Our History 


For 100 years, programs and services of St. Thomas have touched the lives of more than 5,000 children through the orphanage, and nearly 3,500 children through the early child-development and -care centers.

In 1908, the Sisters of Providence founded the orphanage, but it was more than a home for orphans – it was a school and a boarding house for children who lived in rural areas, even a safe environment for children whose parents were faced with hard times.

The changing of St. Thomas Home to a Child and Family Center came in the mid-60s as the needs of society brought about change. St. Thomas evolved from an orphanage toward support services for women and children. A concurrent need for support for working-parent families became critical.

Today, the Sisters of Providence is known as Providence Health & Services with ministries throughout the Northwest Region of America. In Great Falls, the University of Great Falls also is a member of Providence Health & Services.


A semi-annual reunion is held for the "Tommys" – children who attended the boarding school, St. Thomas School, or were in the orphanage. Information about the orphanage may be viewed at Sisters of Providence.