Journey to a Mission

Chronology Leading to the Arrival of the Sisters of Providence in Washington Territory, 1856

The story of the Sisters of Providence coming to the American West has captivated and held deep meaning for the religious community as well as its sponsored ministries. From its French-Canadian homeland to the open, frontier country of North America, this community—one of the first in the Pacific Northwest—was driven by a fervor that was outward-looking yet introspective, spiritual yet concerned with the world.

This online exhibit retraces the events leading to the emergence and arrival of the mission in the West. One hundred fifty years later the relevance of these formative events and long travels are still felt.

The Bishop’s Petition, September 24, 1856

The Decision of the General Council, October 3, 1856 

A New Group of Missionary Sisters, October 26, 1856 

Entrance of the Postulants, October 28, 1856 

The Missioning, October 30, 1856 

A Vow of Perfection, November 1, 1856 

Departure: Montreal, Arrival: New York City, November 3, 1856 

Departure: New York City, November 6, 1856 

Arrival: Kingston, Jamaica, November 13, 1856 

Arrival: Aspinwall and Panama City, November 18-19, 1856 

Arrival: Acapulco, November 23, 1856 

Arrival: San Francisco, November 30, 1856 

Departure: San Francisco, December 4, 1856 

Off the Oregon Coast & into the Columbia River, December 6-7, 1856 

Arrival: Vancouver, December 8, 1856 

First Mass at St. James Mission, Vancouver, December 9, 1856 

First Council Meeting, December 11, 1856 

A Room of Their Own, December 16, 1856 

Christmas in Vancouver, December 25, 1856 

The Bishop's Mandate, December 31, 1856