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Sister Marianne Mader: Serving as companion is all in the family

It's becoming a tradition to photograph Sister Marianne Mader (center) with members of her family. To her left is her sister Jeanette Hall and to her right is her niece Anne Shupe-Scurry.

Sister Marianne Mader (center) with members of her family. To her left is her sister Jeanette Hall and to her right is her niece Anne Shupe-Scurry.

Sister Marianne Mader is a detective, of sorts. She ministers as a research assistant in Archives at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She particularly enjoys medical research. She used her skills to help document information about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s brain, which was an important part of the canonization requirements. She has been a member of the Congregation for nearly 46 years.

Q. You were invited to be a companion to a person who sought to become a Providence Associate. What was it like to be a part of that journey?

It so happened that all of my associates were related to me in some way. It was a wonderful journey getting to know family members at a different level. I was very happy to our Providence spirituality and charism with them.

Q. Who was your candidate-associate?

I have worked with four associates and now I am a companion to my niece, Jenny Odle. The others were Jeanette Hall, my sister; Mary Hall, my cousin; Anne Scurry, my niece and Jeanette’s daughter; Kitty Mader Odle, my sister; and Jenny, my niece and Kitty’s daughter.

Q. Can you describe the process? Did you meet regularly? What were the discussions like?

We met regularly, about once a month. Sometimes we met in person, sometimes on the phone or via email. We always had quality discussions. After the first year with Jeanette we sometimes met as a group for discussions.

Q. As you discussed the Spiritual Integration Units, what messages seemed to be the most important?

The most important message was how to enhance our relationship with God and with each other. Also, the importance of prayer and how we can spread Christ’s message to others no matter where we are in life or what vocation we have.

Q. What did you enjoy most about the process? What was most challenging?

Getting to know people I knew all my life in a different, deeper way. Sometimes it was most challenging because I had to attempt to explain some beliefs held by Sisters of Providence that differed from my companions. It led to honest and open discussion, despite differing viewpoints.

Q. Why is the Providence Associates Relationship important?

The Providence relationship is important because it allows for a greater knowledge and understanding of God and deepens the respect and love of Jesus. It also is important because it helps spread our message of love, mercy and justice to the world and to people the Sisters of Providence would not always reach.

Q. What advice would you give to someone who might be thinking about becoming a Providence Associate?

Come see what becoming a Providence Associate is all about. Be ready to make a commitment, both mentally and time-wise. This commitment is spiritual, not just social.

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Dave Cox

Dave Cox was media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence for many years. Prior to his work with the sisters, he spent over 30 years in newspaper newsrooms.

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