In it together
For Vicki Layton and Karen Sagraves, partnering with the Sisters of Providence makes perfect sense.
After all, Vicki has partnered with the sisters for almost 30 years, while Karen’s partnership is still growing.
After spending a handful of years as a nurse and another year in a secretary position for a credit office, Vicki was ready for a new career.
She found one with the Sisters of Providence and has been with them for 27 years.
After nearly three decades, Vicki — who is currently an administrative assistant for the General Council — can still recall a situation when she was asked her opinion by then-General Council member Sister Ann Casper.
She was stunned that her employer had asked for her opinion, something Vicki had not experienced before.
Even after the surprise, Vicki was unsure her partnership would last as long as it has.
“I didn’t really come in here thinking I would stay forever,” Vicki said.
But that’s what life is like working with the Sisters of Providence. As Karen noted, working with the sisters gives one a sense of family.
Karen has worked part-time as music director for Central Christian Church, Terre Haute, Ind., for more than 25 years. She spent a handful of years out of the workforce and also spent time working as an administrative assistant at United Campus Ministries.
More than six years ago, she elected to look for a full-time position.
She was concerned because she had not updated a resume — or applied for a job for that matter — in more than 20 years.
After agonizing over the issue, a friend informed her of an opening with the sisters. She applied and was hired within days and still serves as assistant coordinator of Liturgy and Music.
Prior to applying for the position, her friend told her the job was “made for you.”
“It was perfect,” Karen said. “It was Providence … it was clearly Providence that brought me here. I found my piece of home.”
Both Vicki and Karen said the “team” atmosphere while working with the sisters is special.
“There’s an appreciation for what you bring to the sisters,” Karen said. “They live hospitality and just embrace you. I have felt from the beginning that what I do and who I am is valued.”
“There’s such a team effort here with things,” Vicki added. “You work beside the sisters on things.”
Vicki is one of several staff members who has worked for the sisters for many years. To this day, she believes that “team work” atmosphere is what keeps her going.
“It’s a very caring atmosphere,” she said. “I’ve worked for places before where you just feel like you’re part of the machinery. But (the sisters) care about you. You are valued here.”
Karen is now also a Providence Associate and has recommended the associate relationship to many in her church. She echoed Vicki’s sentiments.
“These women here, the sisters, are remarkable,” she said. “It’s all about the relationship with the sisters. They pay attention to who you are as a person and what you bring to the table.”
Even in the busiest of times, Vicki’s “partnership” with the sisters is gratifying.
“You can still be really busy and really stressed and it’s like you’re in it together,” she said. “We support each other.”
“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Karen added.
(Originally published in the spring 2014 issue of HOPE magazine.)