Providence in the West: A Timeline, 1903-1960 

1856-1902: Pioneering Healthcare and Education
1903-1960: Growth and Diversity

1961-1974: Transition Years
1975-2009: New Life through Collaboration

March 1, 1905

Providence Hospital founded in Everett, Washington.

December 2, 1910

St. Thomas Home, an orphanage and boarding school, founded in Great Falls, Montana (services continue today through St. Thomas Child and Family Center).

May 27, 1911

Sacred Heart Hospital (now Providence Medford Medical Center) founded in Medford, Oregon.

May 21, 1912

Closure of St. Vincent de Paul Province, based in Portland, Oregon. Its U.S. institutions (hospitals in Oakland, Port Townsend, Portland, Medford, and Astoria) become part of Sacred Heart Province, while western Canadian institutions become part of the new Holy Angels Province, based in Vancouver, B.C.

April 11, 1917

Mother Mary of the Infant Jesus, foundress of the sisters' ministries in St. Ignatius Province, dies at St. Ignatius, Montana.

January 25, 1924

The Provincial Administration of Sacred Heart Province moves from Vancouver, Washington to the new Mount St. Vincent complex in Seattle, which also houses St. Vincent's Home for the Aged (now Providence Mount St. Vincent).

August 21, 1925

St. Joseph Home for the Aged (now St. Joseph Care Center-West) founded in Spokane, Washington.

April 21, 1926

Provincial Administration of St. Ignatius Province moves from Missoula, Montana to Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane.


Centennial of Mother Gamelin's first home for the elderly in Montreal is celebrated in the sisters' new homes for the elderly in Seattle and Spokane.

1920s - 1950s

Sisters of Providence begin teaching at numerous Catholic parochial schools throughout the west, in addition to their own historic academies.

September 8, 1932

College of Great Falls founded in Great Falls, Montana (now the University of Great Falls).

February 9, 1938

Providence Hospital founded in Anchorage, Alaska (now Providence Alaska Medical Center).

June 24, 1941

St. Peter Claver Interracial Center, which provides a gathering place and cultural programs for African-American and Asian-American families, founded in Seattle.

September 8, 1941

Providence Hospital joins St. Vincent Hospital in serving the people of Portland. This is the only time the sisters opened two hospitals in the same city.

September 12, 1942

St. Joseph Hospital (now Providence St. Joseph Medical Center) founded in Burbank, California. This is the last hospital founded by the Sisters of Providence in the western United States.


Centennial of the Sisters of Providence religious community is celebrated throughout the west.

June 1, 1945

Our Lady of Providence Nursery (now Providence Child Center) opens in Portland, Oregon. The ministry for care of orphaned infants was taken over from the Sisters of Mercy, who established St. Agnes Baby Home in 1902.

October 18, 1951

Provincial Administration of St. Ignatius Province moves to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, which also provides a home and infirmary for retired sisters.

August 1, 1955

Providence High School founded in Burbank, California.


Centennial of the arrival of the Sisters of Providence in the west is marked by celebrations and publication of The Bell and the River, a biography of Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart.


At the end of 1960, the sisters in Sacred Heart and St. Ignatius Provinces operated 22 hospitals, 9 of their own academies, 4 homes for the elderly, 3 other care facilities, and staffed 12 parish schools.