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Congregation COVID-19 update

Many thanks to Physician Assistant Sister Barbara Battista, SP, and Clinical Care Coordinator Beth Collins, RN, both shown here suited up for COVID-19 testing, for all their work on keeping sisters and staff at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods as safe as possible from COVID-19.

As you may know, the Sisters of Providence had an outbreak of COVID-19 at the motherhouse in January 2021. Thankfully, we were able to quickly bring the virus and its spread under control. We thank you for your prayers at that time and are now happy to report that we are virus free.

During the outbreak, many of the sisters who tested positive were isolated in a special unit of Providence Health Care (PHC) at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Our COVID-19 task force continued to cooperate with officials at the Indiana State Department of Health and Vigo County Health Department while following protocols from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Since the outbreak, nearly all sisters and Congregation employees have now received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. And thanks to a generous donation, all sisters and Congregation employees participated in three rapid testing events between the Moderna vaccine doses. The rapid testing helped our task force continue to monitor the outbreak and resulted in a decrease of positive results, eventually dwindling to none.

Again, we thank you for your support and concerns. Let us continue to pray for one another as we all navigate the impact of this dreadful virus, especially those who are mourning the loss of someone they love.

“Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us.” — Saint Mother Theodore Guerin


Earth Day every day

Although we couldn’t gather for our annual Earth Day celebration this year, the staff at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) got creative. With a different theme each week during April, the WVC team spent the month educating others using articles, videos and social media posts about restoring our Earth. Areas covered included land, animals, food and climate change. The month concluded with information on how you can make a difference in your community. Learn more about the celebration here.


Transitions in Mission Advancement

Diane Weidenbenner has transitioned to a new position within the Mission Advancement office for the Sisters of Providence. After some department restructuring, Diane now serves as the Congregation’s Annual Fund and Donor Relations Manager. In this role she relates to many donors. Diane has worked for the Sisters of Providence for nearly 16 years, previously in marketing.

Diane says she is looking forward to the challenges of the new position. “I love my new position,” Diane said. “It allows me to continue sharing sisters’ stories while offering people an opportunity to become and continue to be partners in our mission. I love talking with our friends, supporters and donors as well as working more closely with sisters and volunteers.

“Our donors are so faithful and invested in furthering Mother Theodore’s legacy through sisters’ ministries and our mission,” she said.


Plan ahead. Reserve one of our three hermitages.

Plan a visit and stay in one of our picturesque hermitages on the beautiful grounds of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Surround yourself with nature while still enjoying access to amenities. Each hermitage has a fully equipped kitchen, linens and towels. There is WiFi available if you don’t want to completely detach from society. The cost is $70 for one person and $92 for two or more, per night, plus tax. These bungalows book up fast so reserve your stay soon. Call 812-535-2946 for more information and availability.


One high school alumnae association’s contributions kickstart a new one

When the Alumnae Association of Providence High School in Chicago disbanded in 2020, its members generously donated their fund balance to the Sisters of Providence. The sisters plan to use these funds to jumpstart new alumni initiatives. In particular we will be reactivating the Guerin Alumni Association, which serves alumni from Mother Theodore High School, Holy Cross High School and Guerin College Preparatory High School, which recently closed. Several alumni have stepped forward to get involved in the new Guerin Alumni Association. All are invited to join us for an organizational meeting via Zoom on Saturday, May 22 at 2 p.m. (EDT). Contact Maureen Dickinson, director of mission advancement, at mdickinson@spsmw.org or 812-535-2801 for the Zoom meeting invite.


(Originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Casey Kellum

Casey is the Graphic Design & Digital Media Manager for the Sisters of Providence. Prior to that she served ten years in the Air National Guard. Casey graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a degree in Graphic Design.

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