Home » Blog » Get to know Providence Associate Shawn Shamsaie: through adversity to Providence

Get to know Providence Associate Shawn Shamsaie: through adversity to Providence

Providence Associate Shawn Shamsaie, right, and his Providence Associate Companion Sister Paula Damiano

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

It was January 1979, and my country (Iran) was in the middle of a revolution. My parents decided that, for the sake of my education and well-being, it was best for me to go to the USA. It would be 16 years before I saw my parents again. When I arrived in the USA, I wasn’t angry or sad. I just felt lost. I learned that the future is never certain, and in order to make it, I must push forward.

I met my wife Robin in the summer of 1985, which forever changed my life. It was a main reason that I decided to stay in USA. We were married in May 1988 and were blessed with twin boys in October 1993.

Providentially, I started working for Sisters of Providence in October 1996. I was so excited and thrilled because I was given the task of starting a new computer services department.

Shawn Shamsaie, right, laughs with members of the Providence Associate Advisory board during a break in the courtyard.

What first drew you into the Providence Associate relationship?

Working with the Sisters of Providence for the past 21 years showed me the sisters’ commitment to their ministries and helping others and gave me a new outlook on life. I was involved with the associate program almost from the beginning, as a board member.

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

I am more attentive to my community. I also volunteer at Providence Food Pantry in West Terre Haute.

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

Sister Paula Damiano has been my Providence Associate companion, friend, teacher, and even my boss at one time. She helped me understand about the sisters’ practices, their relationship to God and community, and most importantly, the Providence in our lives. I learned that it is Providence that I am here today.

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

I would tell them my story and how the relationship with the sisters has made a difference in my life. Thanks to this personal journey, I am proud to share the mission with others. I would encourage them to look inward to discover what Providence calls them to share.

What do you see as the future of the PA relationship?

I hope to see more diversity. I understand that we are a young group, and most of us have some kind of a relationship with the Sisters of Providence. However, I think we should ask those who had limited or maybe no direct relationship with the Sisters of Providence prior, who have made a commitment to the Providence Associate program anyway, for input.

Are you being called to become a Providence Associate? Apply now to become a Providence Associate in the coming year!

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Lori Strawn

Lori Strawn

Providence Associate Lori Strawn is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Witchita, Kansas. A 1987 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Lori formerly served on the advisory board for the Providence Associates.

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  1. Avatar Carol Nolan on February 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    What a wonderful story about Shawn! Shawn, I appreciate so much all that you have done and continue to do for us. Your coming here was a true Providential event for us!

  2. Avatar Mary Ryan, SP on February 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you Shawn for sharing your story. You are an inspiration! I am happy that you are in the Community History class. Mary Ryan, SP

  3. Tracey Horan Tracey Horan on February 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing, Shawn! And thanks for all the gifts you contribute to the Providence family. Glad you’re a part of it!

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