Congratulations, Sisters of Providence! On October 15, 2006, Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, was canonized. She is America’s eighth saint and the first for the state of Indiana. She was born in France and went to the US where she founded a religious community and started several schools.

On the Sisters of Providence of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods Web site, there is a writeup of the homily given by Archbishop Buechlein on October 16 at a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the canonization.

In his homily, Archbishop Buechlein began by asking what is canonization. He said that it was not a reward, that founding a congregation, while significant, was not the only reason for her sainthood. He also said it wasn’t about Mother Theodore founding schools and orphanages. Instead, it was the formal recognition by the Pope of her holiness and her all-consuming love of God. Indeed, he remarked, she was a holy woman of faithful prayer.

Archbishop Buechlein said that “we now have a local saint to spur us onto victory. We have our own saint who continually prays for the strength of her community.” Continuing, the archbishop shared that the canonization of Mother Theodore is an awesome gift that witnesses God’s unchanging love for God’s people.

“God so loved our little part of the world to bless us with a remarkable woman,” Archbishop Buechlein said. “Canonization is an awesome gift. Let’s not take for granted what Mother Theodore did for us. God gave us Mother Theodore’s life as an example.”

Archbishop Buechlein continued by saying, “Saints in heaven are our friends. They offer us spiritual friendship, prayer and communion.”

Also, check out the Wikipedia entry on Mother Theodore Guerin.