Twenty make commitment as Providence Associates
Twenty persons recently deepened their relationships with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, Indiana residents Mary Gemma, Christi Garcia and Jeanne TeKolste, Carol Ann Woodall, Sue Ellen Keaton, Marcia Brammer, David D. Hudgens, Bettie Anne Long and Vonda Monts, Katie Cisek, Brad Crites, Kathleen Lammert, and Janet Tosick. They were joined by Madison, Wis., resident Kelly Schubert; Des Moines, Iowa, resident Olivia Charlton; Durham, N.C., resident Mary Ann Simpson; Paris, Ill., resident K. Sue Sheeran; Chicago resident Marvin McCurry; Mecca, Calif., resident Ana Gonzalez; and Papillion, Neb., resident Kelly Anne Acker as Providence Associates choosing to walk more closely with the Sisters of Providence.
“This was an invitation from God to quiet my mind and intentionally accept God’s invitation to know him deeper,” Christi said. “For me, this means to live with commitment to God’s Providence as written in Proverbs.”
Providence Associate Co-Director Sister Susan Paweski, SP, said in order to become a Providence Associate, a candidate is paired with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion and goes through a year of study, prayer and reflection. Christi’s companion was Sister Joanne Golding, SP.
“I invested time to study the materials, travel to Terre Haute to meet – physically distancing outside – with Sister Joanne,” Christi said. “Most importantly, I let go of ‘my’ expectations and accepted that God loves me just as I am.”
“I plan to stay in touch with Sister Mary Ann and Sister Ann Matilda,” Kathleen said. “They are part of my family now. This has been one of the most meaningful things I have ever done for myself. I did this for myself and it has filled my heart and soul with so much joy, peace and love that I can’t find the words to describe it.”
Janet Tosick, who companioned with Sister Susan Dinnin, SP, said becoming a Providence Associate this year fulfilled a longing she has had for quite some time.
“I have wanted to become a Providence Associate for eight or nine years,” Janet said. “I finally had my chance this year. I have always felt a close connection with the Sisters of Providence and have read most of the books about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her life. I feel she is the reason I wanted to become a Providence Associate.”
Brad Crites, who companioned with Sister Ann Casper, SP, said his life feels more full after becoming a Providence Associate.
“On a spiritual level, I was called to examine my own life in its entirety,” he said. “My beliefs and practices, and my role with and for others in creation. I had to grow in ways I never imagined I would and explore ideas that hadn’t really entered my mind before as parts of our faith life.”
Olivia Charlton added becoming a Providence Associate was quite important for her spiritual life, adding she especially wanted to continue her relationship with the Sisters of Providence after serving as an intern at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice.
“It means I get to stay connected with the sisters and their mission,” Olivia said. Since first coming to the Woods, I’ve grown and learned so much and I can’t wait to continue that in the years to come.”
Sister Susan said the 2020 commitments brought the total of Providence Associates to nearly 300 in the United States and Taiwan.