Providence Associate: a name for a calling
Once when my daughter was very young and I was working on a project from home for the Sisters of Providence, she and I started talking about who the Sisters of Providence were. I explained to her that sisters don’t get married, and she said, “But you’re a Sister of Providence, and you’re married.”
I chuckled and explained to her that I wasn’t a sister, I just worked with them. But in my heart I knew that my relationship with the SPs was more than a job; it was a calling. Really, I didn’t have any good words to give to it.
Very soon I will have a name for that calling: Providence Associate.
Last Saturday 21 women and men came together at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for our initial gathering as Providence candidate-associates. We hale from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Texas.
At the orientation we shared our stories of why we were seeking a stronger connection to the Sisters of Providence. I heard words such as growth, justice, at home here, formed by Providence and more. Underlying the stories was a commonality of each of us being called by God to a stronger relationship with the Sisters of Providence.
I left excited for the coming year of formation. Each of us candidate-associates has been given a companion for the journey, a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate to meet with regularly. We will discuss readings on Providence Spirituality and other topics related to the life and mission of the Sisters of Providence.
I think this process is exactly what I need in my life right now. My companion, Sister Nancy Nolan, seems Providentially perfect to me. I can’t wait to get to know her better and to benefit from her wisdom and lived experience of faith. I love her down-to-earth style, and I’m hungry for this new outlet for growing in my faith that I think the Providence Associate relationship will bring.
I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I’m thankful to finally have some words to express a years-long reality.
Learn more about the Providence Associate relationship on the SP website.