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Updates from the Sisters of Providence summer 2018

New Providence Associate co-directors

Providence Associate Co-Directors Sister Sue Paweski and Debbie Dillow

The Providence Associate relationship has new leadership. Former Director Sister Diane Mason, SP, retired at the end 2017 after ministering 10 years with Providence Associates. New co-directors have been named to lead the ministry forward. The first is a familiar face. Providence Associate Debbie Dillow has stepped into the new role of co-director after serving as assistant director for the past six years. Sister Susan Paweski, SP, will be joining her as co-director. Sister Sue has been a Sister of Providence since 1998. Her current ministry is as a fine arts teacher at St. Genevieve School, in Chicago. She will move full-time into the Providence Associate co-director role in June.

 Teacher Sharing Session

Providence Associate Bonnie Wilson

“This is a safe place for them [teachers] to talk and to share and to be with one another to get out their feelings and fears,” Sister Jan Craven, SP, told the local newspaper about the Teacher Sharing Session held on Feb. 27 at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Several area teachers and administrators attended the forum where they gathered in support and shared their concerns. Providence Associate candidate and Rockville Jr. Sr. High School teacher, Beth Duley, told a local television station, “We’re tired of worrying, we’re tired of being afraid, we’re tired of nothing changing.” The Sisters of Providence agreed to host the event when Providence Associate Bonnie Wilson got the idea at church when she overheard two teachers discuss the school shooting.


Thank you to all who responded to our annual phonathon. With your support we have raised over $141,000! This support makes a difference for our ministries and our sisters who are retired. If you have not yet been able to return your phonathon gift, it’s not too late! You can still send in your gift or give us a call if you need a new envelope.
Thank you for your support!

Welcome Sister My Huong!

Sister My Huong Pham, SP

The Sisters of Providence officially welcome Sister My Huong Pham, SP, to the Congregation. She transferred her vows as a Catholic religious sister to the Sisters of Providence on Feb. 25, 2018, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister My Huong is a native of Bien Hoa, Vietnam. She entered the Vietnamese Dominican Sisters Congregation in 1991. As a Dominican, Sister My Huong ministered as a teacher, school administrative assistant and a missionary in poor suburban and rural areas. She has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in theology from St. John University in Minnesota.

Sister My Huong began the process of transferring to the Sisters of Providence three years ago. She currently is completing residency training in Clinical Pastoral Education at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.

Sister My Huong says she anticipates her transition “bringing forward more fullness in my life by spreading love, mercy, and justice to the brokenness of this world.”

Partnership proves fruitful

Thanks to a partnership between the Sisters of Providence and Flaherty and Collins, Indianapolis a building in downtown Terre Haute is getting a makeover. The Lighthouse Mission, located at 1201 S. 13th St., was one of several structures in the State of Indiana to receive federal tax credits by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority earlier this year. The Miller Parrot Lofts project, as it is now called, will include 42 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments in addition to 11,000 square feet of office space. The General Council said they look forward to working with Flaherty and Collins on the project to provide housing for those in need in Terre Haute.

Together in Mission – Wall of honor

We Sisters of Providence know that without you our donors, volunteers and other supporters, we could not bring forth the mission God has given us. So we are honoring all you do to keep God’s mission alive. We’ve dedicated a wall in Providence Hall to honor all who share in this mission with us. The wall and open book bear the names of all benefactors who have donated to make our mission possible. The wall also celebrates our volunteers and the ministries and special events friends like you make possible.

Health Clinic established at the Woods

The Sisters of Providence and their employees, along with students, faculty and staff of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, welcomed the official opening of a Health Services Clinic on January 8. The clinic, a partnership with Union Health Group, offers physical exams, immunizations/flu shots, health assessments and treatments, screenings and counseling for sexually transmitted diseases and more. The clinic is located on the first level of the west side of Rooney Library and its official grand opening was Friday, January 12.

Making mats for the homeless

Providence Associate Karen Sagraves shows how the mats can be carried.

Several Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates and others have taken part in a project for the homeless since the fall of 2017. Mats for the Homeless originated with women at Central Christian Church in Terre Haute. Many sisters meet with them at the church from time to time to participate in cutting up plastic bags which eventually became “plarn,” or plastic yarn. Sister Paula Damiano said the “plarn” is tied together to make plarn skeins, which resemble skeins of yarn. After that, the plarn skeins are crocheted into mats, which are distributed annually during the homeless count in January. It takes 700-1000 bags and approximately 100 hours to make each six-foot sleeping mat. So far 42 plastic mats have been created and donated.

Foley Park Pavers

Foley Park is a pleasant, grassy area at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods at the former site of Foley Hall. This peaceful area is located in front of Providence Spirituality & Conference Center and not far from the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Foley Park has two walkways made up of beautiful stones that can be engraved to help you honor and remember those you love.

All those memorialized or honored with a Foley Park Paver will automatically be enrolled in the Blessed Sacrament Association, where they are prayed for daily by the sisters in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. A mass is offered in the Church of the Immaculate Conception once a month for those enrolled.

To learn more about Foley Park Pavers or to place an order, please call 812-535-2800 or visit
Want your paver placed this fall?
Order by July 1!

Blast from the past:

High school juniors from 1965-66 at the aspirancy (a high school for women considering becoming a Sisters of Providence) in its last year of operation at Foley Hall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Who do you know?

Can you find:
Sister Mary Montgomery?
Sister Marge Funke?
Providence Associate Mel Marino Wolff?




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

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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