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Grounded in the presence of God as a Providence Associate

One of the ways in which Providence Associate Monica Hayden lives out her commitment as a Sister of Providence is by quilting and donating some of the quilts to charity.

One of the ways in which Providence Associate Monica Hayden lives out her commitment as a Providence Associate is by quilting and donating some of the quilts to charity.

When I became a Providence Associate in November of 2011, it was at a time when I was looking for something to add meaning to my life. It was a time when I was feeling quite despondent and angry at the state of world affairs, national politics and the like. My personal life was in order and without turmoil, but I still lacked something. Was it faith? Was it hope? Was it contentment? I don’t know… perhaps all of the above.

All I know is that when I found the Sisters of Providence, it was like I’d come home. I had found a group of people who thought like I did, who held similar principles, who spoke “the same language” as I, at a time when I felt absolutely disconnected from the rest of the world, a time when I was beginning to feel like “the odd man [woman] out.”

As a Providence Associate, I committed to live by the Providence principles and mission. I try to exercise tolerance, compassion, to care for the Earth. I try to take the example of Jesus in how I live my life, trying to accept everyone the way they are, being understanding of people’s differences, loving even the least among us. These are things I continue to strive for, although at times I find it difficult, due to my own failings.

Monica in her sewing room at home.

Monica in her sewing room at home.

My association with the Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates is the one thing that keeps me grounded. It helps me to not give up, to continue on this journey that at times seems ridden with obstacles, brambles and stumbling blocks.

So, do I value this relationship? You bet I do! Am I glad I became a Providence Associate? Absolutely!

At times, the fact that I am in this relationship is the only thing that assures me of the presence of God in my life. God brought me here in spite of all my failings and shortcomings. I don’t feel entirely worthy of this relationship, just lucky (and certainly blessed!).

(Have you over considered joining the Providence Associate relationship? Applications for those wishing to begin the journey this year are being accepted until May 32. Contact Debbie Dillow at 317-250-3294 or ddillow@spsmw.org to learn more.)

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Monica Hayden

Providence Associate Monica Hayden is a native of Chile who has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. She is a mother of two and grandmother to two. She holds a Master's Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. She is enjoying her retirement is an avid quilter and blogger and is involved in several civic and non-profit organizations. She currently resides in North Carolina. She became a Providence Associate in 2011 and has been an Advisory Board member since 2013.

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3 Comments

  1. Donna Butler on June 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Monica,
    Thank you for such a wonderful reflection. I appreciate it for myself but it may also be helpful to Candidate Associates discerning their own future commitment.

  2. Dawn Tomaszewski on June 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Hey Monica,
    We are so happy you found us and shared yourself so generously with us. I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting!

  3. Monica Hayden on June 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks all for your kinds comments! Look forward to my next visit to the Woods.

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