The Sisters of Providence reflect on the Year of Mercy
“We will do what we do every day, but do it with special attention to the call to be merciful.”
That’s what Sisters of Providence Vicar Sister Lisa Stallings said recently after taking time to reflect on Pope Francis calling this year The Year of Mercy.
What do the Sisters of Providence do? The mission of the Congregation of women religious – founded by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin in 1840 – is to – collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy.
The Congregation honors Divine Providence and furthers God’s plans by devoting itself to works of love, mercy and justice in service to God’s people.
“The Year of Mercy has called us to be more mindful to the words we use to describe ourselves and our purpose,” Sister Lisa said.
Sister Mary Mundy, who ministers as a pastoral associate at Holy Rosary Church in Evansville, agreed.
“Anytime we are deeply challenged to be the face of God in our world, we are blessed,” Sister Mary said. “The Year of Mercy, in my estimation, is a strong call from Pope Francis to be that face of a merciful God today.
“Where and with who are we Sisters of Providence, and our Providence Associates, called to be merciful? Everywhere and with everyone, inclusive of those we know and those we only know from a distance as part of God’s creation, made in the image and likeness of God!”
Sister Lisa added with the current climate of world affairs, the word mercy takes on so many meanings.
“Mercy has to be the solution,” she said, regarding the state of the world today.
“Ordinarily, we Catholics think of mercy in light of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. And that is good,” Sister Mary added. “What I find equally challenging and what resonated within me as a Sister of Providence, for our Providence Associates and this Congregation of Providence, I believe is our Litany of Nonviolence, where we beg for the grace of a non-violent heart. We humbly acknowledge our complicity in those attitudes, action and words which perpetuate violence. That can easily be translated to ‘Be merciful to us, O God, for we are in need of conversion all the while devoting ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice.”