Candidate-associate Jane Fischer is welcomed home by Joan Townsend and other Providence Associates as she checks in for the Providence Associates annual meeting of 2014.
There is always a rush of heartwarming thoughts and images as I come home to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Saturday, June 28, 2014, was no different. Immediately, I take in the splendor of being in the woods, the abundance of quiet places calling to me, and the faces and vivid memories of so many Sisters of Providences who have been my friends, mentors and teachers. Yes, I was coming home.
As I walked into Owens Hall auditorium I stood among 60 Providence Associates (PA), Candidate-Associates and Sisters of Providence greeting each other with pure joy and excitement. Everywhere I looked I could see PA crosses flickering on lapels or delicate necklaces – a sturdy and outward sign of our common bonds with each other and the Congregation.
What does it really mean to come home to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods? We come home to reunite in prayer, song, and simple yet profound conversations about what it means to be Providence. We welcome the new faces among us, reconnect with friends and remember those who could not make the journey.
We come home to breathe in the peace and natural beauty around us and to be reminded of our promise to live in solidarity with Earth. We come home to listen to Saint Mother Theodore and her timeless messages expressed in her Journal and Letters. We come home to renew our commitment to the Providence Circles, a quiet movement among us that unites us in prayer and small community wherever we may be. We come home to hear the good news about the growth of the Candidate- Associates, thoughtful strategic plans and the dedication of a board whose passion is to build up the relationships among us.
Blog post author and Providence Associate Susan Weber, center, chats with those at her table during a Saturday meeting of the Providence Associate annual meeting. At left is Mary Carroll Blocher.
We celebrate the opening of Linden Leaf Gifts, a visual expression of the legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, and explore the distinctive treasures showcased within its walls. We peak around corners to catch a glimpse of the almost complete Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and we promise to wait patiently for its opening in October. We come home to hear the “signs of the times” and where the mission of love, mercy and justice is at work in our world. And we come home to remember and pray for those who have gone home or are on a journey of going home to their loving God.
Yes, we come home in order that we may go forth with “strength and fervor” to honor divine Providence and to the take the heart of Providence into our world. A world, a people who so long for works of love, mercy and justice.
Read more about the annual meeting here.
View the photo album below to see images from the Providence Associates annual meeting, titled “Coming home” which was held June 28-30, 2014.
Sister Editha Ben, Providence Associate Joan Frisz and Sisters Kathleen Desautels and Adele Beacham enjoy each others company at the Sunday evening social.
Place cards created by Providence Associate Sheila Donis for the 2014 annual meeting.
The new banner for the Providence Associates and, from left, Joan Townsend, Jude Magers and Marilyn Webb greet Providence Associates on Friday night as they arrive for the annual meeting.
Providence Associates put on a parody of song and dance for Sisters of Providence and other associates gathered for the social on Sunday. Pictured from left are Sheila Donis, Lorrie Scheidler, Joanna Daily, Maureen Baca, Mary Carroll Blocher, Mel Marino Wolff, Donna Kehoe and Maria Price.
Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates enjoy the entertainment at Sunday’s social.
Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and those gathered join hands in prayer during the Sunday Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Providence Associates joined the Sisters of Providence vows ceremony on Sunday in which Sisters Su-Hsin Huang and Arrianne Whittaker professed final and first vows respectively. Here those gathered pray a blessing on the two sisters.
Providence Associates Barbara Cottrell and Bill Adams pause for prayer during a gathering of Providence Associates.
Providence Associates Paul Salstrom and Earle Harvey join a table discussion during a meeting on Saturday.
A sign on display at the annual meeting of the Sisters of Providence which Providence Associates attended on Monday shows key words that reflect the Congregation at this moment in time.
Providence Associate Donna Kehoe, at right, greets Sister Loretta Maureen Gansemer on Sunday night during the sisters and associates social.
Providence Associate Director Sister Diane Mason offers a report on associate activities from the year.
Debbie Dillow, associate director of Providence Associates, at left, greets candidate-associates arriving at the log cabin chapel Monday morning for a candidate discernment retreat. Candidate- associates pictured are, from left, Lorrie Scheidler, Tara Lane and Jane Fischer.
Providence Associates gathered Saturday pose for a group photo.
A word art sign created during Saturday’s talk on Providence Circles.
A boisterous group of sisters join in song. From left Sisters Terri Grasso, Ellen Kehoe, Barbara Bluntzer and Nancy Nolan.
Providence Associate Kaitlyn Willy serves as one of the greeters at Sunday’s vows ceremony.
Sisters Marie Victoria Podesta and Mary Imelda Coulup greet Providence Associate Sheila Donis during Sunday’s social.
Providence Associate Maria Fan, right, engages in lively conversation with Sister of Providence Charles Van Hoy at Sunday’s social.
White Violet Center for Eco-Justice Director Lorrie Heber hands the microphone off to Providence Associate Kathleen Morris as tables report their discussion on the land ethic to the larger group.
The group from Kentucky sang their state proud at Sundays social. From left Sisters Marceline Mattingly, Brigid Ann Bonner, Mary Montgomery, Providence Associate Joan Frisz, Sisters Hannah Corbin, Eileen Rose Bonner, Ellen Kehoe and Associate Maria Price.
Providence Associate Kaitlyn Willy with Sisters Arrianne Whittaker and Nancy Reynolds.
Providence Associates joined the celebration at a festive Mass on Saturday 10 Sisters of Providence celebrated 50 years with the Congregation and one sister celebrated 25 years.
Sister Carol Nolan gives an update on her ministry at Providence in the Desert in California during the ministry update portion of Monday’s meeting.
Associates perform a song parody dance routine to entertain the gathered sisters and associates at Sunday’s social.
Providence Associate Jenny Nowalk shares photos with Gerri Baum during a break in sessions.
General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson welcomes all the Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and ministry partners gathered for Monday’s meeting.
Candidate-associate Jane Fischer leads sisters and associates in song, with from left, Sisters Betty Koressel, Regis McNulty and Margaret Kelly.
Providing sing-along entertainment at the social for sisters and associates on Sunday are from left, Mary Carroll Blocher, Sheila Donis, Lorrie Scheidler and Jane Fischer.
Providence Associates raise their hands during a prayer session on Sunday.
Candidate-associate Duane Drake discusses a point with his table grouping during a session on Saturday.
General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson gives updates to the gathered associates during Sunday’s meeting with the general council of the Sisters of Providence.
Providence Associate Assistant Director Debbie Dillow discusses business with Sisters of Providence at her table, including Sister Margaret Norris at right.
Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, general officer for the Sisters of Providence, leads a discussion on the land ethic during Sunday’s meeting.
Providence Associates brainstorm ideas for caring for Earth after reflecting on the Sisters of Providence land ethic document.
Candidate Associates gather at the log cabin chapel, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s own arrival spot at Saint Mary-of the-Woods, to discern their call to a deeper commitment to the mission of love, mercy and justice in relationship with the Sisters of Providence.
At far left and right, Providence Associate Assistant Director Debbie Dillow and Director Sister Diane Mason lead a morning discernment retreat for candidate-associates in the log cabin chapel on Monday. Candidate-Associates in attendance from left to right are: Duane Drake, Marilyn Rausch, Tara Lane, Lorrie Scheidler and Jane Fischer.
Providence Associate Donna Watzke, at left, joins the crowd in a sing-along led by Joan Townsend, Mary Carroll Blocher and Sheila Donis with Sister Joan Matthews on piano.
Associates discuss around tables ideas for implementing positive environmental practices into their lives.
Visiting during Sunday’s social with sisters and associates are from left: Sisters Claire Hanson, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Anji Fan and Providence Associate Gene Majewski.
Sister Diane Mason, left, director of Providence Associates, visits with Providence Associates William Seth Adams and Amy Donohue-Adams during Sunday’s social.
Gathered Providence Associates raise their hands during a prayer session on Sunday.
Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and Sisters of Providence ministry partners gather for a photo after Mondays annual meeting.
This is beautiful, Sue! Thank you so much. You are loved.
Thank you, Sue, for putting into words the feelings in my heart about “coming home”. It’s like plugging in your cell phone and getting lots of power to continue communication in spreading the word.
St. Mother Theodore
Your words echo the thoughts we all feel. Thank you.
Mary Carroll Blocher