Saint Theodora, also known as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, arrived in the United States in 1842. The country’s political atmosphere rocked with issues of injustice. Women had little to no rights, Native Americans, Irish immigrants, and Catholics were prohibited from entering many establishments or applying for many jobs, and slavery of people from Africa and the Caribean, shamefully, was still common practice.
Saint Theodora and her sisters diligently worked to change as much as they could through evangelization, healthcare, caring for orphaned children during the cholera epidemic, and education. Their greatest contribution was to provide higher education for women. Women were not allowed in universities until 1833 and the college that would become known as Saint -Mary-of-the-Woods was the first school of higher education in Indiana. Saint Theodora believed education not only opened doors for the student but their entire family.
Saint Theodora lived in the U.S. during three presidencies: Zachary Taylor (1849-1850), Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), and Franklin Pierce (1853-1857). She desperately prayed for the end of slavery. But it was not abolished until 1865, 9 years after her death in 1856.
Injustice and disrespect for creation continue in our nation today. If we want to see an end to all of it, every one of us must do our part to ensure the equality of all people. Each little step brings us closer.
May our new president and all American people work diligently as agents for positive change in our country and the world.
Heavenly Father, please bless our new president, Donald J. Trump. May President Trump use his wisdom and intellect for the good of the American people and to promote peace throughout the world. Help him to reflect the dignity of the office and country at all times. And may our president and all Americans be instruments of justice and respect for all creation. Amen.