Oblate Sisters of Providence Founded
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Time Period
1829
Description
Four women and one priest are responsible for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first Roman Catholic order of African-descended 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.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Women and Religion
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Women and Religion in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links

Photographs

St Frances' Academy, Oblate Sisters of Providence, Baltimore MD- Hathi Trust- from The Catholic Church in the United States of America, vol 2

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

Rev. James Nicolas Joubert portrait- Internet Archive- from Blossoms Gathered from the Lower Branches by an Oblate

Mother Theresa Catherine, O.S.P.- Internet Archive- from Blossoms Gathered from the Lower Branches by an Oblate
Web Source(s)
http://www.oblatesisters.com/history.html
"Oblate Sisters of Providence"
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2000-02-12/features/0002120296_1_lange-oblate-sisters-mother-mary-elizabeth
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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