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Sister Diane Mason

Current ministry: Director, Providence Associates

Years in the Congregation: 51

Contact Sister Diane at: dmason@spsmw.org

Q. What do you like best about Saint Mary-of-the-Woods? A. The awe and beauty of wonder.

Q. When I am not officially at work or involved in ministry, you are most likely to see me … A. Enjoying friends and sharing laughter.

Q. On weekends I love to … A. Be with friends, enjoy life; sometimes to just be, to regroup as possible.

Q. I am passionate about … A. Life.

Q. What the world needs now is … A. Love and peace.

Q. Name one thing most people don’t know about you. A. I’m a profound being; I have a serious
side.

Q. How did you meet the Sisters of Providence?

A. They were my teachers at St. Dennis School in Lockport (Ill.) for eight years and at Providence High School in Joliet for four years. I was always very intrigued by the sisters. In those days, they were in habit. They always seemed to be a very happy group of people and I had a lot of good laughs with them. My mom drove the sisters to go grocery shopping. My dad always had a side job. He did painting and wallpapering. He did a lot of work in the schools and sometimes in the convent for the sisters. I can’t say that we had a lot of other social times together. In high school, it was a different ball game. It was a small girls’ high school and there were a couple of sisters there with whom we really had a good time.

Q. Why did you choose to join the Sisters of Providence?

A. I was always intrigued by religious life, and even as a young person, I wanted to do something different in my life. I was always a fun-loving person, but I always wanted to do a little more. I never knew what it was; it had to be the mystery of the call. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. It was probably the mystery of the life, as well.

Q. You said you were intrigued by them. Does that mean the sisters as individuals, or religious life in general?

A. Who they were as individuals, and religious life itself. To me they went hand in hand.

Q. What intrigued you about religious life?

A. They were making a difference in people’s lives. We still are. At that time, though, they were all teachers. Of course, I didn’t know any other order. They also talked a lot about Mother Theodore Guerin. In October, we always had those special bulletin boards about Foundation Day. I thought of it as another adventure. That’s what it looked like to me as a kid.

Q. What do you like most about the ministry opportunities that you have had?

A. I don’t know if I can answer the question exactly how you asked it, but by the grace of God, I am who I am because of the Sisters of Providence. The ministry opportunities have been wide and the community has been most supportive. For me and most of my life, I have been in education. I always have been filled with passion for that role. When I resigned in 2003 after 25 years as principal and 37 years as an educator, it had been a great run.

Q. Why would a woman today find joining the Sisters of Providence to be an attractive lifestyle opportunity?

A. If you really want to make a difference in the world, I feel the journey of being a Sister of Providence is filled with a time of prayer, a time of companionship, a time of opportunities to grow spiritually and academically. Coming home to the Woods in the summer time is so refreshing. It is an opportunity to see sisters who have come from all different directions to be here for the same purpose; they continue to share in the charism of Providence, to be renewed and refreshed. You have the people who are serving the same common interest and that common interest is serving our Provident God. I recently went on retreat. When I signed up, I had no idea who was going to be there. There were some vowed women religious and some lay women, and it was interdenominational. These other women were longing, longing to go deeper into conversation. They had so much respect for what the sisters are able to do. One of the questions you had asked, “If you weren’t a Sister of Providence, what you would you be?” Being a sister defines who I am and where I am going. I am what I am because I am a Sister of Providence. I am a far better person, even at the lowest times in my life, or the highest points in my life. All I can say is that within my own life, I have never looked back with any regret. It’s an exciting life. If someone would just follow her call, she too, would never look back.

Q. Please complete this sentence: Sister Diane is …

A. A very patient individual, a very compassionate individual, a person who knows how to enjoy life, laughter, and a very sincere individual who loves life.

Q. You have ministered as part of the leadership team for Providence Associates for a few years. How did you come to that? What does it mean for you?

A. I needed a job. Sister Mary Alice Zander invited me to be on the advisory board. At that time, I also was part of a Providence Spirituality group with Sister Mary Alice. She knew I was leaving the field of education and that I was searching for what was going to be my next ministry. She also knew at the time that I was renewing myself spiritually. I knew my spirituality needed to be deeper and the community allowed me time to do that. Therefore, I was studying when the Providence Associate board began in 2005 and it just evolved. The greatest gift to me today is that my passion is back. I do feel it, which is very important.

Prayer is everything. Every morning I have a good half hour to an hour of private prayer, reading scriptures, journaling and just being.
– Sister Diane Mason

Q. What role does prayer have in your life?

A. A major role. I will always be grateful for that renewal period after I resigned as principal because I needed to find out who I was and get back into being Diane Mason. It is through prayer and knowing who you are that you can carry that forward to other people. So, prayer is everything. Every morning I have a good half hour to an hour of private prayer, reading scriptures, journaling and just being.

Q. How important to you is the community lifestyle that the Congregation offers?

A. I would say very important. It’s very supportive. The community is there for my  accomplishments, for my struggles and for my challenges. The community also challenges me to be the very best person I can possibly be and it paves the way for opportunities to do that.

Favorites

Time of day: Sunset – thanking God for another great day!

Season: Spring – the season of hope.

Least favorite subject in school: Math.

Childhood activity: Played sports, baseball, basketball and even football.

Movie: Rudy, a desire to go against all odds; and The Passion of Christ.

Recreation: Being outdoors and enjoying the beauty.

Book: Anything that is spiritual – that will feed my mind, heart and soul.

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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