In their own words: Sister Diane Ris
This article is reprinted from winter 2007 issue of HOPE.
Many words have been written and spoken to describe the canonization of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Sisters of Providence and pilgrims who traveled with the Congregation share their thoughts and feelings about this once-in-a-lifetime event. These words are from Sister Diane Ris, former general superior; Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. (Interview by Connie McCammon)
What were you feeling when you processed with the relic of Mother Theodore during the Mass of Canonization?
It brought back the memory of the beatification [in 1998] — I was carrying up the relic at that time — and what a gift it was knowing that we were giving Mother Theodore’s bone to the universal Church and it will stay right there in Rome forever. Today, I wasn’t carrying the relic, Sister Ann Margaret [O’Hara, general superior from 2001-2006] was. Sister Nancy [Nolan, general superior from 1986-1996] and I were carrying candles; so we were lighting the way for her. It was such a beautiful gesture that Sister Ann Margaret had chosen Sister Nancy and me to be with her because that’s a piece of history of the Congregation there with the three of us to be able to take Mother Theodore again to the universal Church.
What effect do you think the canonization of Mother Theodore will have inside and outside the Congregation?
I think this will help people delve deeper into her life and the things she has said and take the words to heart. It’s one thing to read the history, and it’s another thing to live it. And I think people will now be much more conscious of living what she has said and that just doesn’t go for Sisters of Providence because some are just coming to know her and are thirsting for what she has to say.