Sisters of Providence honor elder sisters
“You certainly have fed the soul of the Congregation,” Sister Denise Wilkinson said. “We love and celebrate you.”
Sisters of Providence General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson was talking to 31 sisters, all aged 90 and over, who were recognized for lives well-lived at a “90s Party,” in the dining hall at Providence Hall on the grounds of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., Monday, Aug. 4.
The afternoon began with the singing of “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” followed by the welcome from Sister Denise.
Father Daniel Hopcus provided a blessing before all sisters and guests in attendance sang songs together.
All 31 sisters who attended were then recognized through their birthdays and the corresponding seasons. Sister Marianne Mader and Sister Donna Butler also recited poems for each season. Sister Donna wrote both poems she recited.
The 31 sisters sat with a sister companion at 14 tables situated in dining hall.
For Sister Rose Marita Riordan, who has been a Sister of Providence for 75 years, she was grateful.
“It’s been a wonderful 75 years,” Sister Rose Marita said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a wonderful life and that is true.”
Sister Marceline Mattingly, who has been with the Congregation for 81 years, echoed those sentiments.
“It’s been a most wonderful life,” Sister Marceline said. “I can’t imagine anyone turning down an opportunity to be a Sister of Providence. The spiritual life, I’ve enjoyed a lot.”
Sister Richard Bussing, who has been a Sister of Providence for 74 years, said a lot has changed in those years.
“I’ve always been very, very happy,” she said. “But it’s more interesting nowadays.”
Sister Francis Edwards, who has been a sister for 72 years, said any woman thinking of religious life should strongly consider it.
“He’s (God) worth it,” she said.
The afternoon also coincided with General Councilor Jenny Howard’s birthday so all who attended sang “Happy Birthday” to Sister Jenny.
All in attendance also were served punch and refreshments.
In addition to Sister Marceline, Sister Francis, Sister Rose Marita and Sister Richard, Sisters Dorothy Marie Ahern, Catherine Arkenberg, Agnes Arvin, Mary Loyola Bender, Margaret Louise Bernard, Jane Bodine, Bernadette Mary Carroll, Adrian Marie Conrad, Mary Imelda Coulup, Kathleen Mary Gay, Eileen Clare Goetzen, Mary Terence Haag, Anne Krause, Lourdes Kline, Mary Esther Lane, Mary Michael Lager, Rita Lerner, Marilyn Therese Lipps, Helen Dolores Losleben, Mary Rodger Madden, Francine McGriffin, Edwardine McNulty, Marie Victoria Podesta, Annette Schipp, Marie David Schroeder, Regina Shaughnessy, Miriam Clare Stoll, Alexa Suelzer, Charles Ellen Turk and Rosalie Marie Weller were all recognized.