For nearly a year, a Baltimore Banner reporter and photographer visited the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious order established for and by women of African descent. We explored their 190-plus-year history in Baltimore, attended their Masses, listened to vocation stories and specific callings to religious life. The Oblate Sisters of Providence continue their commitment to education with a math and reading center, a day care and teaching at St. Frances Academy, a legacy of the school their foundress, Mother Mary Lange, started in the 1800s.
The convent is leading toward Mother Mary Lange’s journey to sainthood, which started in 1991. She was declared Venerable in June 2023 and needs two miracles proven before she can be declared a saint. But many say to look no further for a miracle than the fact that the Oblate Sisters of Providence started in a time when African Americans were viewed as second-class citizens and still exist after all this time.