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Get to know Providence Associate Beverly Adams

Happy, Happy — Hello to All

Providence Associate Beverly Adams outside her west side Chicago home

Beverly Adams, PA, is my name. Love, Mercy and Justice has become my game.

I was born to proud parents Louise and John who raised me on the good old south side of Chicago. I had four siblings, two of whom are in the Upper Room with our parents. Raised and baptized Baptist, I attended church every week. If I didn’t feel well enough for church, I didn’t feel well enough to go out and play. Needless to say, I felt well each week😊. I was a junior usher. And I sang in the children’s choir. My mom so wanted God and church to be a pertinent part of my life. While in high school, I became a teenage mother. This did not waiver my spiritual upbringing. After becoming independent, I could not afford to purchase the extra clothing needed to attend church. But God had a plan.

Casual and Catholic

Friends of mine were walking to the Catholic Church down the street dressed very casually. I inquired and accompanied them the next Sunday. When I walked in, God welcomed me and began His plan. The next months, I attended with my 3-year-old daughter. On many occasions, my mother and I discussed the service, practices and the process of joining the Catholic Church. As time marched on, she saw it becoming my happy worshiping home and became more comfortable with my regular attendance.

After a while, Mother actually went to Mass. It didn’t settle too well with her that the church was quiet. She asked was it difficult for me to tone down my worship? I assured her that nothing could tone down the Spirit in my soul. Even though the physical movement was minimal, inside I am moving, rocking and joyfully praising God with raised hands. Of course, she yelled HALLELUJAH!!! Shortly thereafter, my daughter and I were baptized. I must admit, I do occasionally visit Mom’s former congregation for that less quiet church 😊.

Family and work

I thought the south side of Chicago was the greatest until I met Elmer, my husband of 40 years come Oct. 12. He introduced me to the west (best side) of Chicago and also attended Our Lady of Sorrows each week (look at God working it out). On that best west side, I married and mothered another daughter. I also had a son who was shot and killed at the young age of 17. I am a living witness that God, accompanied with lots of faith, can work out any situation. We located on the next block of St. Angela Church/School.

Oh, I also worked. I am now retired after 32 years at the Department of Human Services. My passions are international travel and reading novels that still require me to manually turn the pages, with John Grisham and Mitch Albom being my favorite authors.

Soft and godly spirit

In 1982, my children were enrolled in St. Angela School. My daughter began piano lessons and happily (unknowingly, all the happiness on the horizon), Sister Joseph Ellen Keitzer, SP, was her instructor. When communicating with her, I noticed her spirit was soft and godly. We learned there was a tuition discount if we were to become members, so we changed our parish to St. Angela’s. Sister suggested I become a lector and Eucharistic minister. She would coach me after Mass on slowing down while lecturing. I am naturally a very speedy talker but she helped to perfect my reading speed. Eventually I also instructed catechism classes.

Invited to become a Providence Associate

Sister Joseph Ellen Keitzer

I was curious about Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and Mother Theodore, who wasn’t yet canonized a saint. Sister Joseph Ellen and I had question and answer sessions about the Woods over a couple decades. In 2007, the Providence Associates were born. Sister extended an invitation, but I declined. Of course, she did not sit still but was also not overly aggressive. With the next year’s invite, I decided why not give the associates a try? My first visit to the Woods was astonishing. Once on the inside, there was a sense of peace. All of God’s disciples were welcoming, nice and full of love. That has become one of the best life-altering choices I’ve made. Orientation for becoming a Providence Associate was full of energy with a “happy you are here” atmosphere.

Surprise, Sister Jo was my companion. A group of us met monthly to discuss the Spiritual Integration Units. Sharing the units was a nice, fresh start to becoming an associate. Although we met monthly, Sister assured us her door and ears were always open. She holds true to that today. Being a Providence Associate has helped me keep in touch with my spirituality while sharing with others. I’ve also learned that this is God’s mission and I’m His handiwork. I am no longer afraid of the storms; I have learned to sail my ship better.

Joy of sharing

After my commitment as an associate, I joined monthly Chicago Circle meetings. We gather to discuss many issues. Recently, racism has been on the agenda. We placed all our thoughts on the table. And we all learned some blown-away things that had never before been brought to the forefront. Once we’ve opened our awareness, changes can begin. Maintaining closeness, reflecting and sharing can help us keep hope alive. It does a world of good to know I am not alone encountering obstacles that help me grow, learn and become a stronger disciple. The joy of sharing life’s experiences has opened my eyes. There are never any judges or jury present; that alone has been marvelous. These sessions have really proven to be key for me. Of course, there’s always great laughter and relaxation.

Life’s lessons and being a Providence Associate have helped me maintain unwavering (no one’s perfect) faith no matter who or what may rise against me. I may falter, but guess what, I know God is there to help me stand straight. I am elated that God’s plan guided me to the Sisters of Providence. What He plans, no person can unplan. HALLELUJAH!!!

Going forward, my intentions are to remain connected with the Sisters of Providence and Associates. There are not as many young women entering the order. Many sisters are aged and quite a few have gotten their wings. I am hoping the Providence Associate numbers will continue to increase as our invitations are accepted and as we continue to lead by example. I want us to continue Mother Theodore’s legacy of Love, Mercy and Justice.

Might God be calling you to something more as a Providence Associate? Learn more about the Providence Associates of the Sisters of Providence!

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Beverly Adams

Beverly Adams has been a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence since 2008. She and her husband Elmer live on Chicago's west side. Beverly is retired after 32 years at the Department of Human Services.

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9 Comments

  1. Jeanne Hagelskamp, SP on August 26, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Thank you, Beverly, for sharing your story with us. You are such an inspiration! We are blessed to have you among us!

  2. Stephen Modde on August 26, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Your autobiography certainly uplifted my spirit! You have a way of writing that touches my heart. Your journey reminds us that the Lord works in mysterious ways and we must keep strong faith to find renewed life. I concur with your thoughts about the SPs, Associates and the Woods. I‘ve met you by Zoom and look forward to meeting you in person!

  3. Mary Montgomery on August 26, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Beverly, thank you so much for this wonderful, in depth sharing of your life/faith journey! Thank you for sharing your abundance of gifts with the world and with us, and especially, Love, Mercy and Justice!

  4. Maureen Abbott, SP on August 26, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Wow! The trite-sounding phrase doesn’t really capture my delight at reading your blog, Beverley! So good to know you and be grateful that you are such a vital part of our Providence community.

  5. Marsha A. Speth on August 26, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you, Beverly! I really enjoyed reading your story! God clearly is working in your life and I admire your wonderful faith! Praise God for bringing us together in this Providence community!!

  6. Sister Connie Kramer, SP on August 26, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    What a powerful witness to GOd’s Providence Beverly! Thank you for such an inspiring story of oyu journey with your Provident God.

  7. Donna Butler on September 1, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Beverly, thank you for sharing how God has worked in your life despite obstacles on the journey.
    I look forward to meeting you!

  8. S. Denise Wilkinson on September 9, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Beverly, it is so good to reconnect with you via this blog. Thank you for such a forthright telling of the story of how Providence has guided you.

  9. Donna Watzke on September 21, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Beverly, I loved reading your story. your HALLELUJAH put me into a happy dance. I look forward to meeting you sometime.

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