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At its inception in 2005 our consortium of schools was names “The Catholic Urban School Consortium”. Beginning in the 2007/2008 school year our consortium was officially renamed “Mother Theodore Catholic Academies” after our Patroness, Saint Theodora.
First and foremost, St. Theodore espouses all that we hope to be and attain for our children.
You might wonder why we call ourselves Mother Theodore rather then Saint Theodora. As with the Providence Order, they look to Mother Theodore as the mother figure that guided them in the beginning and continues to guide their mission today.
It is important for us to understand who Mother Theodore was and the mission that guided the Sisters of Providence so many years ago to begin their work in Indiana.
Mother Theodore-Anne-Therese Guerin was born on Oct. 2, 1798 in France. She had a deep understanding of and love for our Father and understood at the early age of 10 he was calling her to religious life.
Losing her father at the age of 15, she cared for her mother and younger sister for many years.
She joined the Sisters of Providence in France at the age of 25. She was connected to their mission as teachers and caring for the sick poor.
Known as Sister St. Theodore, she was asked to lead a small missionary band of sisters to the United States to establish a motherhouse and novitiate, open schools and share the love of God with pioneers in the Diocese of Vincennes.
Mother Theodore and 5 companions arrived to begin their mission on Oct. 22, 1840 with only a small cabin to live in and very little to sustain them. Several postulants joined the sisters. They endured harsh conditions and hunger.
Mother Theodore would say “Put yourself gently into the hands of Providence.” “With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?” “In all and everywhere may the will of God be done.”
Less then a year after arriving at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Mother Theodore opened the congregation’s first academy. In 1842 she established schools in Jasper, St. Mary-of-the -Woods village, and St. Francisville, Ill.
This was all accomplished in a time span of less then 16 years.
Saint Mother Theodora died on May 14, 1856.
It is our hope that you can see the mission of Saint Mother Theodora as our mission of Mother Theodore Catholic Academies. We are here to teach the children of God who are less fortunate in a financial sense but rich in faith, knowledge, and a yearning for a bright future. Our struggles pale in comparison to those faced by Mother Theodore and her 5 companions yet she was able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. We too will be successful in our mission as we have no other choice but to ensure our children a bright future.