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Volunteer spotlight – Peggy Balensuela

Volunteer Peggy Balensuela enjoys the relationships she has formed with the Sisters of Providence. Here she is with Sister Mary Ann Lechner at Providence Spirituality & Conference Center.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I began to volunteer out at the Woods to get to know the Congregation and the legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and to get to know the individual sisters. I have a passion for history and a career as a teacher, so it seemed natural for me to start volunteering as a docent. As time passed, I began to grab at any opportunity to be of service to these women, whom I’ve come to love so dearly, and to promote Providence Spirituality as best I could as a Providence Associate (2008-present).

What is the best part about volunteering?

With every minute I’ve spent at the Woods, I’ve received so much more than I’ve given!  The relationships I’ve developed with sisters, staff, and other volunteers are probably the most significant and positive in my life. I have found a new family, who love me unconditionally and with whom I share a spirituality which has deepened and broadened among them.

What are some of the things you have done as a volunteer?

I’ve continued to volunteer as a docent as I can and, as implied above, have simply gotten into the habit of saying “Yes. Sure!”  as I can. I’ve subbed at both reception/phone desks, been cashier at the Book Sales, helped out at Family Day and Christmas Fun at the Woods, been a caller and/or clerk for the annual Phonathon, and mapped out the donor bricks in front of the main church. I was also asked to help decorate the Providence Center Lobby for Christmas this past December. It was a lot of fun!

What would you tell people who are thinking about volunteering?

If you’ve been considering volunteering with the Sisters of Providence, hesitate no longer! When the sisters say “All Are Welcome,” they mean it. I am one of the many non-Catholics who passionately support their mission and the charism of Saint Mother Theodore.


For information about volunteer opportunities with the Sisters of Providence contact Sister Rebecca Keller, SP at 812-535-2878 or email her at rkeller@spsmw.org.


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Sister Emily TeKolste

Sister Emily TeKolste

Sister Emily TeKolste is in formation with the Sisters of Providence. She is a native of Indianapolis and has a degree in sociology from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Emily is passionate about justice with special interest in environmentalism and sustainability. You can follow her blog at solongstatusquoblog.wordpress.com. She currently ministers with the NETWORK lobby for Catholic social justice.

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  1. Avatar Donna Butler on April 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

    And Peggy, what a WONDERFUL gift YOU are to us!

    I’m sure Saint Mother Theodore is smiling for all the gifts and blessings our Providence Associates and volunteers of every kind bring to the mission of Providence.

  2. Avatar Theresa Tighe on April 25, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    What a beautiful picture. Two women with smiles and eyes filled with kindness and joy – the two gifts I always find at SMW.

  3. Avatar Mary Ryan SP on April 25, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    You are a gift to us! Thank you for all you do. May god bless you for your generosity.

  4. Avatar Sheila Donis on April 26, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Peggy, because of your volunteer presence at the Woods, many of us have gotten to know you as well. Your delightful spirit fills us!!

  5. Avatar Jenny Nowalk on May 2, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Peggy, What a beautiful picture and description of your work at SMW! I can hear your voice speaking through your words. I am sure SMT and the Sisters welcome you with open arms and hearts!

  6. Avatar S. Rita Clare Gerardot on December 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Peggy, I/we do appreciate all you do as a volunteer and now that you are the librarian in the Resource Center we also are grateful for all the many hours you spend daily keeping everything in order and adding color with lovely seasonal decorations as well as treats! Thank you, Peggy!

    S. Rita Clare Gerardot, SP

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