Called and sent
by the Superior General
in the name of
each one of us,
whatever her work,
is united in ministry with all
Sisters of Divine Providence, past, present, and future;
with the Church;
and with all other people
seeking to give witness
to God's providential care
for the world.
(CDP Constitution, #56)
CDP Superiors General
The establishment of Our Lady of the Lake College with its increasingly extensive teacher-training programs gave further impetus to the expansion of the Congregation’s educational ministry. CDP teachers opened more missions in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indian territories, Texas, and Arkansas. These ventures helped the Congregation to meet the needs of minority cultural groups.
Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence
In the late 1920’s in Houston, Texas, where there were thousands of impoverished Mexican Americans, Sister Benitia Vermeersch, CDP organized a group of young women to do catechetical work. This pious society was the nucleus of the San Antonio-based Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence (MCDP), granted papal approval in 1946 as a branch of the Congregation. They are engaged in Ministry of the Word, in social ministry, and in diocesan and parish leadership positions in the Southwest. On December 12, 1989, the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence became an independent religious Congregation with the approval of their Constitution.
Health Care Ministries
Health care ministries became part of the work of the Sisters. The Congregation opened clinics in San Antonio and Houston and several small hospitals in Texas. Sisters served in other Church-sponsored healthcare facilities as well as public clinics and hospitals. In 1935, the Congregation broke ground for a new building, St. Joseph Hall, on the grounds of the Motherhouse, to serve as an infirmary for Sisters who were ill and who were aging.
Midway through the 20th century, the confluence of cultural, religious, national, and international shifts and upheavals led to profound changes in the U.S., in the Church, and in the Congregation. Along with changes in the Sisters’ daily practices and dress came a broader understanding of their call. The Congregation widened its ministerial path to include diversity and opportunities to network with public and religious organizations in reaching out to disenfranchised groups—migrant workers, sugar cane workers, African “bush” people, mountain folk, bayou folk, abused women, deaf people, homeless people. Sisters trained adults and young people for community leadership, established a social justice office, assisted in housing for the poor, and opened a home for HIV/AIDS-infected children. In all of these works, the Sisters continue Father Moye’s directive to perform the works of mercy wherever they go.
The Needs of Today
Today’s world shows needs to be met not dreamed of in Moye’s time. His Sisters are now entering fields in which their influence can make for moral, social, and economic reform, and for spiritual renewal. Some of these Sisters work without remuneration, supported by the Congregation and benefactors. The large group of retired and ill Sisters of the Congregation find their ministry in prayer and patient suffering with Jesus for the sake of His work on earth.
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