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Seeking something more with the Sisters of Providence

Why are this year’s group of Providence Associate candidates seeking out something more with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and the Providence Community?

Providence Associate Candidate Paula Fike-Daum chats with another candidate during orientation.

Here is what some of the 23 new candidates who started their process with the Providence Community shared at orientation this November:


One said she felt a calling. Members of her church encouraged her to pursue the Providence Associate relationship. She said she has three young daughters and wants them to be aware of social justice needs.

Another candidate said she recently retired and was figuring out what was next. She is looking to the Providence Community for inspiration for that journey.

Another said that when a Providence Associate shared about the relationship it was like “the Holy Spirit jumped in me.” So here she is.

SP school alums

Another is a Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College graduate with a long family history with the College. She said she is inspired by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and other loving and caring Woods graduates and is here to share and learn.

Providence Associate candidates, from left, Patricia Grim and Katherine Simons Parvin chat with Providence Associate Vonda Monts at orientation in November.

Another is an alum of Sisters of Providence schools in Indianapolis and social justice has always been a part of who she was. She said she feels called home by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

Another couple knew and became close to Sister Kathleen Dede in her ministry at a Newman Center during graduate school. They said their philosophy aligns with the SPs. “Caring for the environment, looking out for the marginalized — it’s what the whole church should be doing but isn’t,” they said.

Another candidate helps lead a Federally Qualified Health Center, offering health care to the underserved. She said she hopes to grow herself through the Providence Community so she can then grow her community and serve in the best ways.

Family, work

Another is a newer staff member with the Sisters of Providence. She said she felt God led her here. She said working for the Sisters allow her gifts and talents to meet her heart and passion. She’s hoping to learn about the Providence Community on a deeper level as an associate.

Another young woman said her great aunt was a Sister of Providence and growing up she spent lots of family time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Her mom and aunt are already associates and she decided to follow the family legacy with the community.

Providence Associate Candidate Nancy Radcliff discusses details with her companion Providence Associate Connie Schnapf.

Another is a good friend of a sister who invited her. She said she always felt she needed to do more in her parish, but she never felt satisfied. She sees this as an opportunity not to just serve others, but to grow herself.


Another candidate once served on the board of the former Sisters of Providence ministry, Woods Day Care. She said she loves young people, loves life and loves helping others.

Another candidate grew up in Chicago, graduated from SMWC and recently moved into Saint Mary’s Senior Living. She ran into an old classmate who invited her to consider becoming an associate. As she prayed about it, she felt a nudge to move forward. She looks forward to serving with the Sisters of Providence.

Another candidate said a Sister of Providence helped her through her grief journey. Her kids also attended Saint Mother Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville. She said she feels that this place is special and she wants to give back.

One candidate said she was attracted to the sisters’ radical sense of hospitality and welcome and their sense of hope.

Orientation blessing: from left, Sister Barbara Bluntzer, Candidates Jessica Medley, Susan McHugh, Christina Ferroli and Sister Carole Kimes.

Another’s best friend and cousin encouraged her to apply. She has come to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and stayed there with her cousin and finds herself drawn back.


A former staff member said the sisters have remained close to her heart and coming back to the Woods was like coming home for her. She looks forward to the chance to reconnect and move forward.

Yet another candidate said she was here to deepen her relationship with Jesus and figure out what is next. She said she sees a wonderful mission with the Sisters of Providence and wants to help fulfill it.

Our wonderful candidates bless us as they join us on this journey toward deeper community and mission. The Providence Community offers our prayers for each of them on your journey in the year ahead!

See photos from Providence Associate orientation 2023 here.

Learn more about joining us in community and mission at ProvidenceAssociates.org

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Advancement Services office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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  1. Avatar Mary Montgomery on November 30, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring comments for some of our new candidate associates. All the best to each of those “stepping into” this journey!

  2. Avatar Paula Modaff, SP on December 1, 2023 at 10:53 am

    What wonderful testimonies to our legacy and mission. The Holy has blessed us beyond our expectations. It is a privilege to pray and minister with all of you Associates.

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