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Providence Associate Ann Henderson: connected by Providence, justice

Providence Associate Ann Henderson

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

I grew up in East Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. My life was entwined with our neighborhood Presbyterian Church. I am the older of my parents’ two children. I attended the University of Tennessee. Shortly after graduating, I married my husband, Allen. We have four young adult children. My husband and I both teach for Georgia Southern University. He teaches music and I teach accounting. We continue to be active with our Presbyterian congregation in Statesboro, Georgia.

What first drew you into the Providence Associate relationship?

I was visiting a friend in Terre Haute in January of 2016. She suggested I visit the Woods one afternoon. After some reluctance, I ended up at the Providence Spirituality and Conference Center where I found myself on a tour of Saint Mother Theodore’s Shrine. Almost immediately, I felt a connection to the Sisters of Providence. Their faith with justice, mercy, and love at its center captured my attention and my heart.

How do you live out your commitment to the Providence Associate relationship?

The lack of justice for so many in our society weighs heavily on my heart and mind. Spiritual disciplines that I have learned from the Sisters of Providence help sustain me as I attempt to address these difficult issues in my community.

Providence Associate Ann Henderson walks and talks with her Providence Associate companion Sister Rosemary Nudd.

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

Sister Rosemary Nudd was the guide for the shrine tour that I took back in January of 2016. She introduced me to Saint Mother Theodore. I felt a connection with Sister Rosemary and Mother Theodore from almost the moment we met. It was a gift. Sister Rosemary was my Providence Associate companion. We had many long and meaningful discussions around the Spiritual Integration Units. We learned much from each other and continue to have a rich friendship. I have no doubt that Providence brought us together.

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

I would say that if you are looking for a connection with people who care deeply about intimacy with God by following Jesus and standing with those on the edge of society, then become a Providence Associate! The Sisters of Providence are genuine in their concern for God’s creation, for the cosmos, and it is a privilege to be a part of their world.

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

I see the Providence Associates becoming more and more an integral part of the Sisters of Providence Congregation. I see the relationship growing and strengthening into a powerful force of love in this world.

Learn more about becoming a Providence Associate! Applications for those wishing to become associates of the Sisters of Providence in the coming year are being accepted until May 31.

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Lori Strawn

Providence Associate Lori Strawn is a Freelance writer, radio show host 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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7 Comments

  1. Carol Nolan, S.P. on February 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Ann, your message is such a gift! I feel I am meeting a soul sister. Our ministry in the southern California desert is manifesting God’s loving presence to people who do live, geographically and in every way, at the edges of society. As we get ready to leave this work and come home to Saint Mary’s, I am becoming increasingly aware of the people in that area who also live, in a very real sense, on the edges of society. Thank you for your work for those in your part of the vineyard, Ann.
    Your husband teaches music. I am curious about what area he teaches, having taught music for all my adult life. Thank you again, Ann. Courage!

  2. Paula Modaff, S.P. on February 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us in such a concrete manner, Ann. We are grateful for your presence and for all of our associates who are living the charism of Providence,

  3. S. Rita Clare Gerardot on February 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Ann, we are blessed to have you walking the Providence journey with us. Yes, we do rely on our Associates to minister with us in spreading God’s love, mercy and justice.

    Love and prayers,
    Rita Clare Gerardot, SP

  4. Rosemary Nudd on February 26, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Ann, your succinct yet meaningful paragraphs reflect our experience together just right. I am blessed to be your Companion in our Providence partnership, which is ever wondrously and joyfully mutual. How lavishly God provides! Rosemary, SP

  5. Eileen Horan on February 28, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Ann,
    My husband Joe and I just made our first year commitment as Providence Associates this past November. It is so good to “meet” another associate through your sharing of your story. Hope we get to visit in person at the Woods someday. God bless your daily work in Georgia!

  6. Sheila Donis on February 28, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Ann, you are truly a soul sister!

  7. Theresa Tighe on March 20, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Ann, Somehow I missed this when it first ran. Maybe I needed it today. You beautifully tell the way St. Mother Theodore Guerin draws toward her and spiritual care and guidance she offers us and the comfort.

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