Providence Plaza was dedicated April 29, 2011.
In 1856 five Sisters of Providence journeyed by sea from Montreal to Vancouver, Washington. These Sisters, only two of whom spoke English, came to the Northwest to serve, especially to serve the poor and vulnerable. The Sisters and others who joined later established schools, hospitals, homes for the aged and infirmed, and orphanages throughout the Northwest. Today, under Providence Health & Services there are more than 50,000 people working at ministries established by the Sisters and their successors. They are responding to the same call as the Sisters did.
Providence Plaza is a tribute to the charity and courage of the Sisters of Providence and a call for others to follow.
· The five waterfalls represent the five Sisters who embarked on the 1856 journey: Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Pariseau); Praxedes of Providence, Mary of the Precious Blood, Vincent de Paul, and Blandine of the Holy Angels.
· The prayer “Providence of God, I believe in you,” often sung by the Sisters, celebrates Providence, “the loving presence of God, watchful over the created universe, attentive to the needs of all, working in us and through us.”
· The terrazzo centerpiece depicts the Sisters crossing the mountains, traveling eastward from Vancouver, Washington. Four Sisters came to Montana in 1864, establishing a school in St. Ignatius. These Sisters were Mary of the Infant Jesus, Mary Edward, Remi and Paul Miki.
· The sculpture of the Sister of Providence, “Learning with Love,” symbolizes the importance the Sisters have placed on education. The first ministry established by the Sisters was Providence Academy in Vancouver, Washington. The sculpture was created by the late Joe Halko, a graduate of the University of Great Falls, and student and friend of Sister Mary Trinitas Morin, a longtime art professor at the University. Trinitas Chapel is dedicated to the memory of Sister Mary Trinitas.
· The stained glass window (NOT COMPLETED) depicts St. Vincent de Paul, the inspiration to the Sisters and their charism, “the charity of Christ impels us” (2 Cor. 5:14).
We thank the friends and admirers of the Sisters of Providence and the University of Great Falls whose generosity created this important place: Mary ’44 and Harold Floyd, Sally A. McGregor ’50, the O’Day family, and Madalen Sugrue ‘54.