Providence Associate Jude Magers: walking with the sisters
For Jude Magers of Carmel, Indiana, being a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence helps her “be a part of something bigger and hopeful. It keeps me on track for trying to be faithful to service to people in need.”
Jude’s first introduction to the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods came in 1978. At the time she was a Holy Cross Sister of Notre Dame. Her congregation sent her to live in a house with Sisters of Providence in Indianapolis while she was completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“What I observed in the local community was a hospitality and charism the really interests me,” Jude said.
She remained a Holy Cross sister for 15 years, leaving in 1985.
In addition to the bachelor’s degree she earned, she also has a master’s degree in nursing administration and a second master’s degree in pastoral theology.
“A lot of my work, besides nursing, has been in mission integration. I spent 15 years in that area at St. Vincent Health in Indy. It deepened my understanding of the spiritual in the day-to-day ordinary life.
I think it is important to help people find meaning in their work,” she said.
Since retiring from Saint Vincent’s, Jude has worked as a medical ethics consultant on day-to-day issues at St. Vincent Health. A common scenario for this might begin with a phone call from a doctor asking her to come in and meet with a family who is having difficulties dealing with an end of life issue with a loved one, such as taking him or her off of life support. Jude sits down with the family and talks it through. She helps the family come to a decision that they can own and helps them determine what is best for the loved one.
Another instance in which she might be called upon is if there is a conflict between family members or between two doctors who disagree. “Conflict resolution and mediation are a big part of the job,” she says.
Jude is passionate about helping others.
“I chose to become a Providence Associate to help. I really believe that it’s first of all a calling,” she said.
“Being a Providence Associate has really helped to center my life.”
“I’m always asking myself the meaning of love, mercy and justice, either in things that are happening in the world in a broad, broad macro way or in what’s happening in my day-to-day life. It’s enhanced, sort of a little tickle of my conscience now, different things I choose to be involved in or not to be about.”
One part of her commitment as a Providence Associate is to offer her expertise volunteering with the SPs. She helped with a recent assessment for all their ministries. And she has agreed to begin serving on the Providence Associates advisory board beginning this fall.
She sees volunteering as part of being an associate.
“It’s a way of giving back. God’s been very good in my life. God’s been very, very good. So at this time in retirement, I just see it as a way to return and use the gifts that I have.
“I identify very closely with the charism of the Sisters of Providence. It just feels part of me. It’s a real close connection that I find within myself. I feel very much a part of the family. When I come here I feel very much at home.”
“I’ve always felt God very closely in my life. I haven’t always been faithful, but I know God’s been always faithful to me. “
“[Being a Providence Associate] is one way to be with the Lord and hopefully walk with the sisters at a time that is such a critical time in their lives. It’s an honor to be a part of it,” she said.