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The time is now!

This article is reprinted from summer 2006 issue of HOPE.

As Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin’s canonization draws near, the Sisters of Providence see this as a moment to ignite new passion and energy for mission! Mother Theodore is a woman for all time and for the universal church and world! “How appropriate and exciting for us to be ready to invite women and men to become Providence Associates now!” said Sister Mary Alice Zander, director of Providence Associates.

In 2001, the Sisters of Providence made the decision at their General Chapter (the highest governing body of the Congregation) to “create new ways for the people of God to know, understand and more actively participate in the life and mission of the Congregation.” There have always been women and men who are in close relationship with the sisters — alumnae, friends, family, former members, volunteers, employees, collaborators in ministry and benefactors. Many have expressed a desire and hope to become Providence Associates. The time is now!

Providence Associates are women and men of diverse faith traditions who seek a formal relationship with the Sisters of Providence. They may have known the sisters for a long time or have just recently heard about the sisters. Associates are drawn to this relationship with the Sisters of Providence for many reasons. Primarily, they see themselves as being called to respond to the Providence vision through their own particular way of life.

Why be an associate with the Sisters of Providence? Both associates and sisters share in the mission, vision and spiritual life of Providence through prayer, ministry, celebration and works of love, mercy and justice. There is a mutual benefit between associates and sisters in that each gives expression to Providence in her/his unique way, sharing personal giftedness with one another and the world.

How does one become a Providence Associate? If you desire a closer relationship with the Sisters of Providence and want more information, contact Sister Mary Alice via e-mail mazander@spsmw.org or phone 773-539-1578.

Then, if you feel drawn to becoming an associate, make application to begin the process. You will be companioned by a sister or another associate through a discernment process and program that generally extends 10 to 11 months. The program consists of personal and shared reflection and prayer around the Providence mission, charism, story, practices, spirituality, commitment and ministries.

When the commitment is mutually discerned, you will be invited to make a formal written covenant commitment for one year (followed by annual renewals) as a Providence Associate. You will be received and blessed during a commitment ceremony. Generally, it will be on the feast of Our Lady of Providence in November.

Providence Associates are invited to participate in the life and mission of the Sisters of Providence. Some suggested ways include: mutual prayer, participation in appropriate community events and gatherings, retreats, eco-spirituality and social justice activities, and Sisters of Providence ministries. The associate responds to the call depending on one’s particular gifts, interest and ability.

Visit www.ProvidenceAssociates.org for more information.
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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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