Providence Juniorate (Aspirancy) Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana
Another successful reunion event in the books!
The 2017 version of a good time was had by all at the Providence Juniorate/Aspirancy reunion. The informal event in the parlors of LeFer Hall saw hugs, tears, laughter and non-stop chatting. Many, having gotten their “second wind” after their travel fatigue, seemed to come alive at the sight of a classmate whom they hadn’t seen in several years!
The next day began with a continental breakfast in the O’Shaughnessy lobby where conversations continued from the previous night with joyous hugs and squeals when a new registrant appeared. The formal portion of the event began with a welcome from Sisters Ann Casper (’56) and Mary Beth Klingel (’64). Sister Dorothy Rasche (’59) presented an overview of her ministry, The Connecting Link, and Sister Joseph Fillenwarth (’54) talked about her ministry, Providence Food Pantry. Due to a torrential downpour, the group posed inside the church for a group photo after Mass. A luncheon buffet was accompanied by outbreaks of singing and, of course, much more chatting and laughing as these alumnae reminisced.
The afternoon session saw several alumnae taking the microphone to talk about their work or to share a school memory, which included a group performing the Irish Jig! Speaking of memories, the table of memories was a wonderful visual arcade sparking conversations of people, places and events. The quilt raffle was very successful having raised $171 each for The Connecting Link and Providence Food Pantry. The happy winner of the beautiful quilt crafted by Sister Luch Lechner (’51) was Joan Hartwell Townsend (’68). The day closed as Sister Mary Fran Keusel (’56) with the assistance of Sister Lucy Nolan, led the group in a very touching closing reflection.
Put it on your calendars – the next reunion is June 26, 2020!
Keep in touch on Facebook!
The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Providence Juniorate/Aspirancy has an active group on Facebook and is managed by Barb Kovats Tuttle. You must send a request to join. Get started here! As soon as Barb sees your request, she will add you to this group.
Connie Gualano is the alumnae/i relations manager for the Sisters of Providence. You may reach her at 812-535-2811 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of the Providence Juniorate/Aspirancy
In 1930, Mother Mary Raphael Slattery, having closed Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy and moved it to Ladywood in Indianapolis, planned to open Providence Juniorate at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The institution of minor seminaries had become an accepted phase of clerical life in the United States, and many communities of women religious were led to open similar high schools in connection with their novitiates. Providence Juniorate (or Aspirancy, as it was renamed after the initiation of the Sisters Formation Program) became accredited and was eminently successful through the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The Fathers of Vatican II addressed reforms in seminary life and suggested that future seminarians do normal activities in high school and have frequent contact with their families. The sisters also began to recommend that young women interested in religious life attend high school at home. Diocesan high schools were becoming plentiful. For this reason, the Aspirancy closed in 1965. Almost 900 young women had received all or part of their education there. Thirty eight percent entered the Novitiate and 75 percent remained to become professed members of the Congregation.