Maureen Baca: deepening her spirituality
Maureen Baca, a Providence Candidate-Associate, lives in Albuquerque, N.M., with her husband, Steve. Steve’s father also lives with them. The couple has been married for 39 years. Maureen’s companion is Sister Jeanne Knoerle.
1.) What is your connection to the Sisters of Providence?
My aunt is Sister Maureen Loonam, a Sister of Providence for 73 years.
2.) Why do you want to become a Providence Associate?
Providence spirituality is the biggest draw, to help me deepen my own spirituality. Second is to assure I continue to have a connection with the SPs after my aunt passes on.
3.) Did you know Sister Jeanne Knoerle before she became your companion?
I met her through Sister Maureen Loonam, who lived at the Woodland Inn with her for probably 25 years. I have interacted with Sister Jeanne for at least 10 years, and she has led my husband and me through two different private retreats.
4.) Since distance separates you, how do you and Sister Jeanne progress through the Spiritual Integration Units?
We have monthly phone meetings, before which I send her my journalings for the last month.
5.) Tell us a little about yourself.
We have no natural children but are very connected to our godson who we helped raised, as well as some of our nephews. I am retired from Sandia National Laboratories and have a part-time consulting practice, consulting with large organizations on management systems improvement, working typically with senior leaders. We do not belong to a traditional parish. We participate in Catholic services through a small community of individuals that is led by Steve’s uncle, Fr. Paul Baca, a retired diocesan priest.
6.) Do you have any special interests or hobbies?
I ride and train horses, breed and live with standard poodles and work out regularly.
7.) What have you enjoyed most about the candidacy process?
Exploring the integration units with Sister Jeanne.
8.) What is the most difficult part of the candidacy process?
The 1,200 miles from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods makes it hard for me to be there more than a few times a year. And when I last came to see my aunt, in conjunction with a work trip, Sister Jeanne could not be there, so that was on opportunity missed.
9.) What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a Providence Associate?
I would encourage them to try.