Surprised and delighted at the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Dinner
On June 2, the general officers of the Sisters of Providence hosted our annual Saint Mother Theodore Dinner, an evening which honors all our benefactors and allows us to express our gratitude for their gifts of time, prayer, skills, expertise and resources. You can read more about the 2018 Queen Amelia, Sarah and Joseph Thralls and Mother Theodore Companions Award winner recipients.
This blog will focus on my own incredible experience that night. At the end of August, I will be retiring, so obviously I knew that this was my last of 16 dinners which I had been involved in as director of the Mission Advancement Office.
Well wishers expressed their gratitude to me throughout the evening and “warned” me that I will be so busy in retirement that I will wonder how I ever had time to work full-time!
As the evening progressed and neared its completion, it became apparent that the focus was shifting to me! Through the years, I have praised my staff for their incredible passion for, and dedication to, our mission and for their creativity and professional skills. Now I must add that they are also masters of deceit, of conniving and of the art of keeping secrets — and all with the knowledge of our leadership team. Who knew?
They even engaged my sister-in-law, whom I knew planned to attend, to join their deceptive plots, having her invite my nephew and family for the event and totally surprising me. At the end of the evening, I was expecting to see a White Violet Center video, although the day before I had voiced my puzzlement as to why we were waiting to the very end of a long evening to show a video! All I got by way of reply was. “Well, that’s what Sister Dawn wants.”
After brief remarks by Sister Denise Wilkinson, former general superior and now staff member in the Mission Advancement office, during which she revealed that my staff was about to pull one over on me, video-showing-time arrived. Splashed across the large screen, with appropriate music, was the message, “This is Your Life.”
(You can view the video here).
There followed baby pictures, family photos through the years, ministry photos, and several tributes to me from the general officers and others who were asked to say a few words. This latter portion of the video was very humbling and, at times, I wondered just who the speaker was talking about!
I’m not even sure why I am sharing all this here, except to say that the pleasure of advancing the mission of the Sisters of Providence for the last 17 years has been my privilege.
I have been gifted beyond measure with wonderful relationships and incredible support! As stated in Luke 38, “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over has been poured into my lap.” Praise Providence!
What a wonderful video tribute! Thank you, Sister Ann, not only for the 17 years you’ve devoted to Mission Advancement, but for the lifetime of service you’ve given to the Sisters of Providence and the countless lives you’ve touched through them. Enjoy your retirement, but as many of your tributes mentioned, I doubt that it will be long because you are a “Doer”! I personally will miss those little notes you’ve added to your wonderful “Thank You” letters. They have meant much in this increasingly impersonal world. God Bless!
And praise Providence for you, dear Ann. Although it is going to happen, I have difficulty imagining the OMA without you. And the best is yet to come, of that you can be sure. with grateful love, Paula