Butterflies, prayers and poetry: celebrating our sisters ages 90+
On September 23, 2020, Sisters of Providence gathered from near and far via livestream to celebrate the lives of our 35 Sisters of Providence who are age 90 and over. Sisters at the Woods gathered socially distanced in three locations. Sister guests and sisters from afar joined virtually. The theme of the party was “Butterflies.” Find photos of the days celebration with our 35 celebrants here. Below is the prayer for the day as well as some poems about butterflies written by Sisters of Providence in honor of our sisters 90 years old and older.
Provident God, we gather today to celebrate lives well lived.
Like the butterfly, these women have undergone significant transformation in their lifetimes.
Ninety or more years ago, they were in your mind’s eye, but were unknown to us. And then their parents begot them. As they grew, they became more active, and like the caterpillar, they were mobile, trying to figure out where they fit and wondering what you might be asking of them. And another transformation began as they left family and home to follow you.
Those days were not always easy. Like the butterfly yet to be winged, as young sisters they were sheltered away in the cocoon of the Woods for the chrysalis stage of their postulancy and novitiate. And like the butterfly in the cocoon, they were in constant transformation…continually changing, growing, transforming, adapting…to become the women You were calling them to be.
It would be nice to think that all that transition was finished by end of novitiate. But you, O God, know that it takes a long while to shed the cocoon. Eventually, though, these women emerged as confident Sisters of Providence, ready to devote their lives to works of love, mercy, and justice.
And now they are mature butterflies. Their wings have taken them across the United States and around the globe. They are pink ladies, gossamer winged butterflies, monarchs…and though they appear delicate, their years of experience and lives of prayer and service to others have made them strong and resilient. Being around them brings smiles to our faces and lifts our spirits. Their willingness to let go and be transformed gives us the courage to be women of transformation as well.
And so, Provident God, bless these women who have done so much, been so much, are so much. Thank you for giving them the strength and the courage to be transformed in your grace. Fill them, and each of us, with the resolve to continue to embrace the risk of transformation to which each of us is called.
By Sister Katherine Francis French, SP
“Aha!” God said
Divine Artist inventing butterflies,
a delightful day of God play,
magnificent display of colors,
of possible patterns,
a touch of lightness
to the wings
yet strong enough
for a long journey.
“Aha!” God said.
By Sister Donna Butler, SP
Sipping Nectar Slowly
Pausing, Fluttering. Always Showy.
By Sister Barbara Bluntzer, SP
A Forever Friend
A swirl of color
Settles in a winged whisper
Gone yet stays with me.
By Sister Sue Paweski, SP
A tiny butterfly reveals to me the joy and vibrant colors of life.
She reminds me to hold experiences lightly and trust my Provident God. This magnificent beauty reminds me to look at the conflicting experiences in my life with more lightness and a different perspective.
Thank you for being my sacred teacher.
By Sister Joni Luna, SP