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Sister Carole: a witness of hope

Liza Hyatt (left) is pictured with her companion, Sister Carole Kimes, during the first 2009 orientation.

Taking care of an parent who is elderly — Providence Associate Companion Sister Carole Kimes knows first-hand the reality of this experience. One of 11 children, Sister Carole resides in Indianapolis with her 85-year-old father, Bob.

“My primary ministry for the past few years has been and continues to be care of my parents and now care of my father. It certainly is only possible through the community of Providence, and my family certainly recognizes that as a pure gift,” said Sister Carole, whose mother died last June.

Another part of Sister Carole’s ministry is spiritually companioning six or seven women. “I call it spiritual because it’s always centered around God. It started out with one woman saying to me, ‘I need a spiritual director.’ And I said, ‘I’m not a qualified spiritual director but I certainly am willing to talk with you about your relationship and my relationship with God.’”

That’s all it took, and now Sister Carole connects in person or by phone each week with each of the women.

Being in community is important to Sister Carole. One place she has found community is at St. Monica Parish, Indianapolis. “I’m so grateful I have found this welcoming community,” continued Sister Carole, who serves as a prayer partner and prepares meals for dinners after a funeral.

Sister Carole and her father have both found community at the Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis. Her father goes to the center for water therapy and Sister Carole always accompanies him.

“We’ve made friends and connections with all different faiths and really see that as a support system,” said Sister Carole, who also realizes that she ministers to people in that environment, too.

Another way in which Sister Carole ministers to and with people is through the Providence Associate Relationship. She companioned Providence Associate Sue Weber of Bluffton, S.C., and now she is companioning Liza Hyatt of Indianapolis. Since Liza is not of the Catholic faith, she brings a different perspective to Sister Carole.

“Her own way of communicating and relating with God is certainly different than what I’m accustomed to, but it stretches me to really listen for how Providence has been a part of her life as well. She’s an artist and so a lot of her prayer form is more art and music versus words,” shared Sister Carole.

“My hope is that Liza’s relationship with God and with Providence is deepened, and she has greater clarity to what she’s called to at this time. Hopefully as an associate, but even if not, I know that she’s really that seeker and she’s on that journey to find out where God is leading her. [I hope] she’s able to deepen that relationship with her God and be able to do it in solidarity with others who have similar values,” said Sister Carole.

“I continually am amazed at how Providence is pregnant with new life for us as a community. I’m just in awe of how this whole relationship is unfolding as part of God’s design from the unknown to becoming part of the known in our world. Our responsibility is to take what we’ve come to know and continue to be that witness of hope and therefore to continue the legacy of Mother Theodore,” said Sister Carole.

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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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