director of the
Mt. Providence Child
Serving as the finger of God
The Oblate Sisters of Providence want the world to feel the touch
of God’s love, and they’re working on it one child at a time.
He oBLATe sis TeRs of Provi-
dence don’t let things like poverty
or racism distract them. As the
first order of sisters of African decent
successfully established in the Catholic
Church, the community has faced abuse
and intolerance from all quarters since
its inception in 1829 and has struggled
to gather the financial support it needs
to conduct its main ministry: the educa-
tion of children of color.
Despite their many challenges dur-
ing the past 180 years, the oblate sisters
of Providence have endured and thrived.
They devote themselves to educating
Patrice Tuohy and Carol Schuck
André Chung has been a photojournalist for more than 20 years
and is a founding member of
Iris PhotoCollective. He is on the
web at www.achungphoto.com.
poor children in the U.s. and Costa Rica,
and have a special ministry to the victims
of poverty, racism, and injustice.
Their foundress, elizabeth Lange, an
immigrant of Haitian decent, was passionate that Haitian refugee children hear the
word of God and receive an education.
With the help of several other women,
Lange began teaching children in her
home. she was eventually encouraged to
found a religious community by sulpician
Father James Joubert and the Archbishop
of Baltimore, James Whitfield, who said of
the women’s ministry:“in this work is the
finger of God.”
Today the oblate sisters, 100-strong,
continue to run st. Francis Academy
in Baltimore, the school first started by
their founder. They draw strength from
the courage and faith of the women who
have gone before them, from their community life, and from the unwavering
conviction that God provides. =