My guide was ‘Divine Providence’
My journey with the Sisters of Providence began in the summer of 2012 when I welcomed an out-of-town guest by the name of Sister Agnes Maureen Badura to University of Saint Mary-of-the-Lake/Mundelein Seminary. At that time, I was serving the seminary in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
Sister Agnes Maureen was escorted to the seminary by Father Patrick O’Malley. Father Pat, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, was a close friend of the Badura family.
I was asked to give Sister Agnes Maureen a tour of our campus and especially highlight the Immaculate Conception Chapel and explain the history of the Chapel. As we walked the seminary grounds, I was struck by what a warm and loving individual Sister Agnes Maureen was. I could not help but grow closer to her, and soon our spiritual relationship began.
Not long thereafter, Sister Agnes Maureen invited me to come to “The Woods.” I was struck by the peace and serenity that surrounds the grounds of the Sisters of Providence, from the Church of the Immaculate Conception to the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin to the beautiful Providence Hall. The day spent with Sister Agnes Maureen was a truly moving experience, and our relationship continued to grow.
Over the succeeding years, Sister Agnes Maureen and I kept in contact by phone, accompanied by the occasional visit to Terre Haute. On one visit, I made a comment to Sister Agnes Maureen and asked, “Do you know what a beautiful environment you reside in and what a very special place this is?”
She responded, “I am very blessed and this has been a special journey in my life. We have a rich history, but a very humble beginning. Everything started with the vision of Mother Theodore Guerin, and her vision has blossomed to where we are today.”
On one visit, I asked sister if we could go over to the development office. It was there that I introduced myself to Sister Ann Casper, the Executive Director of Mission Advancement and the Director of Development. I could immediately tell how proud she was of the development staff and all they had accomplished together. Perhaps that first meeting was more than a bit providential.
Two additional years passed and my visits continued with Sister Agnes Maureen. My closeness to this great institution continued to have a profound spiritual effect on me. It was true that I was connected to the Sisters of Providence through Sister Agnes Maureen, but every time I visited and then departed the gates of “The Woods,” I could not help but feel what holy and beautiful experiences these were.
Six years had passed since my initial visit with Sister Agnes Maureen and I found myself becoming closer and closer to the Sisters of Providence. I did not know what was stirring inside me, but I knew something – or someone – was calling, and I continued to pray and discern as to how my life journey was changing.
During this entire period, I was receiving information about the Sisters of Providence through HOPE Magazine and my visits to White Violet Center for Eco-Justice. In 2014, my family and I adopted two alpacas for our grandchildren, Sofia and Owen. Each of them selected an alpaca and now Sofia’s and Owen’s adopted “children” are the mother and father of Elise and Sam.
Fast forward to May of this year. I received a letter from Sister Ann explaining current events going on at “The Woods,” and at the end of the letter, she explained that after 17 wonderful years at the helm of Mission Advancement and Development, she was going to retire. I could hardly believe my eyes and could not believe that she would no longer be heading up this valuable ministry.
I felt the Holy Spirit moving me, and shortly thereafter, I picked up the phone to inquire about becoming Sister Ann’s replacement. In retrospect, I can now see that this calling was something that was being developed and cultivated over a several-year journey, all starting with a happenstance meeting with Sister Agnes Maureen.
Today, I can humbly say that I am blessed to lead and direct a wonderful team of professionals in Mission Advancement, as together we do our best to financially position the Sisters of Providence on solid ground for generations to come.
This would not be at all possible without Divine Providence!