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We need their love for God: sisters influence former student’s lifework

Fourth graders at St. Paul School in Valparaiso, Indiana, shown here with their teacher Kathy (Finley) Olson, back center, were just one of the many classes to create cards and send donations to the Sisters of Providence.

“I don’t think I would be the woman I am today if I hadn’t had the experience I did with the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Kathy (Finley) Olson teaches fourth grade at St. Paul School in Valparaiso, Indiana. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 1975 with an elementary education degree.

Kathy said she wasn’t on the Catholic School’s Week committee at her school this year. But she was thrilled that the Sisters of Providence were chosen as the Congregation to support. She asked a committee member why the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sisters were chosen.

“‘We chose them because of you,’ she was told. ‘You always brag about them, so we decided to choose those sisters,’” Kathy said.

A great influence

“I have always said the Sisters of Providence were such a great influence on me as far as being an independent woman. They were very alive in the community and they shared themselves with us. They cared about the poor. And they cared about us. I just had a fabulous experience at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College largely because of them,” Kathy said.

Kathy was happy to share about the importance of religious sisters with her class.

“I think when sisters speak people listen, because they know the sisters are speaking out because they truly care about the welfare of other people. We need their point of view and their support and their love for God and Jesus and others in the world.”

(Originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Mission Advancement office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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