Sisters of Providence bestow honors on benefactors during annual Saint Mother Theodore Guerin gathering
The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., bestowed major awards during the annual gathering known this year as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Evening on Saturday, June 4. The gathering is named in honor of the foundress of the Sisters of Providence who came to the United States from France in 1840.
The annual program is a way for members of the Congregation to express their gratitude for the support offered by their many donors and companions. This year’s gathering was particularly timely because many donors attendedwho supported the Capital Campaign to renovate Providence Hall, the oldest and most historically significant building on the motherhouse grounds. Those in attendance were able to take a tour of the renovated facilities and visit with sisters in their living quarters, as well as community areas that are normally open to the public.
The Queen Amelia Award honors those who have made significant financial contributions to the Congregation and who have been influential in informing others of its life and mission. The award is named for Queen Amelia of France, wife of King Louis Philippe, who was a major donor for the young Congregation in the mid-1800s. She also encouraged her husband and family to contribute to the financially struggling Congregation.
The 2011 Queen Amelia Award was presented to Margaret (Peg) Monahan of Banning, Calif.
“Like Queen Amelia, Peg has had a long relationship with the Sisters of Providence, having attended one of the Congregation-staffed schools in Chicago, Our Lady of Mercy Grade School, in the 1940s. She came to know the Congregation best as an adult because of her special relationship with her lifelong friend, Sister Ellen Madigan, whom she knew prior to sister’s entrance into the Congregation because the Madigan and Monahan families lived just three doors away from each other.
Monahan had a long career in insurance sales of all kinds, and offered consultation to clients in the areas of annuities and financial planning.
“Peg has made the Sisters of Providence a priority in her own philanthropic efforts. As many people know, we never seem to have a dearth of needs and projects. Peg has supported each one, I believe. To name a few: the Retirement Fund; our sponsored ministries; our capital campaigns for health-care facilities and most recently for the renovation of Providence Hall. She also has supported our charitable gift annuity program,” said Sister Denise Wilkinson, the Congregation’s general superior. “Beyond financial support, however, I truly think Peg would do just about anything for the Sisters of Providence. She has a warm and special place for us in her heart, and we do for her as well.”
The Sarah and Joseph Thralls Award honors an individual, family or group that has made significant contributions of time, talent and treasure to the Congregation. It is named in honor of the pioneer family that offered hospitality by way of a primitive cabin in a dense forest to Mother Theodore and her companions on their arrival at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840.
The 2011 Sarah and Joseph Thralls Award was presented to Susan Weber of Bluffton, S.C.
Weber has been connected with the Sisters of Providence for more than 34 years, having graduated in 1977 from the Woods External Degree program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Her husband, Greg, has an even longer connection, having had sisters as teachers for one year in grade school at St. Joan of Arc in Indianapolis in the 1950s. Sue Weber became more acquainted with the Congregation when she worked alongside Sister Judy Shanahan at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis school office in the 1990s.
Weber, who also is a Providence Associate, gives considerable time and expertise as a member of the Congregation’s Mission Advisory Board. She has served as a strategic planning consultant and facilitator for the Congregation on numerous occasions and also has served in that capacity for Woods Day Care/Pre-School, a Congregation-sponsored institution. She also has served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
“When the General Officers were considering the recipient of the Sarah and Joseph Thralls Award, they latched on to one criterion especially applicable to Sue: an individual who has made significant and consistent contributions of time, talent or treasure to the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Denise said. “Sue seems particularly fond of our sisters and we know how deeply our values and our mission are embedded in her thinking and actions.”
The Webers also have been benefactors to the Congregation.
Following the formal part of the program, the sisters led a blessing of the renovated building, and offered a special blessing for the benefactors as well, in addition to the sisters who will be living in Providence Hall.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.