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Servant of God (1784-1882) Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, was the foundress of the Oblate Sisters of Providence and St. Frances Academy, a high school in Baltimore, Marylandmarker. Elizabeth was born in the 1780s, a native of the Caribbeanmarker, her country of birth is not documented but oral tradition says she was born in Haitimarker and moved with her family to Santiago de Cubamarker.

On July 2, 1829 the Oblate Sisters of Providence were founded by Mother Mary Lange, OSP, and Rev. James Nicholas Joubert, SS as the first congregation of women religious of African descent. Mother Lange died on February 3, 1882.

This was the beginning of a legacy that has thrived over the past 177 years in 25 cities in the United States, Cubamarker, Costa Ricamarker, the Dominican Republicmarker, and most recently Africa.

In 2005 three schools (St. Dominic School, Shrine of The Little Flower and St. Anthony of Padua) combined themselves into Mother Mary Lange Catholic School, thus becoming the first school named after her in America. 2008 will mark the 180th anniversary of her founding of St. Frances Academy.


  1. Mother Lange bio from the Baltimore Sun

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