Sisters of Providence

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(SP, Official Catholic Directory #3340); a diocesan congregation whose motherhouse is in Holyoke, Massachusetts (Diocese of Springfield). This religious community stems from a congregation founded in 1861 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada (SP, Official Catholic Directory #3350), a community that was, in turn, a branch of the Sisters of Charity of Providence of Montreal (founded in 1843). A group of four sisters from Kingston came to St. Jerome's parish in Holyoke on Nov. 7, 1873, invited by the pastor, Patrick J. Harkins. In 1874 they established the first Catholic hospital in western Massachusetts. One year later another group of six sisters arrived to teach in St. Jerome's parish school for boys. In August 1892 the community in Holyoke separated itself from the Kingston foundation and became a diocesan institute as a result of the negotiations carried out by the first bishop of Springfield, Patrick T. O'Reilly (187092). Their religious life was based on the rule that St. vincent de paul wrote for the Daughters of Charity. The congregation is engaged in the ministries of healthcare, geriatrics, catechetics, pastoral ministries and social outreach.

[m. l. donovan]