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Newsnotes: winter 2019 updates from the Sisters of Providence

Welcome Jessica!

We are so blessed! Jessica Vitente of California officially entered the Sisters of Providence as a postulant Sept. 10, 2018. Here Jessica shows off the key to her new home at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods during a welcoming ceremony. Sister Jeanette Lucinio, SP, who accompanied her on her journey, is at left and General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, SP, is at right.

Baby Ruth

This fall we welcomed a new baby (cria) to our herd of alpacas. Providence Ruth was born to dam Providence Theodora (Dora) and herd sire Providence Joseph on Sept. 9. Ruth was named in honor of White Violet Center’s artist in residence Sister Ruth Johnson, SP, pictured right. Plan a visit for spring, when Ruth will be joined by several new crias. Four alpacas are currently expecting fuzzy bundles of joy.

Sisters honored by Providence High School New Lenox

(From left) Sisters Andre Panepinto, Rosemary Ward, Dawn Tomaszewski, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Lois Ann Stoiber and Maureen Fallon all traveled to New Lenox, Illinois, on Sept. 23 to accept the Cor Unum Award from Providence High School. The award is given to those who have provided service and who embody, “One in ministry, one in mission, one in family.”

The sisters received the award for their dedication to the school where they began teaching in 1918, with only a couple weeks’ notice, and continued into the 1980s. An endowed scholarship was established in the sisters’ name. For more information on Providence High School or other schools where Sisters of Providence ministered, visit spsmw.org/about/alumni

Chicago parish honors Sister Patty Fillenwarth

Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Chicago honored Sister Patty Fillenwarth, SP, recently for her ministry.

Sister Patty received an award at her retirement party for having ministered within the parish for 42 years. During her time within the parish, Sister Patty was a teacher for one year, a principal for 13 years and also created Providence Family Services, ministering as a mental health counselor and director until the ministry closed in June 2018.

Formerly Sister Joseph Monica, Sister Patty has been a Sister of Providence for 60 years.

Sister Tracey Horan, second from right, poses with, from left, Sisters James Michael Kesterson, Mary Beth Klingel and Arrianne Whittaker at the award ceremony.

Sister Tracey Horan receives ‘Angels of Grace’ award

In September, Sister Tracey Horan, SP, center, received one of three “Angels of Grace” awards from the Sisters of St. Benedict in Beech Grove, Indiana.

Sister Tracey received the Messenger Archangel Gabriel award for her ministry as a community organizer for Faith in Indiana. Within her ministry, Sister Tracey helps lead peaceful protests and empower others to work for social justice.

Sister Tracey with the other award recipients.

“To me, this award is a celebration of all our community leaders with Faith in Indiana who daily choose faith over fear,” Sister Tracey said. “It affirms that amidst efforts by the current administration to amplify hate, the work we do of fostering connection across difference is more crucial than ever.”

Scholarship enhances life for Sister Joni Luna

Earlier this year, Sister Joni Luna, SP, received a scholarship from Giving Voice allowing her to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico, to the Instituto Cultural Spanish Language/Immersion School to enhance her education in the Spanish language. During her time at the institute, Sister Joni listened to Spanish and took part in classes for two weeks, which helped her understand the language even more. The scholarship awarded to Sister Joni — totaling $5,000 — also offered her an opportunity to learn more about her heritage.

“Having the ability to read and write Spanish helps me to reach out to those in the Hispanic community,” Sister Joni said.

Fall Farm Day

Lots of friends, both old and new, enjoyed sunny hayrides, arts and crafts, visits with the alpacas and more during our first-ever Fall Farm Day at the Woods on Sept. 30, 2018. Family fun, Sisters of Providence, history and furry friends. What more could you want!?

RIP Brittany

One of our most extraordinary alpacas, Providence Brittany, passed away Oct. 23, 2018. She was the first alpaca to be born at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, on Dec. 2, 1998.

Brittany was fond of human interaction. She would greet visitors by coming right up to them. This, of course, would thrill guests. But she was also known for occasionally spitting at humans should they hold her gaze too long! Regardless, it’s safe to say that thousands of visitors from around the country were photographed with our Brittany.

Brittany was a wonderful dam and mom. She delivered eight large and healthy crias, most of whom went to other farms. Her son, Madison, lives at White Violet Center as a permanent boarder. There will never be another Brittany!

We look forward to talking with you!

Our annual Phonathon is an exciting time for us!

It allows us to reconnect with you and thank you for past donations, to raise needed funds and to receive your prayer requests. Many sisters, Providence Associates and other faithful volunteers will be reaching out to you.

The Phonathon begins on Sunday, Feb. 10 and ends on Tuesday, Feb. 26. We will be calling on Sundays and Monday and Tuesday evenings. If you don’t hear from us, we might not have your number. Contact us today at 812-535-2800 or ma@spsmw.org to share a new number to ensure you get a call from the sisters. Thank you for partnering with us in our mission.

Growing the Providence community

We are so excited that 23 new Providence Associates made first commitments on Nov. 10, 2018 to walk more closely with the Providence community.

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.

(Originally published in the Winter 2019 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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  1. Avatar Eleanor Cranmer on January 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Am I signed up to receive your Magazine? Eleanor Cranmer

    • Amy Miranda Amy Miranda on January 14, 2019 at 9:02 am

      You are, Eleanor. These were mailed on Friday, January 11, so your copy should be coming your way soon! Take care.

  2. Avatar Pat Raia on January 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Hello, Sister Dawn – Surely you don’t remember the day that you and I went to the Chicago Catholic Press Association’s awards luncheon to accept an award on behalf of Mother Guerin’s Portals newspaper.
    Well, you’ve hit your stride doing wonderful work leading the Sisters of Providence.
    I’m still a working journalist.
    Be well.
    Pat Raia

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