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Sister Jessica Vitente professes first vows

For Sister Jessica Vitente, Saturday, August 14, 2021, almost seems like a blur.

Sister Jessica, a native of Pomona, California, entered the Congregation on September 10, 2018. And on Saturday, August 14, she professed first vows as a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, during a celebration in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister Jessica Vitente on the day of her vows

“The liturgy and day happened so fast,” Sister Jessica admitted. “And I am grateful for all the prayers, love, support and graces to keep myself grounded. They allowed me to not fly too fast up to the mountaintop.”

Prior to her first experience with the Sisters of Providence, Sister Jessica had graduated from Mount San Antonio College with an associate’s degree in accounting. She has also received a bachelor’s degree in human development from California State University, Long Beach.

Sister Jessica first became aware of the Sisters of Providence during the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, California, in 2015. After visiting Saint Mary-of-the-Woods later during a Come and See Retreat, Sister Jessica knew she was on the correct path.

And three years of discerning allowed her to realize becoming a woman religious with the Sisters of Providence was the additional fit for her identity. Now that she has professed first vows, she begins a new path toward profession of perpetual vows.

“I feel a deeper and continued peaceful joy after proclaiming my public commitment in front of my Sisters, family and friends,” she said. “The feelings are indescribable. After a couple of weeks, I feel a continued wholesomeness and completion.

Sister Dawn, left, joins those gathered in applauding Sister Jessica after her vows.

“I have said, ‘Yes, I want to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.’ I am called to a prophetic life to live and share love, mercy and justice with the people I encounter. I want to deeply listen to my Provident God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”

Following the profession of first vows, a Sister can renew the vows for one, two or three years at a time. The Sister also regularly meets with a mentor and continues to live with other Sisters while ministering. The final year prior to profession of perpetual vows is called the Tertianship, a year that includes engagement with other Sisters, reading, reflecting, community living, service and a 30-day retreat.

“We are always welcoming new women who wish to join in our mission,” said Sister Jenny Howard, a member of the Congregation Leadership. “The purpose of this Congregation is to honor Divine Providence and to further God’s loving plans by devoting ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people.

“We’re very blessed to have new members so that together we can carry forward God’s mission in our world.”

Currently, Sister Jessica serves as the Catholic Campus Minister at the University of Evansville through the Diocese of Evansville.

“I will continue to live with Sister Mary Mundy, SP, in our little local community in Evansville, Indiana; and continue to deepen my relationships with local Providence Associates,” Sister Jessica said. “Now that I have professed first vows, it feels so good to immerse myself into the next step.”

Would you like to learn more about life as a Sister of Providence? Visit our website or contact Sister Joni Luna, Sisters of Providence Vocation Director at 361-500-9505 or via email at jluna@spsmw.org.

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Jason Moon

Jason Moon serves as media relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. Previously, he spent more than 16 years in the newspaper industry.
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For inquiries or information, contact Jason Moon at jmoon@spsmw.org or 812-535-2810.

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