Leadership & vision
Get to know our general officers, 2021-2026
The general officers of the Sisters of Providence serve for a five-year term as the leadership team (similar to a governing board) and are elected during the summer General Chapter, a time when the Congregation comes together to define the goals for the next five years and elect new leadership. This team was elected in 2021.
Sister Dawn Tomaszewski is a native of Chicago. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a Bachelor’s degree in communications. She also has a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s degree in theology from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. Sister Dawn entered the Congregation on Aug. 29, 1975.
Sister Dawn ministered as a teacher at Marywood School in Orange, California and taught at Mother Theodore Guerin High School, now known as Guerin College Preparatory High School.
She later served as director of communications and an instructor at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (1984-1987). She also served as the Congregation’s director of communications, director of communication and development and director of the Mission Advancement office (1987-1996). She also ministered as communications and media coordinator for the Office of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Chicago (1999-2004); communications and public relations director, Guerin College Preparatory School (2004-2005); and director of advancement, Guerin College Preparatory School (2005-2009). Sister Dawn serves as an ex-officio member of the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Board of Trustees.
Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp is a native of Indianapolis. Prior to being elected to the leadership team, she ministered as the director for the Academy of Teaching and Learning Leadership, as well as being an associate professor in leadership at Marian University, Indianapolis. Sister Jeanne entered the Congregation on Aug. 23, 1975. She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She received a Master’s degree in mathematics with a concentration in physics from Purdue University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership Administrative Supervision from the National College of Education, now known as National Louis University, in Chicago. She also earned a Doctorate of Education degree in Private School Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Sister Jeanne ministered as a teacher at Providence High School in New Lenox, Illinois (1977-1979), as well as an instructor in physics and math, and assistant director of financial aid and director of admissions research at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (1979-1982). Her other ministries included teacher of math, physics and computer at Providence-St. Mel in Chicago (1982-1986), curriculum director and a teacher of physics, mathematics and computer science at Providence-St. Mel (1986-1991); principal at Mother Theodore Guerin High School (1991-1997); assistant director of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco (1997-2000); faculty member at the University of San Francisco (2000); assistant professor and assistant director of the Institute of Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco (2000-2001); principal at Mother Theodore Guerin High School (2001-2002); assistant director/assistant professor for the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership, director of teacher education and an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco (2002-2005); president of Providence Cristo Rey High School (2006-2009); and principal at Providence Cristo Rey High School (2009-2013).
Sister Laura Parker is a native of Chicago. Prior to being elected to the leadership team, she ministered as the Director of Spiritual Care at Holy Cross Hospital, in Chicago, from 2014-2021.
She also ministered as a hospice chaplain at Seasons Hospice & Palliataive Care of Illinois in Willowbrook from 2009-2014, and as a chaplain resident at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in Elmhurst from 2007-2008.
Prior to entering the Congregation in 2003, Sister Laura was a registered nurse and worked at Resurrection Hospital. While there, she was also a parish nurse at Our Lady, Mother of the Church, in Chicago, for seven years.
Entering the Congregation in 2003, Sister Laura has an Associate’s degree in nursing from Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois and a Master’s of pastoral studies from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Sister Anne Therese Falkenstein is a native of Somerville Massachusetts. Prior to being elected to the leadership team, she ministered as a professor in the Department of English Language, Literature, and Linguistics, as a special assistant to the president, as a trustee, and as director of the Office of International Affairs at Providence University in Taiwan from 2003-2021.
Prior to serving at Providence University, she ministered at Notre Dame High School for girls in Chicago, Illinois, as a department chairperson and teacher from 1989-1994. She also served as a campus minister and recruitment director for Mother Theodore Guerin High School in River Grove, Illinois, from 1988-1989. Sister Anne Therese began her teaching career at Saint Anthony of Padua School in Gardena, California, where she ministered from 1982-1987.
Entering the Congregation in 1979, Sister Anne Therese has a Bachelor’s degree in theology and education from Emmanuel College, a Master’s degree in religious education from Boston College and another Master’s degree in language education from Indiana University as well as a Doctorate in Language Education from Indiana University.
Sister Carole Kimes is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prior to being elected to the leadership team, Sister Carole ministered as the Director of Pastoral Care at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, in Carmel, Ind., from 2017-2021.
Her other ministries include serving as a Pastoral Associate at. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton from 2014-2017; as a care giver at Clarity Home Care in Indianapolis in 2014; as the Director of Postulancy in Chicago from 1997-2004; as a teacher and campus minister at Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis from 1996-1997; as a Hospice Home Care Nurse for Visiting Nurse Service in Indianapolis from 1991-1995; as a nurse at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis from 1989-1991; and as a teacher at Holy Cross School in Indianapolis from 1982-1986.
Entering the Congregation in 1980, Sister Carole has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Indianapolis.
Goals for 2021-2026
Proclamation of Direction
As Sisters of Providence, a community of vowed Catholic women religious, we joyfully live out the radical Gospel message of love, mercy and justice in today’s world. Inspired by our foundress Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, we are passionate about our lives of prayer, education, service and advocacy. We dedicate ourselves to helping those who might otherwise be forgotten.
With openness and audacity, we dream the possibilities of an emerging future, and, therefore, commit ourselves, companioned by our Providence Associates and other ministry partners, to respond to the call of Providence in these times through the following four directions:
Mission of Religious Life
Anchored in Providence spirituality, we will deepen and strengthen our prayer lives and create and participate in communities that are welcoming and inclusive, communities of compassion, openness, respect and belonging.
We will embrace and reverence diversity in all of its forms as a revelation of Providence.
We will respond more fully and intentionally to our continuing call to collaboration and will explore and incorporate models of leadership that will empower members to emerge as leaders in new and creative ways.
Recognizing the abundance entrusted to us by our Provident God and the opportunities that come from being attentive both to limits as well as possibilities, and using them to foster creativity, we will cultivate inner and interpersonal transformation and take initiative in order to continue the mission of love, mercy and justice in service among all of creation.
Justice Focus: Racial Equality and Equity
We, the Providence Community, choose racial equality and equity as our justice focus for 2021-2026. We commit to partnering with other groups in prayer, education, action and advocacy to:
- Explore the systemic roots of racism in our countries and in our own lives;
- Identify areas of our lives in which we may be complicit with racist attitudes and actions;
- Examine the intersections of racism with other justice issues;
- Make choices to rid ourselves of actions and attitudes that perpetuate racism; and
- Advocate publicly for legislation and policy that promote equality and equity for all.
Special Justice Focus: Environment
Laudato Si’ Platform Commitment Statement
We, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and our wider Providence Community, publicly commit to join the worldwide Catholic community in responding to Pope Francis’ appeal to participate in a seven-year journey toward sustainability and integral ecology by developing a Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
This commitment is made in love, mercy and justice, knowing that we are participating in God’s Providential work of transformation, and trusting in “that Providence that so far has never failed us.”