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Twenty-three make commitment as Providence Associates

Providence Associates 2018. From bottom row, left: Richard Kennel, Kathryn Martin, Stephanie Downing, Ursula Penrose, Mary Ellen Wieland, Mary Lou Petrisko, Diane Gardner. Second row from left: Donna Liszewski, Sharon Woods, Nancy Olson, Starletta Schipp, Julie Mansard, Nancy Dannels, Sharon Rodriguez, Providence Associate Co-director Sister Susan Paweski. Back row from left: Providence Associate Co-Director Debbie Dillow, Elaine Osborne, Pearlette Springer, Kate Childs Graham, Sherrie Mansfield, Julia Lopez-Kaley, Carri O’Donnell, Adrienne Bates-Brown, Candace Minster. Not pictured, Kevin Buchanan.

Twenty-three people recently deepened their relationship with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Indianapolis residents Pearlette Springer and Mary Ellen Wieland, were joined by Terre Haute residents Stephanie Downing, Richard Kennel, Julie Mansard, Candace Minster and D. Elaine Pies Osborne; Greenwood, Indiana, resident Adrienne Bates-Brown; Mount Rainier, Maryland, resident Katherine Childs Graham; Park Forest, Illinois, resident Nancy Dannels; Plainfield, Indiana, resident Diane Gardner; St. Petersburg, Florida, resident Donna Liszewski; St. Paul, Minnesota, resident Julia Lopez-Kaley; West Terre Haute, Indiana, resident Sherrie Mansfield; Eagle River, Wisconsin, resident Kathryn Martin; Westfield, Indiana, resident Carri O’Donnell; Champaign, Illinois, resident Nancy Olson; Bloomington, Indiana, resident Ursula Penrose; Evansville, Indiana, resident Mary Lou Petrisko; Winthrop, Massachusetts, resident Sharon Rodriguez; Middletown, Indiana, resident Starletta Schipp; Sacramento, California, resident Kevin Buchanan; and Jasonville, Indiana, resident Sharon Woods made the commitment as Providence Associates with the Sisters of Providence.

Co-Director of Providence Associates, Sister Susan Paweski, said in order to become a Providence Associate, a candidate is paired with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion and then goes through a year of study, prayer and reflection.

“They both commit to praying and meeting on a regular basis to unfold the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Susan said. “A binder of materials, the Spiritual Integration Units, provides the background, spirituality and mission of the Congregation.”

Mary Wieland said becoming a Providence Associate was a “natural step in a life shaped by the Providence Community.”

“I have been surrounded by warmth, love and understanding support,” Mary continued. “This process is what you make it. I chose to dig in with readings, reaching out to (her companion, Providence Associate Rita Edwards) and others within the beautiful world of Providence, and visits to ‘The Woods’ for continued sustenance and nurturing.

“I have learned that a life lived in accordance with Providence is a life dedicated to our Lord and the wonderful world around us. We embrace our Mother Earth and every single individual as being worthy of our love and charism.”

Pearlette added she has always had a beautiful relationship with the sisters and that is why she wanted to become an associate.

“I have always felt close to the Sisters of Providence since I met them several years ago,” Pearlette said. “Becoming a Providence Associate just formalizes the relationship.”

Ursula Wieland Penrose said she is grateful for the opportunity to become a Providence Associate.

“The support of the Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates through my spiritual journey has changed my life,” Ursula said. “Providence brought me here to the Woods and Saint Mother Theodore has been a true spiritual guide through the experience.”

Sister Susan said the Nov. 10 commitment ceremony brought the total of Providence Associates to more than 270 in the United States and Taiwan.

This year, 19 began their journey as Candidate-Associates. The associate relationship is open to all people of faith, ages 18 and older.

If you feel called to explore the Providence Associate relationship, learn more at ProvidenceAssociates.org or contact Co-Director Debbie Dillow at 317-250-3294 or by email at ddillow@spsmw.org. or Sister Susan at 312-909-7492 or by email at spaweski@spsmw.org.

About the Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.

Media contact

For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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