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Sister Sue: learning and growing as a companion

Sister Sue Paweski (left) is the companion of Lorraine Kirker.

Sister Sue Paweski, who resides in Chicago, is a companion to Providence Candidate-Associate Lorraine Kirker of Coupeville, Wash. Sister Sue is the Alumnae Relations manager and major gifts associate in the Mission Advancement office.

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

The Providence Associates Relationship is a powerful way for the Sisters of Providence to share the legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin with other people. I was a member of the design team that presented the concept to the Congregation, so I was happy to learn of the history of the program. This is an outreach that the Congregation had considered several times and initiated in various ways. The energy of our sisters about the Providence Associate Relationship is almost tangible. Being a part of the relationship is very important to me personally because I am also learning and growing in the process.

2.) Did you know Lorraine Kirker before becoming her companion?

I had the opportunity to meet with Lorraine because she is a donor. After a long phone conversation, I knew we had quite a bit in common. We’re about the same age, both widowed and both very aware of how Providence has moved in our lives. Lorraine invited me to stay with her when I visited the state of Washington. I am happy to report that we both learned so much about one another. It was during this time that we discussed the Providence Associate Relationship. Lorraine agreed to discern about it. As Providence would have it, Lorraine asked if I might be her companion! I was and am very privileged to walk with Lorraine as a companion … and she with me.

3.) Since many physical miles separate you and Lorraine, how do both of you progress through the Spiritual Integration Units?

2,172 miles separate Lorraine and me, yet we are in regular communication through e-mails and phone calls. We have already made dates to meet in March and September and we are working on the Spiritual Integration Units at this time.

4.) What do you hope Lorraine gains from this year of candidacy? What do you hope to gain?

Lorraine already has a deep understanding of Saint Mother Theodore’s legacy and the charism of the Sisters of Providence. I hope that her zeal for Providence spirituality continues to grow. Lorraine is prominent in her local community. I hope she is able to share the gift of Providence spirituality with others.

I hope to have a deeper understanding of the breadth and depth of how Providence works in the lives of all of us. As a Sister of Providence, I see how the Spirit is moving in my life and those of our sisters. I am grateful, deeply grateful, to witness the unfolding of the Providence story in our associates’ lives.

5.) What from the Spiritual Integration Units has truly spoken to you and your faith journey?

This is a very difficult question to answer because the breadth of the articles is so expansive. They are exciting for me as “Aha!” moments as well as challenging me to stop and ponder spiritual insights. I can compare it to music that speaks to me on many levels: spiritually, physically, mentally. The units ready me for more.

6.) Why is the Providence Associate Relationship so important?

I like Lorraine so I relish our relationship. We are well suited in our life experiences which gives leaven to our associate relationship. On a broader scale, the Providence Associate Relationship reminds me of how our founding sisters shared their spirituality with the people they met. I often think of how engaging and dynamic they were to have accomplished so very much in 15 years. It was and is always about relationship to God, earth, ourselves and others. The story continues with the Providence Associate Relationship as with all our ministries.

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

The Providence Association Relationship is a testimony to the importance and relevance of the Providence of God in our society.

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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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