The congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence was founded in 1851 in Germany by Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, Bishop of Mainz, and Stephanie Fredericke Amalie la Roche von Starkenfels. We belong to the Marie de la Roche Province, one of three provinces
(Germany, United States-Caribbean, Korea) and one region (Peru) of an international community of 460 vowed members and 184 Associates.
Bishop Ketteler was known as the "social justice bishop" because of his tireless work in helping oppressed, unskilled German laborers in their effort to unionize for just wages and decent working conditions. Today, Workers Day is celebrated in his honor in Mainz
Stephanie Fredericke Amelie la Roche von Starkenfels, a French noblewoman, was given the title Mother Marie as the first leader of our Community.
To meet the needs of the time, six Sisters from Germany set out for the United States in 1876 to teach the German immigrants who had settled in the Pittsburgh area. Our Sisters traditionally ministered as nurses, elementary and high school teachers. We administered three hospitals and numerous schools in Pittsburgh and surrounding localities.
Our first Provincial House was located on Larimer Avenue in the East Liberty. In 1905, we moved a few blocks away to the Mount Immaculate Motherhouse on Lincoln Avenue. In 1927, we relocated to the current Provincial House in a North Hills suburb of Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh, the Sisters went forth to St. Louis, Puerto Rico and Kingston, Massachusetts to carry out the mission of Providence.
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