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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski: What it means to be a Catholic sister today

Note: Today marks the beginning of Catholic Sisters Week, which concludes on March 14, 2020. During the week, many sisters will share here on our blog what being a sister means to them. Our General Superior, Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, has written the first of such blog posts below.

We Sisters of Providence have an expression – that life and mission are one. My life as a Catholic sister today is intrinsically tied to the mission of Jesus. It is lived out in community with other people who have that same desire. And it is strengthened by living a vowed life that is grounded in the belief in a living and loving Provident God.

Sister Editha Ben (left), Sister Delan Ma (center) and Sister Dawn Tomaszewski.

My commitment as a woman religious gives me the opportunity to return the love that has been so freely given to me and to devote myself to Jesus’ mission to “preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” (Isaiah 61:1).

For Sisters of Providence today, Jesus’ mission is expressed in our own mission statement, which calls us to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. Hopefully, we live out this mission joyfully – from that deep place of knowing that the promises of God will be fulfilled. We are inspired by our foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, whose steadfast trust in God continues to remind us to lean with all our weight on Providence.

Laughing it up are Sister Claire Hanson, Providence Associate Sheila Donis and Sister Teresa Costello.

I entered the Sisters of Providence in the wake of the changes of Vatican Council II and have deeply integrated the council’s call to be Christ in the world and to recognize that all God’s people are called to holiness. I see Catholic sisters as needing to continue to be open to change, to go where the needs of God’s people call them and to bond with one another in meeting those needs.

Like all people, my life has had its shares of ups and downs, but my life as a Sister of Providence has filled me with so much joy and given me so many opportunities to share my gifts with others and to receive the blessings that come in the sharing. My sisters and our associates invigorate me for whatever might lay ahead. I hope we will be about creating more inclusive and loving communities, about being God’s Providence – God’s loving care – to a world in need.

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Sister Dawn Tomaszewski

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski was elected General Superior of the Sisters of Providence in 2016. She has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. Previously she ministered as a teacher, as communication and development director for the sisters and their ministries and as a member of elected leadership on the general council of the Sisters of Providence.

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