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Sisters to celebrate Year of Consecrated Life

Sister Mary Lois Hennel (front, from left) and Bishop Charles C. Thompson with Sister Rita Clare Gerardot, (back) along with Sisters Kathryn Koressel, Editha Ben and Mary Mundy. Photo provided by Peewee C. Vasquez.
Sister Mary Lois Hennel (front, from left) and Bishop Charles C. Thompson with Sister Rita Clare Gerardot, (back) along with Sisters Kathryn Koressel, Editha Ben and Mary Mundy. Photo provided by Peewee C. Vasquez.

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, have many events scheduled to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis designated 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life, which officially began on Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent. The celebration will conclude on Feb. 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life. Pope Francis has invited all women and men religious to “wake up the world” and to raise awareness of consecrated life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) collaborated to design events throughout the year. They have also offered suggestions to dioceses and parishes on special ways to celebrate the year.

“We were enthusiastic to collaborate with the LCWR, so we sent a letter to our whole Congregation and to Providence Associates with some suggested ways to promote and celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life,” Sister Editha said. “This is a great opportunity in a concerted effort to ‘wake up the world.’ Women and men religious make an enormous difference in our world without a lot of fanfare.

“This is also an auspicious time to continue collaborating with various religious institutions to tell our stories of who we really are and to diminish and dispel the typical stereotypes of religious life, as well as tell how religious life has evolved through the years to be relevant in history.”

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On Nov. 23, Sisters Mary Lois Hennel, Rita Clare Gerardot, Kathryn Koressel, Editha Ben and Mary Mundy attended Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral, Evansville, at the Solemnity of our Lord Christ, King of the Universal Church, to mark the beginning of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Bishop Charles C. Thompson, Bishop of Evansville, presided over the Mass.

Sister Editha added the Sisters of Providence have planned the following activities to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life – which coincides with the Sisters of Providence 175th anniversary:

• April 12-18, 2015 – A Week of mission and service. Rooted for Tomorrow: Planting New Seeds. Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates, faculty, staff, students and alumnae of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, along with friends of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin are invited to participate in a day of service. The sisters urge all to engage in service in their local communities and share their experiences at www.RootedforTomorrow.org,

• Sept. 13, 2015 – Day of Prayer with Religious, and

• Oct. 16-18, 2015 – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Fest and Sisters of Providence Fall Discernment Weekend.

Other important dates through the Year of Consecrated Life include:

• Jan. 25-31, 2015 – Catholic Schools Week,

• Feb. 2, 2015 – Day of Consecrated Life (celebrated by the church),

• Feb. 8, 2015 – Religious Open House Day,

• March 8-14, 2015 – National Catholic Sisters Week,

• April 16, 2015 – World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and

• April 10-12, 2015 – Sisters of Providence Spring Come and See Weekend.

Sister Editha said the Year of Consecrated Life will help many see a continuous life of discernment in a new light, especially with through so many outlets, such as social media.

“With social media, we hope to reach out to more people around the globe and tell them that our calling is to continue Jesus’ mission to create a world that respects and values justice,” Sister Editha said, “and that we are normal, real people, committed to serve, who try to live life to the fullest with joy as we face the challenges of responding to the unmet needs of our brothers and sisters.”

For more information, call 812-535-2895 or email eben@spsmw.org.

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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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.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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