Below, several of our newest Providence Associates who made their first commitments Nov. 17 share about their journey over the past year and about what they look forward to in their future relationship with the Sisters of Providence.
Theresa Tighe, St. Louis, Missouri
“By working through the units in the Providence Associate Candidate handbook and my relationship with my companion, I took a fresh and thorough look at my faith, something that sustained and defined my world, but which I had never taken the time to really think about. I came out of the period of preparation realizing how God’s Providence had gotten me through life with a sense of ultimate security and joy.
It changed my view of God from a thunderbolt thrower to a God who is always caring for me. It also made me want to be God’s hands here on earth spreading word of God’s Providence and way of charity, justice and love.
I now have a community – sisters and brothers – with whom to discuss the world with an ear to how all things fit into God’s way. I am part of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s work and can help to make her legacy of faith in God’s Providence and the practices of charity, justice and love continue.”
Peggy Stewart, Davis, Illinois
“I hope that being a Providence Associate will bring me deeper into my faith through prayer and actions.”
Shawn Shamsaie, Terre Haute, Indiana
“For me it was providential, getting to know myself, the sisters’ commitment to love, mercy and justice, and my relationship with companion-teacher-friend Sister Paula Damiano. This journey was and always will be spiritual and welcoming.
Now that I am a Providence Associate, I feel that my relationship with God, family, community and every living being is ONE.”
Sandy Powell, Evansville, Indiana
“Being part of a community that has the same ideals and goals helps keep our spiritual life focused and grounded.”
Anne Mosher, Indianapolis
“This past year of preparation to be a Providence Associate has gone very fast. I have read through/studied the Spiritual Integration Units and discussed them with my companion. We have also shared being at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods several times for retreats and meetings. All of these experiences have been very instrumental in helping me become so much more informed and appreciative of the charism and mission of the Sisters of Providence. One of my goals in this whole process has been to grow in my personal spiritual life which I feel has also been a very positive effect.
I realize that this is just the beginning of a continued journey in personal spirituality, and joining with the Sisters of Providence to share in their efforts on issues of love, mercy and justice.
Annette Maggio, Park Ridge, Illinois
“It is about listening for where and how Providence is inviting you to respond at this moment in your life. I think I have been involved with the Sisters of Providence most of my life having been educated by them from elementary school through college, knowing many sisters when working and volunteering with them in some of their ministries, and sharing some of life’s meaningful moments with them as friends. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods has been a ‘second home’ to me. As I kept listening to what Providence was inviting me to do, I realized it was time to become an associate, committing to the values, mission, spirituality and community of the Sisters of Providence at the present moment.”
Eileen Horan, Indianapolis
For me, the process began with an invitation from our daughter, Sister Tracey Horan. She informed us that an orientation was coming up and invited my husband Joe 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 of 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.
My companion Providence Associate Jean Smith is a lovely woman. Going through this journey with her by my side was one of the things I enjoyed most about the process. We shared our life stories and she encouraged me every step of the way and affirmed me. She helped me see that by living the life I already have, I can indeed live out the charism of the Sisters of Providence.
To be a Providence Associate, it means that I will be able to share a deeper relationship with the sisters and other associates. I look forward to sharing in retreats and celebrations with the community. I look forward to deepening my faith by participating in a Providence Circle [small faith-sharing group] and responding to the call to activities that demonstrate love, mercy and justice to our world.”