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What does Providence look like? You

Introducing Zach Pies. Zach began in July to serve in the Mission Advancement office as annual fund manager for the Sisters of Providence. He brings many years of experience working with donors and friends. Here he shares how he sees our mission influenced by God’s Providence, by Mother Theodore Guerin’s legacy and by our benefactor-companions.

When Saint Mother Theodore first set foot on the fallen leaves of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, she was not alone. She arrived with five companions, with her faith in Providence and with the prayer support of many. A light through the dense forest revealed the cabin of a local family who took the first sisters in. This generous act was the first of a host of many dedicated and loving followers who continue to create a legacy that has spanned 176 years serving countless people and communities.

Today, Saint Mother Theodore’s companions and followers are those working with the Sisters of Providence to carry out the day-to-day tasks needed to continue the mission. These companions include so many dedicated people: staff and volunteers who answer the phone, the food service worker, the staff member promoting the latest retreat; the person operating the lawn mower, the sister who greets a visitor in the hallway and our more than 200 Providence Associates.

A companion of utmost importance is our donor. Benefactors have been a part of the legacy of Mother Theodore since she left France. Barely had her journey started when she was made aware the endowment that was to support her would not be available. She was then told “the sisters will have for their support only the resources of Divine Providence.”

Divine Providence indeed brought Mother Theodore many gifts and friends to provide for her Congregation’s ever growing needs. She did not spare herself in making others aware of the mission and inviting them to help. She asked many for help, even returning to France in 1843 and asking Queen Amelia for support. The queen replied by saying, “Ah, yes, sisters, let us save souls!” Mother Theodore was indeed our first advancement officer and we continue to look to her for wisdom, inspiration and direction as we seek needed support.

Trust in Providence and you

Today we continue our trust in Divine Providence to provide us with the financial means to carry out our mission. This trust in Providence has truly supported us well and blessed us with your support. Individuals, groups and entire communities around the world are made healthier thanks to the support of our wonderful donor family. Everything we do in our fundraising efforts is for the sake of the mission — why else bother?

We invite you to be part of God’s mission for the Sisters of Providence. To collaborate with us by supporting that mission with your donation of time, talent or treasure. We are blessed that our invitation to support our mission of outreach is providentially answered through you.

What else but Providence would explain being told a project needed another $25,186 and two days later walking back from the convent cemetery with one of our benefactors who placed a check in our Executive Director Sister Ann’s hand for $25,000?

How else explain large bequests which come to us, sometimes from alumnae of our schools or relatives of our sisters, but at other times from men or women with whom we seemingly did not have a connection?

Our benefactors once again recently proved the resources of Divine Providence to be profound when our campaign goal to repair the bell tower of the Church of the Immaculate Conception was met, and then exceeded. This wondrous response allowed us to complete other sorely needed work in areas around the church. We are truly blessed!

Without your support we would not have a mission. The Sisters of Providence believe that everyone who gives of their time, talent or treasure to further the mission of Saint Mother Theodore becomes a part of our story. A part of our legacy.

What we leave for those who follow depends on our work tomorrow. God’s mission for the Sisters of Providence does not end here thanks to your kind support — yesterday, today and tomorrow.

(Originally published in the Winter 2017 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Zach Pies

Zach Pies is part of the Mission Advancement team for the Sisters of Providence. He has been coming to the Woods since he was 6 years old. Zach enjoys sharing the stories, mission and ministries of the sisters with our donors and friends.

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