Oblate Sisters of Providence Founded
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Four women and one priest are responsible for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Roman Catholic order of black nuns in the world.

When Father James Hector Nicholas Jourbert, a Sulpician priest born in France, discovered that Haitian refugee children couldn’t pursue their religious education in Baltimore because they couldn’t read, he approached two Catholic women from the Caribbean who were conducting a school for black children in their home.

The women, Elizabeth Lange and Maria Balas, agreed to start a religious order to teach African-American children. Two more women -- Rosine Boegue and Theresa Duchemin -- joined them. They took their vows in 1829, founding the Oblate Sisters of Providence.

Their St. Frances Academy in Baltimore is the oldest continuously operating school founded for black Catholic children in the U.S.
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St Frances' Academy, Oblate Sisters of Providence, Baltimore MD- Hathi Trust

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, stained glass portrait- Flickr- photo by Fr James Bradley (CC BY 2.0)

Rev James Nicolas Joubert portrait- Internet Archive

Mother Theresa Catherine, O.S.P.- Internet Archive
Web Source(s)
"Oblate Sisters of Providence"
The Baltimore Sun, "Order of Black Nuns Founded in 1829" (Feb. 12, 2000, by Frederick N. Rasmussen)

Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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