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Beverly Adams: Providence doesn’t fail!

Beverly Adams (foreground) reacts to a statement made during an orientation session at the Woods. To her right is Sister Mary Frances Keusal.

Beverly Adams, a Providence Candidate-Associate, resides on the West side of Chicago. She and her husband have two daughters and a very lovable pit bull. Beverly’s companions are Sisters Joseph Ellen Keitzer, Kathleen Smith and Joanna Valentino.

1.) Share a little about yourself and your connection to the Sisters of Providence.

I was born into a Baptist family. My mom was very adamant about attending Sunday school and morning worship every Sunday. I became a mother very early and no longer attended services regularly. I so wanted my daughter to know God, so I accompanied some friends to a Catholic Mass and felt God’s presence — not to mention the wardrobe I had was acceptable. I then told my mother that God wants my soul and not my clothes.

I completed the necessary classes to have my daughter and me baptized. After marriage, and another daughter, I moved to the West side and enrolled my older daughter in St. Angela Church. We joined the church; I met Sister Joseph Ellen Keitzer and she assured me I had gifts I could share with the parish. I joined many ministries and she suggested I attend some classes on different things to enhance my gifts. I did and we became regulars at church.

After 23 years of spiritual greatness and 20 years on my job, St. Angela closed and I was laid off my job in the same week. I became a lost sheep. Sister Jo then stepped in as my shepherd (bless her heart). I tried different churches but was not moved. But Sister Jo was not going to allow me to stay lost. I accompanied her to morning Mass at St. Giles, where I never considered going because of a previous not-so-pleasant experience, even though it is five minutes from my house. To my surprise, it was OK. The people were so welcoming. I started going to morning Mass and that turned out to be the most inspiring time of my life.

After a while I realized that my job ended because I needed to form a more personal relationship with God, and I did. It’s amazing the way the Lord gets your attention sometimes. I would look so forward to morning Mass and especially the Eucharist. After 2½ years, I returned to work. I do miss the morning Mass; it has been four months and I still feel that morning-Mass void. I did join St. Giles and am sharing my gifts as a lector and a member of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) team.

2.) What is your experience using the Spiritual Integration Units? What is it like going through the units with your companions, Sisters Joseph Ellen Keitzer, Kathleen Smith and Joanna Valentino?

When Sister Jo told me about the Providence Associate Relationship, I read the literature, discerned the thought and the answer was to let my spirits soar with the Sisters of Providence. Meeting with my companions and other candidate-associates to discuss the units is surely an uplifting spiritual goodness. It touches on things that you are familiar with (prayer), but then you find out there are lots of ways to pray. Just the sharing with other people is rewarding. I look forward to the monthly meetings; it’s nice to go where everybody knows your name and they’re all glad you came. The units are designed in an A to Z order beginning with “your story,” which we all have. The Unit on Charism has helped me understand that Providence doesn’t fail. Even though I did sort of understand it, the true meaning is now totally understood. I know these next few months will be a renewed spiritual time.

3.) What do you hope to gain from this year of candidacy?

From this year of candidacy, I hope to gain much more unwavering trust in Providence, form more of spiritual association with the sisters and use it all to aid in positive change in the world, and I am on the right journey to do that. Anyone who hasn’t read “Love, Mercy and Justice: a Book of Practices of the Sisters of Providence” or “Mother Theodore Guerin, Saint of God: A Woman for All Time” is missing the best reads of the century. Once you get started on them, you can’t put them down; they are page turners.

4.) Anything else you’d like to share?

Remember, PROVIDENCE DOESN’T FAIL!

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Connie McCammon

Connie McCammon worked in the communications office for the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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