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Professing first vows: Sister Su-Hsin Huang: an advertisement changed her life

This article is reprinted from fall 2007 issue of HOPE.

In 2002, the United States was just as foreign to Sister Su-Hsin Huang as the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Then, an ad caught her eye and changed her life forever.

“One day, I read this message about a summer weekend at the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Su-Hsin recalled, while retrieving and unfolding that very same small ad she carries with her to this day. Then, she read the first lines: “God is love, mercy and justice. He likes people. He invites you to create the miracle of love.”

Working in her native Taiwan in a children’s center, Sister Su-Hsin helped take care of children who, in some cases, had been abused. Helping people is something Sister Su-Hsin’s parents instilled in her and her two sisters. “My parents are the model for me,” she said, “especially my father.” Her parents’ influence, along with her pastor’s guidance, set the tone for the importance of giving of oneself.

Sister Su-Hsin thought more about the Sisters of Providence and wanted “to know more about the spirituality, so I called them. The first time I went to see them was on Mother’s Day.”

Sister Su-Hsin talked with Sister Marilyn Baker at Providence University in Taiwan, along with Sisters Sophia Chen and Delan Ma. All were so supportive, she said.

In 2003, Sister Su-Hsin made her first trip to the United States, coming to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The experience was an adjustment for her.

Going back to Taiwan in January 2004, she believed she “probably didn’t want to return to the United States.” But things have a way of changing. “It was always in my mind,” she said.

The day Sister Su-Hsin decided to become a Sister of Providence is very vivid. “I had a dream. On one side of a bridge was my family, saying, ‘Don’t go.’ I walk to the other side and it’s like a forest with so many trees. There is this strong light, totally white. When I woke up, I was certain I wanted to continue.”

Sister Su-Hsin entered the postulancy Sept. 16, 2004, and professed first vows July 1, 2007. Her advice? “Listen to your heart and pray,” she said, “and find someone to be your spiritual companion.”

Sister Su-Hsin left her country, her family, her home and friends. Although her eyes moisten with tears when she talks of leaving her family, especially her parents, she remains focused on all she has gained.

“Making the decision to come here is not a sacrifice or giving up something to come here,” Sister Su-Hsin explains. “That is the choice. I gained a lot. I gained another family, friendships, support and love.”

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Becky Igo

Becky Igo worked as a marketing manager for the Office of Congregational Advancement. She was an Indiana State University grad and former newspaper reporter/editor who worked with Providence Center, Volunteer Services and the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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