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Arrianne enters the novitiate

Arrianne Whittaker entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on Saturday. Read Sister Denise Wilkinson’s reflection from Saturday.

My time in the postulancy certainly stretched and challenged me to grow in many different ways. I find that transitions through change tend to do that; and I certainly had my fair share of transitions this past year!

I thoroughly enjoyed my ministry visits. They gave me many opportunities to see, first hand, the varied types of ministries the Sisters of Providence are involved in; they also allowed me to get to know individual sisters a little bit better.

Sister Arrianne Whittaker entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. on Saturday. The time she spent at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, this year provided a good base for understanding eco-justice and right relationship with Earth, she said. Arrianne plants peas last spring in the photo above.

I also highly enjoyed my time at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, my home ministry. My time at WVC provided a good base of understanding in eco-justice; and illustrated to me how these values of right relationship with our Mother Earth connect deeply to our congregational roots, here at the Woods. This in particular is a topic which I have become quite passionate about!

Entering the novitiate is another step along this providential journey. Just as the postulancy helped me learn about the external ministry and identity of our congregation; the novitiate, as I understand it, will challenge me to explore the internal spirit of both the congregation and of myself.

A multitude of emotions run through me as I think about this next step. I’m excited for the new adventure and eager to fully engage this year. Still, as there always are, there are parts of me which are anxious.

Many questions run through my mind. What will this year hold for me? What experiences will stretch me? Will I continue to follow God’s path marked out by Providence? I’m finding on this journey that each step I take brings me a little closer to knowing, more fully, who God is calling me to be. And yet as I gain more answers I also gain an exponential number of questions.

I cannot say that I know what this next year will be like for me. And even if I tried to say, experience has taught me that my efforts to predict such things never turn out the way I envision them. What I can tell you is that I know I will spend a lot of time in reflection and prayer. I will have the opportunity to learn more about the community’s history. I know the year will provide time and opportunity to further deepen relationships I have with individual sisters. I know that the year will be full of joys, laughter, and probably some tears, too.

I know, too, that I don’t walk this path alone. Standing by my side I have my sisters, my family, and my friends; they walk with me providing the support and encouragement I need to take each step. And I know, above all else, God walks by my side.

God has called to me to follow this path and by entering the novitiate I willingly respond to that call. As for the rest of the details — I’m going to leave that up to Providence!

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Sister Arrianne Whittaker

Sister Arrianne Whittaker, SP, entered the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 2012. She is a temporarily professed Sister of Providence. Sister Arrianne recently completed medical school at Marian University in Indianapolis and is serving as a doctor in residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis.

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