Our Heritage




The first three Sisters of Divine Providence left France for the United States on August the 10th 1889 and arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey after a sea voyage of nine days. These were: Sister Marie Chantal Arth, age 32 who was named “Superior”, Sister Marie Camille Schaff, age 38*; and Sister Marie Lucie Damidio, age 24.

When, on the Feast of Our Lady’s Visitation, 1888, the community of the Motherhouse at St. Jean de Basselwas summoned for a special Conference, no one had the slightest intimation as to what she was to hear. ...READ MORE


In 1889 Mt. St. Martin’s, named for John Martin Moye, became the first Provincial House of the CDP’s in the USA. This building was in Newport and was known as the Taylor mansion. A decision was made to build an Academy in Newport in 1901. After it was completed in 1903 it temporarily became the Provincial headquarters.

A few years later it was seen that there was a need to have a new Provincial house, and the search for a new site began.  In 1908 the Young Farm was bought as the new site – it consisted of 77 acres including a red brick farm house which was christened St. Anne’s. ...READ MORE





John Martin Moye, a French priest of Lorraine full of faith, zeal, and compassion, was struck by the poverty—especially the spiritual poverty—of poor people in out-of-the-way places.  He called together a group of women, educated them, and sent them into these abandoned places with no other security than their trust in God.They came to be called Sisters of Providence by the poor among whom they lived and taught.

Having established the Congregation, Moye left everything to go to China where for ten years he risked his life to share the good News with his pagan brothers and sisters.  Here he founded the Chinese Virgins, an Oriental counterpart of the European congregation. ...READ MORE


Sister Marguerite Lecomte (1737-1835)

On a cold morning in January 1762, the fourteenth day of the month, two young priests entered the Church of Vigy, France and were welcomed by the Cure of the parish, Abbe Verniolle.  A young girl, sedate but simple and modest, accompanied them.

Their thanksgiving ended, the two priests and the young girl took the road that led to Saint-Hubert, a hamlet situated four kilometers from Vigy.  Fr. Jean Martin Moye knew this road for having traveled it during his missions, and it was a very good thing, since the snow, thick and clinging, in these Lorraine lands, hid it almost completely.  ...READ MORE