"Humility, simplicity, charity, above all charity."
Blessed Émilie Gamelin
Sister of Providence Foundress
As expressions of God’s healing love, witnessed through the ministry of Jesus, we are steadfast in serving all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.
As people of Providence, we practice joy, challenge ourselves intellectually, and commit to faithful service by valuing everyone as individuals within the healthiest possible learning community.
By realizing this vision, students, faculty, and staff are provided opportunities to explore their curiosities, cultivate their strengths, and use their voices in service to each other and the world.
Providence will foster an educational program that prioritizes student health and relationships to develop graduates who know themselves and are intellectually and emotionally capable of championing causes that are relevant to them and the world they inhabit.
Know me; Care for me; Ease my way.
Jesus taught and healed with compassion for all. –Matthew 4:24
We reach out to those in need and offer comfort as Jesus did. We nurture the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of one another and those we serve. Through our healing presence, we accompany those who suffer.
All people have been created in the image of God. –Genesis 1:27
We value, encourage and celebrate the gifts in one another. We respect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. We recognize each interaction as a sacred encounter.
Act with justice, love with kindness and walk humbly with your God. –Micah 6:8
We foster a culture that promotes unity and reconciliation. We strive to care wisely for our people, our resources and our earth. We stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable, working to remove the causes of oppression and promoting justice for all.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. –Colossians 3:23
We set the highest standards for ourselves and our ministries. Through transformation and innovation, we strive to improve the health and quality of life in our communities. We commit to compassionate, safe and reliable practices for the care of all.
Let us love not merely with words or speech but with actions in truth. –1 John 3:18
We hold ourselves accountable to do the right things for the right reasons. We speak the truth with courage and respect. We pursue authenticity with humility and simplicity.
On September 19, 1955, Providence High School officially opened its doors to 81 eager female students. A recent cement strike had resulted in a shortage of building materials, and construction on the school was not completed in time for the students' arrival. Under the guidance of the school’s first principal, Sr. Mary Gleason, SP (Maria Theresa), the first classes were taught in circus tents donated by next-door neighbor, Walt Disney. By the end of the year, students and faculty had settled into a comfortable routine, the first uniforms were chosen, and construction was completed. In the spring, 135 prospective freshmen took the entrance exam.
In May 1973, school officials began to discuss with the Archdiocese the possibility of making the school coeducational. It was decided in January 1974 that the school should indeed include boys in its educational mission. On the first day of school that fall, September 3, 1974, young men began taking classes at Providence High School.
Unfortunately, enrollment declined steadily throughout the 1980s, leading to the most difficult challenge in the school's history. In the fall of 1988, with enrollment at an all-time low of fewer than 200 students, the Sisters of Providence announced that the school would close at the end of the 1988-1989 school year. A group of determined parents banded together along with Principal Sr. Lucille Dean, SP to improve Providence's enrollment.
The parent group worked tirelessly with the administration and faculty to design a series of recruitment and education programs, many of which are still in place today. They created the Scholarship Committee and Providence in Action, which is an interactive workshop for prospective students, and laid the groundwork for the eventual creation of academic focus programs. This amazing effort enabled the Sisters to reverse their decision and keep the school open.
With enrollment climbing steadily, Providence High School entered the 1990s on a high note. In the fall of 1991, the Medical and Media (now called Cinema Arts) Focus Programs debuted on campus. Later, in 2010, a third Focus Program was added: Technology.
The spirit of Providence High School lives in each and every one of the school’s alumni, and the school has greatly enjoyed and benefited from the return of many former students as faculty/staff members and coaches of various teams. Through the Providence of God and the love and stewardship of its faculty, staff, parents, students, and other supporters, Providence High School has risen to every challenge presented over the years.
The Sisters of Providence were founded in 1843 by Emilie Gamelin, a young widow, in Montreal. Inspired by the love of Christ, Emilie felt called to serve those in need - including the poor, hungry and sick. People living near Emilie were so grateful for her help that they referred to her work as "Providence."
In 1856, Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart traveled to the Pacific Northwest along with four other sisters. Together, they established schools, orphanages, and other establishments for those in need - all in the name of Providence. The mission of the Sisters of Providence states "God has called and united us as Sisters of Providence in the Church to proclaim the mysteries of Providence and Our Mother of Sorrows to the society of our times by our compassionate love and creative, prophetic solidarity with the poor. In the tradition of our foundress, we serve society's most vulnerable members." Mother Emilie Gamelin's mission of caring for the needy has truly evolved over the years, as the Sisters of Providence have expanded their focus to include education, parish ministry, health care, serving the community, ministering to those in prison, and more.
A Message from a Sister of Providence
The Sisters of Providence have ministered in the West for 150 years. When I think of my life as a Sister of Providence, I know that God called me to join this community. This vocation is a grace that I treasure. I have always been proud to belong to a group with the name of Providence. I am also grateful that the Sisters of Providence have, since our very beginnings, worked with lay persons who share in our "good works". This collaboration is enriching and enhances our compassion with and for others.
To belong to the Sisters of Providence is to become aware of the needs of our societies, to gain a sense of the many works of Providence and to feel a participation in all of these works in many areas of the world. To be charged with the mission of proclaiming Providence is a sacred trust. God loves each one of us, and for that blessing, I am most grateful. Providence of God, I thank you for all.
Sr. Mary Hawkins, Sister of Providence
Former member of the Board of Regents
Former Providence High School administrator