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Seventeen make commitment as Providence Associates

Our new Providence Associates (front row, from left) Kathy Sternal, Gloria Morgan, Josephine Carbonaro, Michelle Barrentine, Kay Hassan and Providence Associates Co-Director Sister Sue Paweski, (second row) Karen Maynard, Wanda Barney, Jan Showalter, Carol Sloan and William Okey, (third row) Mary Catherine Chlipala, Jessica Claycomb, Kathy Shickles, Jane Moss, and Stephen Modde, (back row) Providence Associates Co-Director Debbie Dillow. Not pictured: Debbie Fornefeld.

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

On Saturday, Nov. 9, Jessica Claycomb, Carol Sloan and Kathy Sternal, all from Terre Haute, Indiana; were joined by Jan Showalter of Muncie, Indiana; Karen Maynard and Kathy Shickles, both from Indianapolis; Stephen Modde of Chicago; Khadija (Kay) Hassan of Georgetown, Texas; Gloria Morgan of Jasper, Indiana; Jane Moss of Darien, Illinois; William Okey of Newburgh, Indiana; Wanda Barney of Westville, Indiana; Michelle Barrentine of San Antonio, Texas; Josephine Carbonaro of Medford, Massachusetts; Mary Catherine Chlipala of English, Indiana; and Debbie Fornefeld of Fishers, Indiana, in making 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 Catherine Chlipala said an article in her local newspaper was what led her to become a Providence Associate.

“I sent an email and started a dialogue,” Mary Catherine said. “For me, being a Providence Associate means that I am in a close relationship with the Sisters. I believe in their mission of Love, Mercy, and Justice.”

After the death of her sister, Kathy Shickles said she needed more spirituality in her life. She began attending small group meetings at one of the Sisters of Providence ministries in Indianapolis, Miracle Place, and continued on in her journey to become a Providence Associate.

“I started attending Miracle Place Circle and appreciated the fellowship,” Kathy said. “My companion (Sister Connie Kramer) and I read as much as I could about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her life ministry.

“I am not Catholic, but I am Christian. The sisters were warm and welcoming to me and I knew they shared qualities that would deepen my faith journey,” Kathy continued.

For Jane Moss, becoming a Providence Associate brought her back to the Congregation as she was taught by many Sisters of Providence in grade school and high school.

“This was a way to connect back to those roots,” Jane said. “I have been able to deepen my own spirituality, and I expect that it will continue to grow. Being a Providence Associate will give me the opportunity to walk the path with the Sisters of Providence in their mission of Love, Mercy, and Justice. I want to bring this into my daily life.”

Jan Showalter said when she was younger, she considered entering religious life. But life took a different path, so becoming a Providence Associate brought her back to that calling.

“I always leave (Saint Mary-of-the-Woods) feeling reenergized about life,” Jan said. “I feel like I will be living my dream!”

Carol Sloan’s companion was Sister Kay Kelly. She said Providence brought her to the Sisters of Providence.

“It is with joy in my heart that I begin this new chapter in my journey,” Carol said. “Sister Kay and I have learned a great deal about each other and have shared the many likenesses and differences in our lives.”

Michelle Barrentine said she hopes becoming a Providence Associate “means I have another avenue to continue to improve my spiritual life.”

“My companion (Sister Carolyn Kessler) and I have a wonderful relationship and it was easy to talk about the topics within the spiritual units,” Michelle continued.

The Nov. 9 commitment ceremony brought the total of Providence Associates to more than 285 in the United States and Taiwan.

In October, 24 women and men began their journey towards becoming Providence Associates next year. 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 here or contact co-directors Debbie Dillow at 317-250-3294 or ddillow@spsmw.org or Sister Susan at 312-909-7492 or 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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