Home » Blog » My guide was ‘Divine Providence’

My guide was ‘Divine Providence’

Welcome Harve Schlachter!

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!

Share this:

Harve Schlachter

Harve L. Schlachter is Co-Director of the Mission Advancement Office and the Director of Development for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he worked in the Office of Institutional Advancement at the University of Saint Mary-of-the-Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He has also worked in the airline industry.

Subscribe to the blog

Sign up to receive notifications in your inbox when new content is posted on the Sisters of Providence blog. Emails will only be sent when there is new content.

Springtime Scripture

Join together to unpack the richness and beauty of the Scripture passages used during Lent, every Thursday evening from Feb.27 through April 2.

Learn more!

It's a new year. Volunteer!

Volunteer for the Sisters of Providence. It’s a great way for you to meet people, gain experience, and boost your confidence.

Explore volunteer opportunities!


  1. Carol Reuss on September 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Harve, you have big shoes to fill. Good luck. Carol Reuss

  2. Donna Butler on September 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Wow! What an amazing story! I’m sure you are a wonderful answer to Sister Ann’s prayer as she contemplated leaving her position. It seems Providence had been preparing you for this moment in time. How blessed we are to have someone already so immersed in “the Woods” and St. Mother Theodore Guerin!

    And thanks to Sister Agnes Maureen for being an integral part of your journey.

  3. S. Rita Clare Gerardot on September 19, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Harve, indeed Providence has guided your journey to your present position as director of Mission Advancement. Yes, you have a wonderful staff, so we know the great work that has been done by this department will continue under your leadership. Thanks for being open to the promptings of Providence!
    S. Rita Clare

  4. Rosemary Schmid (SMWC class of 1963) on September 19, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Your story is the most profound “let me introduce myself” message from a “newbie” that I have ever read. The Mystery of Divine Providence as lived out by those touched by their experiences at The Woods continues, and I thank God for that! Welcome!

  5. Theresa Tighe on September 19, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    The Woods, as the sister’s say is a thin place, a place where the veil between the temporal and spiritual is thin. Mother Querin continues to harvest hearts and souls there. Glad she brought you in.
    Know she will be with you in your new mission. The thin space language comes from the ancient Celts.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.