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Sister Barbara Sheehan receives Distinguished Service Award

Sister Barbara Sheehan with Urban CPE Consortium, Inc., Board President Matt Smucker. In the background to the right is Sister Barbara’s brother, Tom Sheehan.

Sister Barbara Sheehan with Urban CPE Consortium, Inc., Board President Matt Smucker. In the background to the right is Sister Barbara’s brother, Tom Sheehan.

Recognizing her outstanding service, The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) the North Central Region, recently honored Sister of Providence Sister Barbara Sheehan with its Distinguished Service Award.
Sister Barbara received the award on Oct. 20.

The Rev. Gary Sartain, ACPE North Central Regional Director, said the annual award is given to a “deserving recipient chosen by our regional board of directors.”

“The award was established as a way to recognize contributions of members on a variety of criteria, including long-term service, outstanding service, innovative program practice or development, leadership and recognition for contributions to related organizations,” Rev. Sartain said. He added that Sister Barbara was very deserving of the award.

Sister Barbara was recognized for being an innovator, a person of social justice, calling others and ACPE to greater awareness, a spiritually oriented woman, a prophet, a risk-taker, a woman of integrity and a leader.
Sister Barbara ministers as the executive director of Urban Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Consortium, Inc., Chicago.

“Our dual mission is compassionate care and advocacy with the most vulnerable and the formation of persons in the art of urban pastoral care,” she said.

Sister Barbara said the CPE Consortium was created in 2005 under her leadership with many theological educators and social agencies serving the poor.

The agency’s goals are personal, relational and institutional transformation for people facing poverty, violence, addictions, homelessness, grief and loss.

“In this ministry, I am an experiential theological educator of persons of all faith/spiritual traditions,” she said. “I journey with them as they reflect on their actions, attitudes, assumptions, gifts and development needs in caring among the marginalized and oppressed.

“This journey includes individual clinical supervision, peer/group supervision, direct teaching and hours of practice at one of our member social agencies.”

“She has a legacy of students who have valued their experience with her,” Rev. Sartain said. “And she is a strong, committed, vital and prophetic voice in the Church as a dedicated Sister of Providence.”

In 2003, Sister Barbara also received the Anna E. and William F. Madges Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Church and Society from Xavier University for the ministry.

In an official statement, North Central Regional ACPE said they were “grateful for all Sister Barbara has given, is giving and will give in the future.”

While she was officially recognized on Oct. 20, Sister Barbara will also be recognized on Thursday, March 19, 2015, at the Urban CPE Benefit, which will take place at St. Paul’s House, Chicago.

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

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5 Comments

  1. Donna Butler on November 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Barbara,
    Congratulations on this award! What a wonderful witness to the call of the Gospel and to being a woman of Providence spirituality. The award tells me that not only have you been a witness, but your leadership has brought many others to hear and to heed that call also. Being the woman that you are, I know that you have also received gifts for your own life and ministry from the poor, the homeless,the grieving,those you have taught. I rejoice with you!

  2. Ann Mooney on November 21, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Sister Barbara, I was delighted to read about your outstanding leadership and the exceptional impact you have had on the lives of many throughout the years. I know you are an innovative thinker. This award comes as no surprise to me. Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!

  3. Terri Grasso,SP on November 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Congratulations, Barb, on this award recognizing your years of leading and challenging others to bring about a more just and caring society.
    Continued blessings on your ministry!

  4. Phyllis Harman on November 22, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Hi Sr. Barbara and CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to buy you a “beer” when you make your supervisory visit at Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village. I’m sure you know all of us “S.P.’s” are so proud, humbly speaking, of you and our Sisters in Providence. Continue to keep up the great ministry.
    Blessings,
    Phyllis Picardi Harman (Sr. Marie Carla ’63)
    ED Chaplain

  5. Marcia Vaughn Richardson on March 22, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Sister Barbara,
    Just wanted to congratulate you on the award. Want to also let you know how you influenced me over the years after working with you in Louisville many years ago(the 1970’s) as a medical technologist. Have thought about your positive and strong leadership that you possessed managing all of us. Hope all is well and again , Congrats!!!

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