My Indiana! Meet our new director of Mission Advancement
Editor’s note: Meet Maureen Dickinson, the new director of Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence. In her new position she oversees fundraising as well as marketing and communications for the Sisters of Providence. Welcome Maureen!
Four months ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone. Literally. Other than when I studied abroad in Australia and a few years later studied international law at universities in London and Exeter, I have always lived in the fine state of Illinois. Originally from Chicago — Christ the King parish, as we southsiders identify by parish — my path then took me westward to my mother’s hometown of Western Springs, then to Champaign-Urbana for college, on to studying law at Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent and then to rural Oneida.
All in Illinois, I have worked in banking, in private law practices and as a fundraiser in higher education and for social service agencies.
My journey now brings me to Indiana and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, where I find many unexpected treasures. What surprises me about Vigo County? For one, turtle crossings. Yes, they are a thing.
I moved to Terre Haute in January and spent my first couple weeks “hunkering down” in quarantine. Even if you became a FaceTime or Zoom expert since the pandemic began, it can be difficult bonding with a team you have never sat across from at a table or meeting donors without shaking their hands in gratitude.
Let me tell you, the idea of following in Sister Ann Casper’s footsteps intimidated me. Yet my excitement in leading a team of marketing, communications and development professionals outweighed any nerves I felt. Our great team welcomed me with [virtual] open arms and we celebrated the day we were finally together under one roof.
Presence of God
My daily commute follows Highway 150 — which, by the way, runs just south of my family home into Galesburg if you drive west about 220 miles. The route continues along the beautiful winding Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Memorial Highway, before arriving at the very special place known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
When my husband Phil, our daughter Maggie and I arrived at the Woods, we stopped outside the Farm Store at the White Violet Center, taking in the beauty of familiar farm views and smells. We all said we could feel the presence of God here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Our drive around campus continued to impress, not just the quiet and peaceful surroundings, also the majestic motherhouse, cemeteries, spiritual landmarks and college buildings. Experiencing the Woods in person the first time assured us we made the right decision. We were called here for God’s purpose, to the right place, at the right time. I imagine Saint Mother Theodore Guerin felt that way too.