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The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence manage the facility as a group Retreat Center and independent living center for Seniors
The Sisters came to the United States in 1913 at the request of Pope Pius X, a long time friend and confidant of St. Guanella. Guanella visited various cities in the United States mostly in the East. He chose to begin the works of the Congregation however in Chicago where the first Sisters ministered to the Italian immigrants and their families. They taught school and later started to build a residential home and school with the focus of caring for the mentally and physically challenged.
The works of the Sisters moved to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, British Colombia and recently Syracuse, New York.
The Sisters took over the property in Chester County in 1948.
The focal point of St. Mary of Providence Retreat Center the historic Potts mansion, known as Langoma, which is a Native American term that means “homestead.” Construction of the mansion was started in 1890 by Joseph Potts, whose family members were local ironmasters. Joseph’s great-great-grandfather was John Potts, the founder of Pottstown.
The home is actually a double mansion, with one side the exact mirror image of the other. One half of the structure was designed to be a home for Joseph and his wife, Mary. The other half was for Joseph’s son, William, and his wife, Mabel. When finished it had 76 rooms, including 22 for the servants, and 22 fireplaces. It was heated by coal, and featured numerous architectural highlights such as Tiffany stained glass windows, “floating” staircases, and fine woodwork detailing.
Unfortunately, Joseph died in 1893 and never had a chance to live in the mansion. William finished the mansion in 1897 and lived there with his mother and his wife.
William died in 1943, and the property eventually went to the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in 1948. It was originally a training and education center for children with developmental challenges. In 1984, the children were transferred to a Divine Providence Village in Springfield, Delaware County.
Today, St. Mary of Providence Center functions as a retreat facility and provides housing for senior citizens.