee 1964).

[m. g. callahan/eds.]

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Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas

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