Sisters to host teacher sharing session
The recent tragic shootings in a Parkland, Fla., school, which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and teachers, motivated two women to approach the Sisters of Providence with the hope that they could host a sharing session for teachers, administrators and school staff at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Inspired by their vision and idea, the Sisters of Providence will host a teacher sharing session from 7 to 8:30 p.m., on Tuesday, February 27, in O’Shaughnessy Dining Room at Providence Spirituality & Conference Center.
Bonnie Wilson, one of the women behind the idea, is helping to organize the event. While attending church recently, she overheard a conversation between two teachers regarding the recent school shooting.
“The whole idea came after being at church,” Bonnie said. “The teachers were talking to each other and I was listening in … it was this amazing experience on a level of understanding and intimacy that you couldn’t understand if you were not there.”
Bonnie said she has several friends who are teachers and since the tragic event, which took place on Valentine’s Day, she has noticed those friends are treating the Parkland shooting different than other shootings.
“The Florida shooting is different somehow and I am not sure what the difference is,” she said. “I think teachers have just hit a wall. This is the one that may have broken the camel’s back. Always with these shootings, there is outrage. There is a lot of frustration. But with this one, teachers – I think – are just done.”
Bonnie said her friends in education have explained to her that they do discuss these incidents with their students.
“They say the students are always upset,” she said. “They ask, ‘Are we next? What can we do? Is there anything we can do?’”
Bonnie described the gathering as a consoling and sharing event, hoping people in the educational world will attend.
“We want you to know you are not alone,” she said. “It’s very comforting to know someone else has been like you and feels like you. It’s comforting to know they have the same frustration and same struggles.
“There is a complete understanding there. I am not a teacher so I cannot fully get it. But other teachers, they can.”
She said the event has been planned as a town hall type forum with the intention of breaking into small groups for further discussion.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.