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Cathy Keller: a journey in Providence

Cathy Keller (right) receives her Providence Associate pin from her companion, Sister Dorothy Rasche.

Catherine “Cathy” Keller is a Providence Associate from Newburgh, Ind. She was companioned by Sister Dorothy Rasche.

1.) Share with us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Colorado and one of four children. I graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1968 with a diploma in nursing. I married Ron that July and he and I have five children and 10 (soon to be 11) grandchildren. I work for a physician in family practice in Newburgh, Ind. My hobbies include knitting, crocheting, counted cross-stitch, photography, reading and music. But most of all, I love to travel and visit with family and friends.

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

My connection to the Sisters of Providence is linked to the three years we lived in Eufaula, Okla. The Catholic Church in Oklahoma truly is a mission church, for the church we attended, St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Eufaula, had only 25 families. Some of them traveled 35 miles a week to attend Mass. Father Brooks was the pastor but was there only once a week for Mass because he lived 35 miles away in McAllister, Okla. It was a privilege to have Sister Dorothy Rasche, Sister Mary Moloney and Sister Gilchrist Conway (RIP) there to minister to us.

3.) What role has Providence played in your life?

I was very comfortable in Oklahoma. And one day Ron was told he was being transferred to Indiana to help in the start-up of a new aluminum dross plant. I told Sister Dorothy how disappointed I was and that I didn’t want to move. She simply said that I was needed in Indiana. Well, that may have been true, but in hindsight, I’d say I, too, needed Indiana. This was, I think, my first real acknowledgement of Providence in my life. It didn’t have a name until then. And so it was that my real Journey of Providence started. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote:

“Providence … [is the] care exercised by the Supreme Being over the universe, His foresight and care of its future is extensively developed and explained.”

In 1990, we had three children in college, and I can only believe it was again Providence when I felt the inspiration to return to college and get my degree. So I applied to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the WED program. By the grace of God all the financial, spiritual and physical needs were met for all four of us. The next four years were a challenge, an adventure and a joy! I graduated in 1994 with my degree in gerontology.

4.) How did you and your companion, Sister Dorothy Rasche, proceed through the Spiritual Integration Units since you were physically separated from one another?

My “Companion on the Journey” to becoming a Providence Associate was Sister Dorothy. She has been a longtime friend and confidant. Since I live in Newburgh, in the southwestern corner of Indiana, and Sister Dorothy lives in Terre Haute, we would meet in Sullivan, Ind., at the Subway shop there. We’d have lunch and then discuss the designated chapter in the Spiritual Integration Units. This has been so successful for us that it continues as she and I meet once a month for my spiritual direction.

5.) What kind of impact did the Spiritual Integration Units have on you? Which unit(s) really challenged you?

As we worked through the chapters of the Spiritual Integration Units it became a journey for me. It was a time of self-reflection and growth, as I learned to know more about ME. I was challenged most by the chapter on charism. Reflection on my charism was difficult, but it also taught me to be grateful for the gifts and talents given me by the Creator.

Creator’s gift
Cherished treasure untold
Accepted with true gratitude

6.) Why did you want to become a Providence Associate?

I have chosen to become a Providence Associate because I have found in this Journey of Providence a community of sincere and dedicated followers of the Gospel. Witnessing the Gospel being lived out in the lives of the Sisters of Providence encouraged me and it has made a profound impact on my life.

7.) What is one of your favorite Saint Mother Theodore Guerin quotes?

I think one of my favorite quotes by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin is this one: “Let us keep ever united in Our Lord. When we love one another in him, we love him better.”

8.) What do you love most about Saint Mother Theodore?

I think I appreciate most about Saint Mother Theodore her faith, stamina and courage. Providence and the Holy Spirit seemed to be her constant companions.

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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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