Sister Denise Wilkinson recognized as a ‘Woman of Influence’
Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior for the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., has been named, along with others, as a “Woman of Influence.”
“I received a letter from the Wabash Valley Women of Influence committee saying that I had been nominated by Dr. Dottie King and Dee Reed (from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College),” Sister Denise said.
Sister Denise and 11 other women will be honored with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m., on Thursday, April 10, at the annual Wabash Valley Women of Influence event, which will take place in O’Shaughnessy Hall.
Funds raised through the event will go to the United Way of the Wabash Valley’s “Success by 6” program.
Other 2014 honorees include Judy Bengochea, Coral Cochran, Deborah Elliot Kesler, Marla Flowers, Laurice Newlin, Trudy Rupska, Sally Stewart, Kathleen Stienstra, Beth Tevlin, Donna Wilson and Mary Yelton.
Sister Denise was also nominated for the honor last year.
The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Kristie West, Growth Playbook Leader at GE Aviation.
Sister Denise said it is an “honor” to be recognized.
“It’s a personal honor to know that women whom I admire see me as a woman of influence for the good,” she said. “And I’ve been to the breakfasts in other years and the women honored are amazingly gifted and talented. So, it’s a little hard to see me in their company.”
She added the Sisters of Providence have played a significant role in her growth as a woman.
“The education provided and the experiences provided have helped me to know my skills and develop my gifts and skills in challenging ministries and in a loving community,” Sister Denise said. “In my reception of the award, I acknowledge the role the members of the Congregation have played in shaping me as a woman of ministry and as a woman leader.
“The Congregation members’ gifts have shaped me in large part to be the leader I am.”
Sister Denise, originally from Chicago, graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She later received a master’s degree in counseling from Saint Louis University.
She has ministered as a teacher in Galesburg, Ill., St. Louis, and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Prior to being elected to the Sisters of Providence General Council as vicar in 2001, Sister Denise served as director of the Mission Advancement office at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, which oversees development, marketing and communications.
She entered the Sisters of Providence in 1963 and professed perpetual vows in 1973.
In 2006, she became the 18th General Superior for the Sisters of Providence. She is currently serving her second term.
Last year, Sister Connie Kramer was honored at the event.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.