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Entrance to center dedicated to Sister Wendy Workman

It was a joyous occasion as the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and representatives from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College joined together at the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center on Tuesday, July 28.

The gathering was to dedicate the entrance to the center in honor of Sister Wendy Workman.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College President Dr. Dottie King acknowledged Sister Wendy, who died in 2009, was a graduate of the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College class of 1974, and had taught at the college and enjoyed a love of athletics.

“We’re here to remember and reflect on Sister Wendy Workman,” Dottie said. “All of this helps improve the life of the college and the Sisters of Providence.”

General Officers Sister Jenny Howard and Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, classmates of Sister Wendy at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, then spoke to the crowd, reflecting on the life of Sister Wendy.

“We think she would be truly surprised to find an entry way dedicated to her,” Sister Jenny said.

Sister Jenny Howard and Sister Dawn Tomaszewski.

Sister Jenny Howard and Sister Dawn Tomaszewski.

“We want to remember and celebrate what she cherished and believed,” Sister Dawn added.

Sister Jenny added she was a tennis doubles partner with Sister Wendy during their time in college, saying Sister Wendy was a “tennis player,” while she was someone who “played tennis.”

“If Sister Wendy were here today, she would invite us to be playful,” Sister Jenny said.
“Sister Wendy’s life and spirit will long bless the college,” Sister Dawn added. “We are grateful for Sister Wendy.”

Following the reflection on Sister Wendy’s life, everyone gathered at the entrance of the center where General Officer Sister Lisa Stallings, also a classmate of Sister Wendy, offered a prayer. General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson and Dottie then cut a ribbon officially dedicating the entrance, where a sign was placed.

Sister Denise also offered prayer at the ceremony’s conclusion.

Sister Wendy spent one year at Eastern Illinois University before transferring to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College to major in theology.

She entered the Congregation in August 1975. Her first ministry was in 1977 as a physical education and religion teacher at Corpus Christi, Oklahoma City.

She also earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, and later earned a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Iowa.

In March 1987, Sister Wendy was hit by a truck during a bicycle ride, which physically impaired her for the remainder of her life. In 2001, she devoted herself to the ministry of prayer until her death eight years later.

One of her friends during her days at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Dr. Mary Hums, also attended the dedication ceremony, stating she believed Sister Wendy would be very proud of the new center.

“This was lovely,” Mary said. “It is meaningful to be back here. Sister Wendy loved Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, even after the accident. She loved being a Sister of Providence and she had a lifelong devotion to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.”

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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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1 Comment

  1. Judith Meyer PA on July 31, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I must add that the spirit of Dorothy Hucksoll SP RIP would have been sitting quietly taking in the fun of the presentation to Sister Wendy. Sr Dorothy, who died recently gave many years to care for and live with Sr Wendy so that she did not have to be left alone in a center for brain-damaged cases. Sr Dorothy cared for Sr Wendy off campus in the Carolinas. Sr Dorothy also wrote the story of Wendy’s life including her family history and the members of her birth family. She wrote about the fateful day of Wendy’s accident with such a sense of being there. Thankfully, Sr Wendy was brought home just before she died and Sr Dorothy could be present for her loved-one, Sr Wendy.

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