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Ronda Hoggatt: becoming a better disciple

Ronda Hoggatt (left) and her companion, Sister Catherine Livers, usually meet once a week to discuss the Spiritual Integration Units.

Ronda Hoggatt of Clinton, Ind., will make her first commitment as a Providence Associate in November 2010.

1.) Share with us a little about yourself.

I reside in Clinton, Ind. I have lived in the Clinton area all my life. I grew up in a little coal mining town called Centenary. I learned a lot from my Italian grandmother there.

My job at this time is taking care of our two new grandbabies. Madisyn Ritchardson and Brooklyn Smith were both born this year. I am a grandmother and loving it!

One of my ministries is giving my best to become a better person every day. After my day is done I take the time to look at my day. I see where I made mistakes and where I could have done better. I then let go — sometimes this is not easy — and try my best the next time.

I am an active member of Sacred Heart Church in Clinton. I graduated from the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2000 with a bachelor of science in education. I taught at Gibault School for Boys for two-and-one-half years. I then started teaching homebound students who were kicked out of school for certain reasons like trouble with the law, not attending school or for various other reasons.

2.) What is your connection to the Sisters of Providence?

My connection to the Sisters of Providence started when my son needed extra help with reading. Sister Francis Joan Baker helped him twice a week. I really liked her. She was down to earth, very insightful of my son’s needs and showed me ways to help my son learn how to read.

I have had multiple Sisters of Providence that have moved through my life journey. They have helped me and my family in some way or another. Providence has led them to me and me to them.

3.) Why is becoming a Providence Associate important to you?

Becoming a Providence Associate is important to me because I have learned I live Providence. I may not always realize that I am living Providence, but after the day is done I look back and say that is why that happened. I connect with the charism of the Sisters of Providence. I want to connect with the energy of the Congregation so that I, too, can bring love, peace and justice to my little corner of the world. Becoming a Providence Associate has helped me learn to become aware of God’s love for all of creation. We, as stewards, are to respect all life and further the mission of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

4.) How often do you and your companion, Sister Catherine Livers, meet to discuss the Spiritual Integration Units?

I meet with Sister Catherine once a week if our schedule permits.

5.) How have the Spiritual Integration Units challenged you?

The Spiritual Integration Units challenged me in a lot of ways. I could write a book about how they have challenged me and changed me. I will pick one thing that I have noticed that has made a big difference in my life. I have noticed that I am starting to relate to all people. I could not do this a year ago. I have noticed that I needed to work on judgments and resentments so that I could move forward and love all people. This has not been easy and I have found that I will be working on this for the rest of my life. The one positive thing is that I am making steps of change for the better. I feel better when I love people and not judge them. It frees me to be who I am. I am not trying to be something I am not any longer.

6.) What have you gained from this year of candidacy?

I have gained from this year of candidacy a much richer foundation to work out my spirituality and to become a better disciple one day at a time.

7.) Do you know what your commitment(s) will be?

My commitments are to be a good grandmother, wife, friend, church member and to be more hospitable to others. To be more active in the Pro-Life issues of today. I am not only talking about abortion issues, I am talking about all life from conception until natural death. To be a better steward of God’s creations and his world. Starting to recycle and become more aware of how to help this world have a better tomorrow. Pro-Life is for all life — all creatures of the world to treat them with dignity and respect.

8.) How has Providence played a role in your life?

Providence has played a role in my life because I am living Providence. I have a better understating of where I fit in my little corner of the world.

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

There is one thing I would like to share and that is on a personal level. I have noticed that becoming a Providence Associates means more than I thought. I am moving forward in my spiritual journey and now playing an active role in the process of God’s providential care for my life. I have come to realize that my God wants the best for me and for all his creation. He wants our love and discipleship to be real — from the heart. He cares for us and he knows our fears and dreams for the future. I trust that if I let myself lean on Providence (Saint Mother Theodore) that things will work out. Now I am not saying that this is easy.

I love to pick up things again after I have given it to God. I am getting much better about letting go and letting him see me through the storms of life. I know that I feel better if I just be me and let God be God and keep putting one foot in front of the other and not look back — even when I feel that I can’t go on at times. I find prayer holds me up and I am thankful of that.

I will still have the rest of my life journey to learn from life, friends, events, family and how to continue my work on ways of applying spirituality into my life. Now I am aware that I can fall and that is OK. I am human and my providential God will work things out that will be the best for me. This means to trust my God.

God bless our spiritual brothers and sisters. Help us to run the race with compassion for all creation. Give us the insight to know who we are in Christ. Let us all cast away any ill will for others and provide for them an image of Christ. Help us to learn that you, God, are there and will work out good for all of us if we continue to learn to lean on Providence (Saint Mother Theodore Guerin).

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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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