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Sister Cathy: fun to be a part of something new

Sisters Cathy White, Doreen Lai and Jeanette Lucinio (left to right) met with West Coast Providence Associates in January.

Sister Cathy White of San Bernardino, Calif. — is the  2007-2008 companion to Providence Candidate-Associate Pat Ruck.

1.) Why did you want to become a companion?

Sister Mary Alice Zander, director of Providence Associates, asked me. I actually have the time at this point in my life. When the ministry started last year I was brand new in my position here at the diocese [safe environment coordinator, Diocese of San Bernardino] and I didn’t think I could give quality time. This year when she asked I said, “Yes, I can do this.”

2.) Did you know Pat Ruck before you became her companion?

I did not, but I knew her sister-in-law, Sister Mary Lou Ruck [Terre Haute, Ind.].

3.) How do you and Pat go through the Spiritual Integration Units?

We’re only on Unit 2 [as of late January]. It’s taken us two times of meeting to go through the Prayer Unit because she is so hungry for these different prayer styles that she wasn’t aware of. We’re taking them one at a time. Pat is very thorough. She writes down all kinds of questions. I just answer from my heart and my own experiences with whatever unit we’re talking about.

4.) How do you set up your meetings?

Right now I’ve gone there [Aliso Viejo, Calif.]. Next time we meet, she’s coming to San Bernardino. We’ve talked about meeting half way in between.

5.) How long does it take to get to Aliso Viejo from San Bernardino?

One-and-a-half hours, one way.

6.) What do you enjoy most about being a companion?

The energy that Pat has always energizes me. When we’re doing one of the units and she comes back with all the enthusiasm that she has it’s new life for me and new life for the Congregation.

7.) What is the most challenging part of being a companion?

The transportation, the time traveling. We could do this by phone, but both of us are visual learners so it’s important to be in the same room with each other. I enjoy being there. We always have a meal and her husband joins us.

8.) What do you hope Pat gains from this year of candidacy?

I hope she gains a better understanding of who we are as Sisters of Providence and how her ministry will weave into what we are already doing.

9.) What do you hope you gain from this year?

I hope to gain continued friendship with Pat, of course, and continued energy. We [Sisters of Providence in the area] are going to begin meeting with the associates whenever we gather for prayer. It won’t be just things I gain from Pat; it will be things I will gain from the whole ministry.

10.) Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

I’ve had a blast doing this. It’s just been a lot of fun. I like the energy Pat brings, I like the questions she asks. She always shares what’s going on with her family. Then I share what’s going on with my family. I’ve met Jeannie Smith and Linda McMahon [Providence Associates]. I also met Providence Candidate-Associate Kathleen Anne Morris [of Medford, Ore]. It’s always fun to be a part of something new and kind of blaze the way.

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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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