Sisters of Providence profess perpetual vows
When Sister Tracey Horan, SP, and Sister Arrianne Whittaker, SP, were introduced to the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, they found their home.
“Providence chose me, and I simply followed that call.” Sister Arrianne said. “My experience of God was reflected in how the Sisters of Providence experienced God and in how they live their mission.”
“I wanted to be part of that expansive God that I was getting to know, little by little,” Sister Tracey added. “I started to see that joining together with these faithful women could be a way to do that.”
Both Sister Tracey and Sister Arrianne professed perpetual vows with the Congregation on Saturday, August 20, during a celebrative Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
Sister Tracey, a native of Indianapolis, entered the Congregation on Sept. 8, 2014, from St. Anthony’s Parish. Sister Arrianne was born in Indianapolis, but entered the Congregation on Jan. 4, 2012, from St. Boniface Parish in Germantown, Wis.
Sister Tracey, who currently ministers as the Associate Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative, Nogales, Ariz., learned of the Sisters of Providence after deciding to become an intern at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Congregation.
She said the moment she met the Sisters of Providence, she knew she was where she needed to be.
“I saw that they were in all the places where God’s healing presence is needed,” she said. “In prisons, accompanying migrant workers, on the front lines at protests. I could see that in my life.”
Sister Tracey added that while spending time with the Sisters of Providence, she got to know more about the Congregation’s foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, which cemented her decision to become a woman religious.
“I got to know Mother Theodore’s life, and something about her drew me in,” Sister Tracey said. “I found her to be so human, so relatable. Her desire for women to be educated and to lead in their communities, the way she was real about her struggles, but also handed them over to God with such trust. That made me want to know more about the Providence Community.”
After graduating from Marquette University in 2009, Sister Arrianne’s life journey took her to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods where she began volunteering at St. Ann’s Clinic, a free health clinic which was a sponsored ministry of the Congregation. She started learning more and more about the Congregation and, like Sister Tracey, knew she had found her calling.
“I began to learn about who the Sisters of Providence were and what they stood for in this world,” she said. “I learned about all the amazing ministries they were involved in and I learned just how much they loved each other, and Mother Theodore, of course!”
Sister Arrianne recently completed medical school at Marian University in Indianapolis. While she is currently between ministries, she recently served as a doctor in residence at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis.
Sister Arrianne said learning more about the Congregation’s charism of Providence deepened her faith in her decision to become a Sister of Providence.
“We share this gift with others through works of love, mercy and justice,” Sister Arrianne said. “Through my journey, I have been told that the charism of one’s community chooses you and not the other way around. That is exactly how I felt from day one with the Sisters of Providence.”
Both Sister Tracey and Sister Arrianne feel that it is overwhelming to have professed perpetual vows, and also gratifying.
“At this time in our world, it feels more important than ever to be part of the Jesus movement,” Sister Tracey said. “It’s humbling to think of all the women who have walked this path before me and who have paved the way with their lives.”
“I feel ready to commit myself fully, and for life, to the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Arrianne said. “I have been on this journey for 10 years and I think during that time, I have grown and learned so much, all the while trying to live out our mission in my little corner of the world.”