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The congregation of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul views its founding as a process of history involving key people guided by a deep spirituality and passion for the poor.

Our heritage is rooted in the creativity and spirituality of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, in the willingness of Emilie Gamelin to risk and trust in Providence, in the responsiveness of the Montreal Sisters of Providence to the call of Bishop E.J. Horan, our ecclesiastical founder, and in the courage and pioneer spirit of Catherine McKinley, the first general superior and proclaimed Kingston foundress, and the original members of the Kingston community.


House of Providence 1890′s

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Brochure
Information and Heritage Services

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House of Providence, Holyoke, Massachusetts. circa 1874-1880. Photo courtesy of the Sisters of Providence Holyoke Archives

by Veronica Stienburg

In 1873, Sisters Mary Jane de Chantal and Mary Elizabeth went on a collecting tour in Massachusetts, where they visited Holyoke, a large manufacturing town. They got permission from the pastor, Fr. Harkins, to collect in his parish – and discovered that he had studied under Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s brother, Fr. Stafford, at Regiopolis College in Kingston. He asked the Sisters to open a charitable mission in the city. That September Fr. Harkins travelled to Kingston to discuss the proposed mission with the community. Sr. Mary Edward and Superior Sr. Mary John visited Holyoke at the end of September. Upon their return the Council decided, on October 10, 1873, to found its first permanent mission in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

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Kingston Heritage Fair

Kingston area students and teachers were offered a glimpse into the 150 year history of the Sisters of Providence during the annual Regional Heritage Fair held on May 3 and 4.
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Walking In Hope

Walking in Hope is a new book that chronicles the history of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul from 1961 – 2006. It was officially unveiled during Jubilee ceremonies in June. The manuscript for Chapter one was originally written by Sr. Muriel Gallagher who extensively researched the history of the congregation and provided the inspiration for the book. Chapter one was later edited by Kingston freelance author Alec Ross who researched and wrote the remainder of the book.
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The following is an excerpt from Built On A Rock: The Story of the Roman Catholic Church in Kingston 1826-1976, by Lt. Col. L.J. Flynn, published by the archdiocese of Kingston. It is reprinted here with permission. View full article »

Mother Gamelin’s Legacy

A key figure in the founding of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul was officially beatified by the Vatican on October 7, 2001.

A drawing of Emilie Gamelin
Find out more about Emilie Gamelin by visiting the web site of the Sisters of Providence of Mother Joseph Province in Seattle, Wash.

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