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Sisters of Providence dedicate Havlik Center

Family members of Sister Terese Marie Havlik (RIP) tour the Havlik Center with Sister Dawn Tomaszewski (left) and Sister Mary Beth Klingel (third from left). The center was officially dedicated on July 7.

A providential moment opened the flood gates for the latest ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Sister Mary Beth Klingel, general councilor for the Sisters of Providence, said that the cold winter two years ago froze some pipes in Providence Hall and one broke, damaging an area used frequently by the sisters for various activities.

“That’s when the whole project came to be,” Sister Mary Beth said.

The “project” became the Havlik Center, which was officially dedicated on July 7.

Named in memory of Sister Terese Marie Havlik, who passed away in July 2018, the center was created through a generous gift from Sister Terese Marie’s family, who both wanted to honor Sister Terese Marie and her dedication to the service of others as well as provide a place for those who, like Sister Terese Marie, might be struggling with cognitive brain changes.

The center is intended as a place where the well-being of sisters and others, particularly those with physical and cognitive challenges, can be promoted and enhanced. It includes a large multi-purpose area with tables and chairs for educational activities, games and celebrations, adjacent to a kitchen on one side and a quiet room or den on the other. A wide variety of engagement opportunities are already taking place there and in September, a Memory Café activity will be open to the public.

A Memory Café is a welcoming place where people living with early to moderate dementia, together with their care partners or others can gather together to laugh, learn and remain socially connected with others walking the same journey. Beginning in September, the Congregation will offer the Memory Café to the public on a monthly basis from 2 to 4 p.m.

Currently, the center includes many scheduled activities, such as chair yoga, drumming and art experiences. Spontaneous, drop-in visits are also encouraged. An interactive computer system, the iN2L (It’s Never Too Late) is a main feature of the room.

“It’s a multifaceted system designed for seniors,” said Katie Harich, MA, CPC, who serves as the Congregation’s Well-Being coordinator. “With its thousands of applications and programs on every topic imaginable, the computer system has something for everyone. It’s easy-to-operate, touch-screen feature is especially attractive to caregivers of adults living with dementia.

“The Havlik Center provides a comfortable, stimulating, home-like space for all to gather, connect, create and participate in events and opportunities that enhance well-being.”

Through a partnership with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, students majoring in music therapy, art therapy and equine therapy can receive credit for service at the center. The Congregation benefits from their presence and work with our elders.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Harich said. “I love how progressive this Congregation is. This center provides meaningful engagement for seniors. Too much isolation can be deadly.”

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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