Another definition of Providence: ‘Don’t worry, Sister. We will send something.’
The man’s voice on the other end of the telephone line was pleasant as he said hello into my ear. It was the first Sunday of our annual Sister of Providence Phonathon, and he was actually the first “real” person I had reached. Thus far, I had listened to one voice message after another.
Actually, it was his wife I was after—she was a graduate of one of our schools and like so many of our alums was an annual donor to the Congregation. I asked if I might speak to her.
A long pause followed. Finally he told me she was not available. Though I debated about whether or not I should just thank him and hang up, there was something about the pause that made me identify myself as a Sister of Providence and ask the best time I might be able to reach her.
“Sister, she just started hospice care,” came his reply.
It was my turn for the long pause.
My moment of recollection enabled me to apologize for disturbing him. I murmured something about the phonathon being the purpose of my call, but all I cared about at that minute was his wife. In a stronger voice, I promised him prayers not only for her but also for him and other members of his family. And I pledged to place her name at the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.
His thanks was warm, almost profuse given what he obviously must be feeling at the moment. Just as I was about to say goodbye, he said, “And don’t worry, Sister, we will send something.”
I think his response might be just another way to define Providence — don’t’ worry, Sister, we will send something.
This good man was just one of 2,785 phone calls our sisters, associates, staff and other volunteers made in all. Although not every phone call was as dramatic as this one of mine, each contributed to the deep gratitude I feel in my heart for people’s willingness to support the mission of Providence no matter the circumstance of their own lives.
We have already received donations from 1,104 donors for a total of $109,707.
Besides the people we talked with, we left messages on 1,551 answering machines! Of those, 514 responded, so $36,607 of the giving total came from messages left on answering machines.
To all of you who support us in any way — by whatever means — we are so very grateful. As on the Sunday I offered the prayer of our community for the needs of the man and his wife, I hope our prayer and our promise to use your gifts wisely and carefully in the service of God’s mission will be a defining moment of Providence for you.