Strength from being ordinary this Foundation Day
Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her five sister companions arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, on this day in 1840. We Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and the community at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College all celebrate this day as our Foundation Day.
As I write this it is dark and dreary outside. The dampness enters into one’s bones. But I have a warm house and warm clothing to keep the chill away.
Thinking back to 1840 when our Saint of God arrived with her companions from France, they certainly didn’t have the comforts of home that we do today. They were tired, probably filled with fear and anxiety not knowing the language and being in a different country. Nothing was ordinary for them. They were facing challenges of many obstacles and new beginnings.
Looking back at this time in history reminds me what prayerful and wholesome women these were. They modeled that for us in 1840. And that grace and courage has been passed on to each of us from generation to generation. This grace, this spirituality, is a gift that our founders have given us.
It matters not if it is cold and dreary outside. What matters is what is in our hearts and souls. It’s the warmth, respect and love that we have for others — that same love and respect Saint Mother Theodore modeled to all with whom she came in contact. It was her ordinary, her natural response that came from deep within her heart. It was a response borne of deep prayer and of complete trust in her Provident God.
As director of the Providence Associate relationship, I see that the call to become a Providence Associate is not a call to be an extraordinary individual. It is a call to be an individual who strives to be a prayerful and holy ordinary person. Just as was our Saint Mother Theodore.
I wish each of you a very happy Foundation Day. May the presence of God’s love radiate from within you every day of your ordinary life.