Diane Weidenbenner: recipient of a wonderful gift
1.) Share with us a little about yourself.
When my husband, Joe, and I attend Mass, we come out to the Church of the Immaculate Conception. At first it was difficult to separate my Sunday worship at the Woods from my “day job” as director of marketing communications for the Congregation. Many of the sisters that I work with during the week are present at Sunday Liturgy. However, Joe and I both enjoy worshipping with the sisters and it helps me appreciate and feel a closeness to the Congregation. Mass with the sisters is many times a solace for us.
2.) Why did you want to become a Providence Associate?
I wanted to experience the Sisters of Providence from a spirituality perspective. I respect so many of the sisters that I work with daily, and I wanted to better understand the basis of their faith. I’m a convert to Catholicism and I wanted to continue growing in my faith journey with these sisters who I deeply respect and learn from on a daily basis.
3.) You were in the first group of candidate-associates to go through the process. Do you still meet with your companion, Sister Mary Ryan?
Yes. I feel that our friendship has grown throughout the candidate-associate process and beyond. We still get together, sometimes for lunch or dinner, and talk. I appreciate Sister Mary in so many ways — for her courage, her understanding of her faith, her warmth, her humanness. We’ve had some similar family experiences. I’ve grown closer to God by knowing Sister Mary.
4.) What in the Spiritual Integration Units really spoke to you?
The units on prayer and charism were especially meaningful to me. I see the sisters’ charism lived out in the various ministries in which they serve. The unit also helped me to identify and discover new ways that I can use my own gifts and talents in service of the Gospel. I’ve always felt the hand of Providence moving in my life, although I didn’t always name it.
5.) How has your life been enriched by becoming a Providence Associate?
It was difficult for me to move from Denver where I was born and raised to a town where I didn’t know anyone. Joe and I took a leap of faith in moving to Terre Haute but we felt that God’s Providence made it possible for us to be here. It’s been meaningful to me to be part of something bigger, as a Providence Associate. I can’t seem to just work for a place — I need to believe in what I’m doing and see the lasting value.
6.) What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a Providence Associate?
You’ll sign up perhaps because you want to know the sisters better or you want to volunteer or support the sisters’ mission and values. You’ll find that you’re the unsuspecting recipient of a wonderful gift of faith and friendship.