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Celebrating the Providence Associates: 10 years in relationship

Editor’s note: General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski and General Officer Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp compiled answers from many, many Sisters of Providence on just how they feel about the Providence Associates. They presented those responses at the Providence Associates 10-year anniversary celebration at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Nov. 17-19, 2017. Their presentation is shared below.

Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp and I told our sisters that we had the privilege of speaking during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Providence Associate Relationship. We told them that we would like to speak on behalf of all of them. So, what would they like us to say to all of you Providence Associates?

Sisters Dawn Tomaszewski and Jeanne Hagelskamp speak for the sisters at the Providence Association 10-year anniversary celebration.

Here is how YOUR SISTERS feel about YOU— and since we insisted that they could only offer a word or maybe a phrase, we want you to be aware that each of these words, each of these phrases, represents a different Sister of Providence expressing her love and gratitude for you.

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The Associates have brought new energy; fresh, enthusiastic energy; passionate and committed energy; energy and enlightenment. Associates have brought innovative creativity…their love for our Community, their enthusiasm and joy in being with us. They have brought a new and fresh perspective, creative possibilities.

The Associates are an extension of Providence. They are the Providence of God for us. They are assurance that the SP charism will continue into the future. They are energizing. Providence Associates are the future of community life. They are a definite asset. They are faith-filled people, faithful partners in mission. They are joy. They are joy as our circle of Providence grows. Providence Associates are loving friends. They are lovable! They are creative and faithful partners in carrying out the SP Mission. They are collaborators, co-creators.

The Associate Relationship means new life, new partnerships, deep bonding. It means that there are many who believe in our spirituality. The relationship means a new beginning …means loving friendship. It is where the future is. It means Providence Lives! The Providence Associate Relationship means that now not only do we have “daughters of the forest” but also “sons of the forest!”

Associates share a special role as partners in the mission and charism of Providence. They help us believe that as a SP Community, “We are not called to do all the good possible but only that which we can do.” Associates extend the mission beyond SP reach. They are fantastic companions on our Providence journey.

Providence Associates and Sisters of Providence join hands in prayer during the 10-year anniversary celebration.

Associates give me hope. They give us hope for fresh energy and prophetic wisdom. They give hope for all of us now and into the future united for mission. Providence Associates give us all a greater appreciation of what Providence means. They give us a spiritual and inspirational uplift. They broaden our spirituality.

Each Associate is a gift…a blessing…a challenge…yet another indication that Providence is always with us all. Each associate is an inspiration…is bringing the mission of Providence to the world… is Spirit-driven…is gifted, generous, friendly, fun-loving, wholesome, holy, dedicated.

Gratitude especially to the associates I have been privileged to companion and for how we still companion one another joined in our Providence journey. What a trip! The associates in southern Indiana are my local community!!! Two associates have become my personal friends. I could not have managed the last few months without her.

I appreciate the support the Providence Associates give. The Associates are a great support to us all…very supportive…more than generous. Their investment in our community’s well-being and the ways in which they want to help us in a myriad of ways is beautiful. Their presence and their humility, love, care, and the interconnected spirit they have with me as well as our community as a whole is extremely life-giving and hope-filled.

The Associates have been gift, blessing, and companions as we have journeyed together to be a sign of God’s loving presence in our mutual mission of being love, being mercy, and being justice activists.

They are the BEST!

They are AWESOME!

God love them all!

Beyond grateful for them!

Gratitude to Sister Mary Alice Zander (RIP) who continues to companion all of us.

What better way to see God’s work than to witness the number of Associates after 10 years?

We, Sisters, Providence Associates and others who embrace the charism of Providence, are the ever lengthening shadow of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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AND in the name of all our Sisters of Providence wherever they may be — Thank you! We love you!

View photos from the 10-year anniversary celebration below.

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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski was elected General Superior of the Sisters of Providence in 2016. She has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. Previously she ministered as a teacher, as communication and development director for the sisters and their ministries and as a member of elected leadership on the general council of the Sisters of Providence.

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