About St. Mary of Providence

St. Mary of ProvidenceSometimes it’s useful to review where you’ve been to see where you’re going.  As St. Mary of Providence continues to pave the way in care and education of persons with developmental disabilities, the organization’s history richly illustrates the deep dedication and compassionate care St. Mary of Providence is renowned for today.


St. Mary of Providence is a non-profit corporation.  Established by the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence (an international order of religious women) in 1925, St. Mary of Providence continues to serve people with developmental disabilities.

The following is a timeline of significant events:

1925 - The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence established St. Mary of Providence, the first Catholic residential school established in Illinois to provide services to exceptional persons.

1945 - A school building was completed for the residents.

1952 - The first day- program students were admitted.

1956 - A gym-auditorium was constructed.  Over time, buildings were erected for residential services and formal vocational training began with the work activity center.

1970 - Providence Center, a Community Living Facility, was completed with the sheltered workshop and swimming pool located on the main level.  Providence Center is licensed for 16 women.

1979 – Rose-Angela Hall and Marian Hall were constructed.  They consist of 10 individual, independent, home-like apartments that have a capacity for eight residents.  As the residents matured, these buildings were re-licensed from child care to adult living.

1987 – The Developmental Training Program was granted a license.

1988 – 48 beds were licensed for adults (Rose Angela Hall) with the remaining 32 beds added in 1995 (Marian Hall). This facility is an Intermediate Care Facility for persons with developmental disabilities (ICF-DD).

1997 – The Developmental Training Program was awarded a 3-year accreditation by the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF), the highest level of accreditation achievable.  Persons enrolled in the program are at all levels of potential and growth.

2004 - The school building was renovated to provide a fully-accessible Developmental Training facility, Clare Center.  As the program continues to expand, we plan to serve additional persons from the community who are in need of day services.


Today, a staff of 130 people provides volunteer and vocational programs for 96 residents and 98 persons in the Developmental Training and Workshop Programs.