The process of becoming a Providence Associate
Request information to become a Providence Associate by filling out the form at Apply.ProvidenceAsscociates.org or by contacting Co-Directors of Providence Associates, Sister Sue Paweski at 312-909-7492 (email@example.com) or Debbie Dillow at 317-250-3294 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request an application.
The co-director will contact you to arrange a phone conversation. The two of you will have a conversation to get to know each other better. The conversation will help determine if the Providence Associate relationship meets your expectations. Some points of discussion will include a bit about your background and any prior connection you may have to the Sisters of Providence and the Providence Community. The co-director will lead you through the process of becoming a Providence Associate and answer any questions you may have.
If after the conversation you decide you want to continue the process of becoming a Providence Associate, the co-director will send you an application to complete.
With your application you will submit the names of two people we can contact to submit an affirmation letter on your behalf. We will reach out to the two people you listed and request that they each submit a letter of affirmation for you.
After we receive your two letters of affirmation, you will be assigned a companion from within the Providence Community who will journey with you over the coming year. (If you requested a specific Sister of Providence or Providence Associate to be your companion, we will do what we can to honor your request.)
You are now a Providence Associate candidate! You will attend a mandatory orientation in November at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods where you will meet with your companion and get an overview of the year ahead. (A virtual alternative may be arranged if you cannot attend in-person.)
After the orientation, you and your companion will arrange to meet with each other throughout the year, usually about once a month. Together you will read and pray through the Spiritual Integration Units binder you receive at orientation. These detail spiritual elements important to the Providence community such as prayer, Providence, relationship, mission, etc. The two of you will discuss what you have read and share your life and faith journeys with each other.
After your months of learning and reflecting about the Providence Community and about yourself, if you have discerned that being a part of the Providence Community is right for you, you will write a letter of intent stating your desire to become a committed member of the Providence Community. You will also write a letter of commitment stating what your commitment as a Providence Associate will be. (Each associate creates a commitment that fits their calling and their life situation. Our commitments are as varied as we are. Some commitments others have chosen include daily prayer, caretaking of a family member, parish/church volunteering or being the face of Providence in their daily lives.
The Sisters of Providence General Council will approve the candidate letters of intent.
You will become a Providence Associate and an official member of the Providence Community at your Rite of First Commitment ceremony at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in October! You will also receive your Providence Associates pin, the symbol of the Providence Associate relationship. You are invited to renew your commitment as a Providence Associate yearly for three years then you may renew for one-, three- or five-year timespans after.
You are a Providence Associate! Now what?
In addition to living out your Providence Associate commitment you created, there are many opportunities for spiritual growth, community building, service and mission now available to you as a Providence Associate.
- Providence Associates are expected to join a Providence Circle. Providence Circles are small group gatherings of Providence Associates who meet regularly in person or virtually for prayer, faith sharing, learning or a theme the group decides to focus on. It is a great method for community building.
- Providence Associates are always welcome at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, and we have several gatherings a year specifically for Providence Community members able to attend, including a yearly spring retreat, an annual summer meeting and the October commitment ceremony. Virtual alternatives are available.
- Opportunities for service: From volunteering at an SP ministry such as Miracle Place in Indianapolis, visiting Sisters in health care at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, writing for the Sisters of Providence blog or magazine, volunteering to coordinate or bake for a bake sale fundraiser, volunteering at an event at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, serving on a Providence Associate committee and so much more. — There is a wide variety of service opportunities in which you can choose to participate. Live at a distance from the Woods? Many of our volunteer opportunities can be done remotely!
- You will stay updated on events, happenings and opportunities with the Providence Community by receiving our weekly Providence Associate enews and HOPE magazine.
We are excited that you are considering joining our community as a Providence Associate! We hope you find it as life-giving as we do. We’ll be praying for you during your discernment and journey.