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New Providence Associates share their journey

Twenty-two women and men made first commitments as Providence Associates Nov. 18 at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (See photos from the day here.)

Below, several of our newest Providence Associates share what the past year preparing to become an associate and their new and deeper relationship with the Sisters of Providence means to them.

Providence Associate Patti Burris and her companion Sister Kay Kelly

Patti Burris, West Terre Haute, Indiana

“As I met with my Sister companion once a month to go through the integration units, she would ask questions that made me think about community, mission and my personal ministry. The process was a journey of reflection. It has been a journey of stretching myself to see what I can become through this relationship.

Being a Providence Associate means being part of a community of women who have lived their lives as examples of Jesus on this earth. It means finding out who I can be in this relationship. It means stepping outside of my comfort zone to BE Providence in the lives of others and to bring love, mercy and justice into my little corner of the world.”

Providence Associate Mary Bales with her companion Sister Laurette Bellamy

Mary Bales, Indianapolis

“I didn’t know much about Mother Theodore or Saint Mary-of-the-Woods when I found the invitation to apply for the associate program in the Criterion Catholic newspaper.

Over this last year of being a candidate in the Associates program, I have enjoyed meeting with Sister Laurette Bellamy.

During my year of being a candidate, I was able to reestablish my morning prayer time. For the last few years I had given up spending any time during my morning with the Lord. I did not get up early enough or starting activities that needed to be done right away. I really started missing my cup of coffee with the Lord first thing in my morning. I had been finding it more and more difficult to make a time for my daily prayer time. Some days can totally crowd out the time out to be alone with the Lord. It isn’t so much with talking to God during my daily routine, but to sit down and be still. Being still enough to read His Word and taking the extra time to hear him speak to me through his word.”

Providence Associate Sarian Bouma and her companion Sister Marie McCarthy pose near a photo of themselves on the new Providence Associate timeline wall

Sarian Bouma, Edgewater, Maryland

“I am looking forward to this new journey in my life.”

Providence Associate Katie Connolly and her companion Providence Associate Tracy Wilson

Katie Connolly, Sarona, Wisconsin

“I have always felt drawn to the mission and charism of the Sisters of Providence, and now that I am a Providence Associate I feel that I am really a part of such an amazing community. But I am also excited about the future! I know this is just one big step towards a future working with the sisters and associates to bring forth love, mercy, and justice to the world. I am an environmental educator, and feel my mission in my career fits perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish.”

Providence Associate Cathy Dearing and her companion Theresa Clare Carr

Cathy Dearing, Indianapolis

“The entire process was surrounded with prayer and discovering more of what providence is. During this entire year of formation, I companioned with a vowed religious Sister of Providence, Sister Teresa Clare Carr. She was a source of great guidance for me in learning more about the history, charism, and practices of the Sisters of Providence. I found the Spiritual Integration Units so helpful and well written. In meeting monthly on each particular topic, we were able to go deeper into prayer, call, and ministry. I have truly enjoyed this year-long preparation as it brought me closer to God and to the sisters.

Being a Providence Associate means I am part of a community! It means I have a sense of call to mercy, love and justice that aligns with my day-to-day interactions in my life. It also means that I want to give something back to the Community, something of my time and talent.”

Companion Sister Rosemary Ward with Providence Associate Laura Dudkowski

Laura Dudkowski, Bolingbrook, Illinois

“Now as I am a Providence Associate I see more fully what Providence has been doing in my life all of these years. It has allowed me to reconnect with the Sisters of Providence who taught at my grade school and the values that they brought to us all of those years ago. I hope that I can continue to grow in my relationship to the sisters and associates that I come in contact. And to truly allow the spirit of Providence to constantly be the guiding force in my life in good times and bad.”

Adriana Estringel and her companion Sister Barbara Bluntzer, standing, chat with other associates.

Adriana Estringel, Corpus Christi, Texas

“It’s a wonderful feeling because I have always admired Saint Mother Theodore and all the sisters. How progressive they are, how involved they are in taking care of our earth and all the things they get involved in.”

Sister Cathy Campbell pins the Providence Associate cross on Gail Smith

Gail Smith Mooresville, Indiana

“I was seven years old the first time I was on the campus and even then I understood that it was a place of peace and holiness unlike any other I had ever seen. Because I have a cousin who is a sister, I have been there many times and just find it to be a sanctuary where God is closer, (sometimes we all need that) but the process has taught me that I can have that sanctuary anywhere, I only need to reach out for God. Being an associate will allow me to work in conjunction with the sisters to make the world a better place. It feels like coming home.”

Keep your eye on our blog as more of our newest Providence Associates share their journeys in an upcoming blog post.

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Mission Advancement office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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