In 1989 the Chapter of Affairs of the Oblate Sisters of Providence voted to petition the Ordinary of the Archdiocese to begin the process of beatification (canonization) of foundress Mother Mary [Elizabeth] Lange, OSP. The Superior General appointed Sister Mary Virginie Fish, OSP “Liaison.” It became apparent that an “army” of interested and committed persons would be required to assist in working toward the achievement of this goal. The Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange Guild was born of interest generated by introducing the cause for beatification of Mother Mary Lange at the Archdiocesan level. Each Oblate Sister was asked to make a one time offering of $100 to be used as “seed money” in developing a functional organizational structure to pursue the goal of canonization. (More than three quarters of the membership responded positively and with great personal sacrifice to this request.) A governing board was needed to give direction to this loosely knit group of interested persons.
By December, 1989, letters of invitation was sent to other prospective persons inviting them to share leadership in the awesome task of promoting the cause of Mother Lange in areas of Public Relations, fund raising, expertise in research, documentation, theological and historical accuracy. Thus a committee of interested persons was formed. (January 2, 1990) An organizational meeting was held September 25, 1991. It became the Mother Mary Lange Guild Board of Directors. Dr. Phylliss Douglass was elected president. Satellite groups of interested persons were known as “Chapters”. The first Chapter, Chapter One, was chaired by Toni Moore Duggan.
The first Charter Members of the Committee or Guild Board of Directors were:
Ex Officio Members: Most Reverend William H. Keeler, Most Reverend William D. Borders, Most Rev. John Ricard, Sister Mary Alice Chineworth, OSP (The official OSP “Petitioner”), Father John Bowen, SS (appointed by Sister Mary Alice as Postulator and approved by Archbishop Keeler), Father Bowen, in turn, appointed Sister M. Virginie Fish, OSP Vice Postulator. (Also approved by Archbishop Keeler). Other Charter members were: Phyllis Douglass,
Theodore Wilson, Father Maurice Blackwell, Lessie Davis, Father John Filippelli, SSJ. Father Peter Hogan, SSJ, Sister Marina Kelly, OSP, Father Samuel Lupico, Lenwood Johnson and Linda Taggart.
The Committee or Board of Directors developed a Constitution and By-Laws and determined that the Guild would be an Association whose members are devoted to and advance the cause of beatification (canonization) of Mother Mary Lange, OSP. Members are interested in providing spiritual and material means to further her cause. Members derive personal spiritual benefits from belonging to the Association of the Guild.
Thus Guild members commit themselves to:
• Recite from time to time one of the approved prayers asking God’s favors through the intercession of Mother Lange;
• Make a pilgrimage to Mother Lange’s grave site and/or Chapelle Basse, Paca Street and the Oblate Sisters’ Motherhouse;
• Share with others the life, times and contributions of God’s servant, Mary Lange.
Material means derived is to take one of the six options of membership available.
Personal spiritual benefits derived are:
• Sharing in the daily prayers of the Sisters;
• Sharing in an monthly Mass for members;
• Sharing in an annual novena of Masses;
• Sharing in benefits derived from an Association of persons supporting one another in prayer;
• Receiving a newsletter thrice annually.
Mother Mary Lange Gift of Providence: (St. Veronica, Baltimore): Theodora george, Chair
Haitian Americans United for Mother Lange (HAU): (Washington/Baltimore): Rose-Marie
Sylla St. Jean, MD, Chair, Carole Depestre, Co-Chairs
Mother Mary Lange - Benedict: (Philadelphia): Dorothy Gomes, Chair
New York Mother Lange: Deacon Paul Dorsinville, Chair
Oblate Sisters of Providence : (Camaguey & Havana Cuba) : Daniel Aguero
St. Peter Claver : (St. Inigoes, MD) : Loretta Dove, Chair
MML Chapter : (York, PA): Kathleen Stayman: Chair
St. Vincent de Paul Mother Lange Chapter : (Detroit, MI): Willie McCray, Chair
The Will of God :(New Jersey, NJ): Max Auguste, Chair
Mother Mary Lange Center Staff : Sister Concetta Melton, O.S.P., Mrs. Jacqueline Eddins, Sister Marcia L. Hall, O.S.P., Christine Tolson and Sr. Magdala Marie Gilbert, O.S. P.