Sister Nancy Nolan named ‘Volunteer of the Year’
Sister Nancy Nolan has tackled many ministries throughout her time as a Sister of Providence, including a 10-year stint as General Superior.
But four years ago, she began a new ministry, as a coordinator of volunteers for the United States Penitentiary Prison Camp in Terre Haute. The Prison Camp is for minimum-security male offenders.
Prior to coming back to the motherhouse, Sister Nancy had lived in Chicago. But when she came home, Sister Barbara Doherty encouraged her to begin the volunteer ministry.
She began scheduling volunteers for the penitentiary after Sister Mary Pat Peacock died suddenly.
During a recent volunteer dinner, officials awarded Sister Nancy with the annual “Volunteer of the Year” award.
Several sisters minister at the penitentiary. Some visit inmates while others volunteer at the minimum-security camp. Currently, Sisters Mary Rita Griffin, Jean Anne Maher, Alice Ann Rhinesmith and Janice Smith volunteer, along with Providence Associates Jude Magers and Donna Watzke. In addition, Ken and Elizabeth Bormann, both residents of Terre Haute, with special ties to the Woods, also volunteer.
Sister Nancy sets up times and schedules for the volunteers at the penitentiary which take place on Sundays. She said the volunteers conduct a communion service with the inmates.
All volunteers are required to attend a training session each year. Sister Nancy said the first session is approximately four hours long, but the remaining sessions are about two hours in length.
“You are told what to do, what not to do, what to be careful of and there is a dress code,” Sister Nancy said.
Sister Nancy pointed out that many Sisters of Providence have ministered with inmates at the penitentiary for many years.
“I was pleased to receive the award as it was an opportunity to put the spotlight on the work the Sisters of Providence have done for many years at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute,” Sister Nancy said.