Teen volunteer excited to share experience with others
Hello! I’m Katie Henthorn. I’m 14 years old and a freshman at Terre Haute North High School. I’d like to share how the volunteer teen ministry at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods has helped me to see my faith in a whole new light.
Though I am Catholic, I was worried for the nonreligious volunteers in my group. After all, they had never seen a real nun or even heard of the Rosary. I was so pleasantly surprised by how welcoming the sisters and residents at the Woods were and how eager they were to teach them about our customs.
Kind and respectful
I remember watching with a smile as a resident took the arm of one of our nonreligious volunteers and brought her into the Rosary chapel. Later, the volunteer mentioned how delighted she was that those in the chapel guided her and explained the meaning behind each prayer.
It was inspiring to watch the sisters connect with all of the volunteers. They were kind and respectful, and many were eager to share new skills like card games and making chocolate-covered strawberries.
Sister Joni Luna, our teen volunteer leader, included many activities and open discussions to help us connect with each other. She invited us to think about them spiritually and welcomed everyone to share their thoughts, whether religious or not.
She also led prayer in a way that everyone could easily follow or simply reflect. At mealtime, we said prayers of appreciation for the farmers and chefs that brought food to the table. Even those who were not Catholic could share their gratitude.
Sister Joni led us through the church where she explained the proper gestures and how to show respect so that everyone would feel comfortable. She even described the practices during mass so we could accompany the sisters during future services.
Seeing how accommodating and welcoming the Sisters of Providence were made me proud to be Catholic. Being a part of the community, even for a few days, left a lasting impression on me. Now, I’m excited to share this part of my life with others.
My time at the Woods was short but meaningful, and I’m eager to return soon. I have already shared my experiences with my friends, and I hope they will join me and value Providence Teen Volunteer Ministry as much as I have.
Do you know a young person ages 12-18 who would like to spend time volunteering with our elder Sisters of Providence? Learn more and sign up at TeenVolunteer.SistersofProvidence.org