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Sister Patty pens a poem for Providence Family Services


Providence Family Services (PFS) Director Sister Patty Fillenwarth gets some help from her biological sister, Sister Joseph Fillenwarth, as the two Sisters of Providence help organize a mountain of toys and games for the PFS rummage sale.

Providence Family Services (PFS) in Chicago held its annual rummage sale Oct. 6 and 7. Sister Patty Fillenwarth, director of Providence Family Services and rummage sale coordinator, penned the poem below to thank the countless friends and supporters who donate items and volunteer time to raise money for the ministry. PFS serves the largely Hispanic Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago, offering English language classes, citizenship classes, computer classes, after-school homework help for children and free or reduced-rate bi-lingual counseling.

The sale is over—another success—
All thanks to you all, we surely do profess.

The boxes and bags came by car, truck and van
All arrived on schedule, according to plan.

Generous you were with your coat, toy and sheet,
Your mixers and dishes and shoes for the feet.

We stacked and we stored all the treasures away,
Even the pastor gave up his garage one fine day!

Then the wonderful students and teachers of our school
Gave up an hour to transport—they are so cool!

We had fantastic volunteers for all of the days
We do not have words for adequate praise.

On Saturday morning, by the tables we stood;
Neither Macy’s nor Bloomingdale’s ever looked so good.

The customers came and went with good buys
Each with their bags filled with many a prize.

We had food for the workers and for our buyers too,
Provided by wonderful people with much ado.

Our workers came from many different camps,
All of them truly genuine champs.

We thank you for your help to haul, sell and sort
For your fantastic physical and emotional support.

Our efforts this year had a tremendous result—
$6019.08—truly a reason to exult!!

Most important of all, lest this part be lost,
Lots of our friends bought good stuff for a very lost cost!!

And so as we give you our last grateful cheer
Start saving up now for the sale next year.

Sisters of Providence Lucy Nolan, left, and Mary Frances Keusal volunteer preparing and serving food for shoppers and helpers at the October rummage sale for Providence Family Services in Chicago.

For information about how you can contribute to next year’s rummage sale, contact Sister Patty at 773-235-8264 or by e-mail at pattyfillenwarth@sbcglobal.net.

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Sister Patricia Fillenwarth

Sister Patricia Fillenwarth

Sister Patty Fillenwarth, formerly Sister Joseph Monica, has been a Sister of Providence since 1958. She has ministered as a teacher, principal and counselor. She currently volunteers at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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