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Where will faith lead this community of Providence?

Note: As we celebrate the Sisters of Providence Foundation Day, Oct. 22, Providence Associate Debbie Dillow shares with us.

One hundred eighty-three years ago, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her five companions stepped onto the grounds of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

They stepped into a dense wooded area after their long journey from France only to see nothing but trees. This did not deter them. Their journey was built on a foundation of faith that Providence would lead and provide.

And on that foundation of faith we stand today, a community of Providence. Built by the faith and fortitude of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her five companions as well as all the Sisters of Providence who have gone before us, who are with us now, and who will continue to build this community in the future.

A new way to live the mission

Sixteen years ago, the Providence Community added a new level to this foundation. The Providence Associate relationship was formed to build and grow the mission of the Sisters of Providence. This mission of love, mercy and justice could be lived out in areas where the sisters could not be. As people of Providence, the Providence Associates continue to share the mission in our local communities, joining with Mother Theodore and all Sisters of Providence who have helped strengthen this foundation of faith.

Where will faith lead this community of Providence in the future?

“The way is not year clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful.” (Excerpt from Journals and Letters of Mother Theodore Guerin). As our community grows with sisters and associates, we pray that Providence will continue to provide and guide decisions for the future.

Led in faith by our saint

Our dear Saint Mother Theodore continues to guide this community of faith. Her belief and trust in Jesus and Mary were strong. She has left a strong foundation that will continue to lead the Providence Community into the future, unknown as it may be. “Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us.” (Excerpt from Journals and Letters of Mother Theodore Guerin).

Mother Theodore believed strongly that God would provide. May we continue to live that strong belief and faith that Mother Theodore had.

As community of Providence, let us join in the prayer that unites us all: The Prayer of Reunion.

The Prayer of Reunion

We unite with all our sisters a nd all who share the charism of Providence, wherever they may be, to praise you, our living God, present to us in your Word, Jesus Christ, holy, wise, humble, amiable and merciful.

We give, we consecrate and immolate ourselves to you and your loving service.

Deign, O God, to send your Spirit to receive, possess, purify, enlighten and sanctify our hearts.

O Divine Jesus, keep us yours always.


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Debbie Dillow

Debbie Dillow

Providence Associate Debbie Dillow is the co-director of the Providence Associate relationship. She is the mother of two grown children and grandmother to four. Debbie holds holds bachelor's and master's degrees in media arts and science from Indiana University and a certificate in applied computer science from Purdue University. She also has a master’s in pastoral theology from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She and her husband, Bob, live in Pittsboro, Indiana.

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  1. Avatar Marilyn Rausch on October 22, 2023 at 8:31 am

    May God continue to bless this Providence Community with the strength and faith that St. Mother Theodore and her companions embodied in their journey into the unknown. We do not know where our paths will lead us, except that by following that path laid out by Providence we will never walk alone! Happy Foundation Day!!!

  2. Avatar Paula Modaff on October 22, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Debbie, thank you for your timely reflection. Yes, our Associates can be Providence where the sisters are unable to be. Happy Foundation Day indeed.

  3. Avatar Debbie Griffey on October 25, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you, Debbie. “Built by faith and fortitude”. True words that epitomize the lasting legacy St. Mother Theodore and her Sisters built and that continue to nourish and flourish in these Woods. Well said, Debbie.

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