Guerin, ANNE-THERESE (in religion MOTHER THEODORE); b. at Etables (Cote du Nord), Brittany, France, October 2, 1798; d. May 14, 1856. She entered the Community of Sisters of Providence, Ruillesur-Loire, in 1823, received the religious habit and, by dispensation, made profession of vows, September 8, 1824, being appointed the same day to the superiorship of the convent at Rennes. She was transferred to Soulaines in 1833, chosen foundress of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana, in 1840, and at the same time declared superior general of the Sisters of Providence in America. The “Life and Life-Work” (1904) of Mother Theodore Guerin reveals her to have been, in the words of Cardinal Gibbons, who furnishes the introduction, “a woman of uncommon valor, one of those religious athletes whose life and teachings effect a spiritual fecundity that secures vast conquests to Christ and His holy Church…. Not the least glory encircling the diocese was its possessing such a magnanimous pioneer Religious…. She was distinctively a diplomat in religious organizations and eminently a teacher”. Father Charles Coppens, S.J., adds: “She was a very superior woman both in natural gifts and in supernatural virtues. She lived a life of extraordinary union with God and conformity to His holy will, and she practiced these virtues under the most difficult circumstances, where they required heroic faith, hope and charity. A perfect model of consummate virtue for all classes of the faithful, but especially for religious men and women.” Mother Theodore’s mental attainments were of a superior order. The French Academy recognized her scholarship by according her medallion decorations. She was skilled in medicine and was a thorough theologian. As foundress of an institution whose expansion is evidence of her energetic and penetrating spirit, her whole history is a record of the power of holy souls who live but fr the glory of God and the salvation of mankind.
ALMA M. LE BRUN