Twenty-two make commitment as Providence Associates
Twenty-two people recently deepened their relationship with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
On Saturday, Nov. 18, Indianapolis residents Mary Bales, Eileen and Joseph Horan, Catherine Dearing and Annette Mosher, were joined by Terre Haute residents Patti Burris, Shawn Shamsaie, Ryan Sheehy and Bonnie Wilson; Edgewater, Md., resident Sarian Bourna; Sarona, Wis., resident Kathleen Connolly; Bolingbrook, Ill., resident Laura Dudkowski; Corpus Christi, Texas, resident Adriana Estringel; Statesboro, Ga., resident Ann Henderson; Park Ridge, Ill., resident Annette Maggio; Bloomfield, Ind., resident Cindy Montgomery, Evansville, Ind., resident Sandy Powell; Westfield, Ind., residents Deanna and John Schleeter; Mooresville, Ind., resident Gail Smith; Davis, Ill., resident Peggy Stewart; and St. Louis resident Theresa Tighe as they made the commitment as Providence Associates with the Sisters of Providence.
The day also marked the Providence Associates 10-year anniversary celebration.
Eileen said for her and her husband, the decision was simple, especially after their daughter, Sister Tracey Horan, who is a Sister of Providence, encouraged them to do so.
“For us, the process began with an invitation from our daughter, Sister Tracey,” Eileen said. “She informed us that an orientation was coming up and invited my husband and me to consider becoming Providence Associates. We had always said we would consider it when the time seemed right and since Tracey was also making her first vows in June 2017, the time seemed very right. The sisters and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods had become like a second family and home to us already.
“To be a Providence Associate means that we will be able to share a deeper relationship with the Sisters of Providence and other associates,” Eileen added. “We look forward to sharing in retreats and celebrations with the community. We look forward to deepening our faith by participating in a Providence Circle and responding to the call to activities that demonstrate, love, mercy and justice to our world.”
Mary Bales said her familiarity with the Sisters of Providence – who taught her at Holy Cross Central Elementary School – was the principal reason for her to become a Providence Associate.
“I am excited that I am in a small group that is very diverse in background and stages of life,” Mary said. “It is great for me because there is so much wisdom to learn, as well as we’re a part of a larger community that comes together for prayer and fellowship several times a year.”
Theresa Tighe said her view of God has changed since beginning the Providence Associate process.
“This has changed my view of God from a thunderbolt thrower to a God who is always caring for me,” she said. “It also made me want to be God’s hand here on earth, spreading word of God’s Providence and way of charity, justice and love.”
Director of Providence Associates Sister Diane Mason, SP, said in order to become a Providence Associate, a candidate is paired with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion and goes through a year of study, prayer and reflection.
Sister Diane said the Nov. 18 commitment ceremony brought the total of Providence Associates to more than 270 in the United States and Taiwan.
This year, more than 30 women and men began their journey as Candidate-Associates. The associate relationship is open to all people of faith, ages 18 and older.
“In many cases, a deep friendship forms between the candidate and companion and they continue the journey of Providence that so far has never failed us,” Sister Diane said.
If you feel called to explore the Providence Associate relationship, learn more at ProvidenceAssociates.org or contact Debbie Dillow, Providence Associate, at 317-250-3294 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.