Providence Associate Diana Garza poses with a painting of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Can you give us a bit of background on your life so far?

I was born and still reside in Falfurrias, Texas, a small town in South Texas. I attended Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas, and acquired a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in English and Biology. I later got a Master of Science in English and Supervision. I taught 7th and 8th graders for 37 years. I retired from teaching in 2008. Shortly after retiring, I created my own educational consulting business and continued to work. I am hired by school districts to work with low performing schools. My job is to get the students ready for the state writing and reading exams. I model writing and reading lessons for the students and the teachers. This year I am working with two schools.

What first drew you into the Providence Associate relationship?

In October 2011, I visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods with Sister Barbara Bluntzer. As we drove through the gates, I was overcome with a feeling of peace and tranquility. I was in awe the entire time I was there. In 2013, I decided I wanted to have a deeper connection with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence. I started the Providence Candidate-Associates process on Sept. 20, 2013, by attending orientation at Saint Mary-of the-Woods. My companion on the journey toward becoming a Providence Associate was Sister Barbara Bluntzer.

Sister of Providence Companion Sister Barbara Bluntzer pins the Providence Associate pin on Diana M. Garza.

How do you live out your commitment to the PA relationship?

I recall a quote from Saint Mother Theodore: “We are not called upon to do all the good possible, but only that which we can do!” I want to do what “I CAN do” as an associate to help the Sisters of Providence continue their mission of love, mercy and justice. In my educational consulting, I support the Sisters of Providence’s mission of eco-justice by including (in my reading and writing lesson plans) activities that will teach my students the importance of caring for the Earth. I also let God’s Providence guide me to use my gifts and talents to serve others.

Are there any particular SPs with whom you have an especially deep bond? Who and why?

I have a close bond with Sister Joni Luna and Sister Barbara Bluntzer because they introduced me to Saint Mother Theodore, the Sisters of Providence, and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. I first met Sister Joni Luna in the summer of 2010. I was intrigued by what Sister Joni told me about Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and the Sisters of Providence. I met Sister Barbara through Sister Joni and my first visit to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods was with Sister Barbara. I continue to stay in touch with both Sister Joni and Sister Barbara.

If someone asked you about becoming a Providence Associate, what would you tell him or her?

Becoming a Providence Associate helps you to become stronger spiritually and to learn about the mission and life of Saint Mother Theodore and the Sisters of Providence through the spiritual units you and your companion discuss through the year-long orientation process. As an associate, you become part of a community of strong, progressive women religious, and you help promote the Sisters of Providence’s mission of love, mercy, and justice in service among God’s people.

What do you see as the future of the Providence Associate relationship?

I see the Providence Associate program continuing to grow and their relationship with the Sisters of Providence becoming even stronger. Stronger in numbers, we can do more to promote the Sisters of Providence’s mission.

Looking for something more? Learn about becoming a Providence Associate.