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A Providence moment with Sister Camille Neubauer

On Saturday, Aug. 8, I was walking through the cemetery. Recalling that Aug. 14, will be the first anniversary of Sister Camille’s death, the tears started to run down my face. I told her how very much I missed her and thanked her for her friendship.

When I returned to Providence Hall, I went to have my temperature checked. Each day, we are given a sticker to show we had this done. There are different kinds of stickers each day. On this day, the stickers were pictures of animals. When I saw that some stickers were giraffes, I picked that one because giraffes were Camille’s favorite animal. How nice that should happen on this particular day.

Rita O’Donohue (far left) with Sisters (from left) Donna Butler Camille Neubauer and Denise Wilkinson

Then I went to my room and played a piece of music on my phone that I like to use for prayer. A piece of music I had not googled kept popping up on the screen. I didn’t even know what music it was, as I could only see a picture of a virtual choir. Finally, I said to myself, “There must be a reason I am supposed to listen to this particular song today.” So I clicked on the picture and found out the song was “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

I felt that both of these incidents were Camille letting me know “Donna, have no fear. Camille is here.” Camille had so many friends and I think she would say this to each one, that she is still very much present in our midst.

Sister Camille Neubauer (RIP)

I am sure others of you have had such experiences with loved ones who have gone before us. Perhaps in this time of such challenge it would be good to recall and savor those Providence moments and perhaps share them with others.

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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5 Comments

  1. Sister Marianne Ridgell on August 14, 2020 at 6:28 am

    A beautiful reflection shared about the gift of a real friendship. Sister Camille was a friend to many. Her spirit and joyful presence among us brings peace and good memories of all she gave to our Community and to all those she served in her ministry. When my brother died in 1990, she was working as the Liturgy Director in his parish in Virginia. Such a consolation to help us plan his funeral. I will always be grateful for her kindness at the time of grief for us.

  2. Mary Ann Phelan, SP on August 14, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Thank you Donna, Mary Ann

    • Jeanne Kenny, S.P. on August 14, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you Donna for your heartfelt words about Camille.
      Camille and I met in 1976 as teachers
      at Mother Theodore Guerin H.S. We became friends that same year. She taught me how to play the piano and was very patient with me.
      We went on vacations and retreats together.
      I was saddened by her sudden illness and subsequent death in 2019.
      I met her mother, sisters. and brother in 1977 and subsequent years in Washington, D.C. Sister Marie Ellen and I attended her dad’s funeral in Washington, D.C.
      She had dinners with my family at our home on the northeast side of Chicago. I contimue to miss her a lot and am grateful for our friendship of 40+ years.
      I cried a lot during her wake/funeral on August 20, 2019. I am happy for her in her resurrected state reunited with her family.
      Life has changed for Camille, not ended.
      Earth has not covered her, heaven has received her. Amen

  3. Jo Ann Peters on August 14, 2020 at 11:07 am

    What a beautiful reminder from Sister Camille…one we all can use in these difficult times. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Judi Kenney on August 14, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Donna,
    Thank you for your beautiful reflection. I miss Camille every day of my life. I am surrounded by her memories. I tried to get out to see her at the woods every year. We so looked forward to our visits. I started working with Camille in 1996 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. We worked together for 6 years, and that is where our friendship started. She taught me so much and I thank God for her friendship. Camille also introduced me to the Sisters of Providence and “The Woods” I love following the Sisters of Providence Face book page and seeing all my SP Friends. Love to All

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