Home » Blog » Coming home and going forth: Providence Associates annual meeting 2014

Coming home and going forth: Providence Associates annual meeting 2014

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.

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, chat with those at her table during a Saturday meeting of the Providence Associate annual meeting. To her left is Mary Carroll Blocher.

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.

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Susan Weber

Susan Weber has been a Providence Associate since 2007 and a friend of the Sisters of Providence since the mid-1970s. She has facilitated numerous groups and committees for the Congregation and served a term on their Mission Advisory Board. When she is not “coming home” to the Woods, Susan is the coordinator of the Evaluation Project for the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. In that capacity she helps grantees throughout North America develop evaluation plans that will improve and sustain their projects and programs over time. Susan has a bachelor’s degree from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in adult education from Indiana University. Susan and her husband, Greg, have three grown daughters and one grandson.

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2 Comments

  1. S. Carol Nolan on July 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    This is beautiful, Sue! Thank you so much. You are loved.

  2. Mary Carroll Blocher on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

    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.
    Word:
    St. Mother Theodore
    St. Mary’s
    Providence
    Sisters
    Friends
    Pilgrims
    Circles
    Love
    Mercy
    Justice
    Hope
    Future
    Your words echo the thoughts we all feel. Thank you.
    Mary Carroll Blocher

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