A magazine dedicated to sharing the mission, spirituality and ministries of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
"The experiences that we have spoken of as we look up at the starry sky at night, or, in the morning, as we see the landscape revealed as the sun dawns over Earth -- these experiences reveal a physical world but also a more profound world that cannot be bought with money, cannot be manufactured with technology, cannot be listed on the stock market, cannot be made in the chemical laboratory, cannot be reproduced with all our genetic engineering, cannot be sent by e-mail. These experiences require only that we follow the deepest feeling of the human soul."-- Thomas Berry, "Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community"The Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore GuerinFor information about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, contact Sister Barbara Doherty, coordinator of the Office of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, Providence Hall, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876-1095 or 812-535-2925 or bdoherty@spsmw.org.2HOPE // FALL 2008HOPEwithin FeaturesCare of Earth:an ascetical practice for our times?Volume 4, No. 1 fall 2008Executive Editor: Sister Rosemary Schmalz Editors: Sister Ann Casper and Diane Weidenbenner Copy Editor: Sister Cordelia Moran Publication Manager/Designer: Connie McCammon Cover Designer: Pam Lynch Editorial Board: Rosie Blankenship, Christina Blust, Cheryl Casselman, Dave Cox, Brother Barry Donaghue, cfc, Sue Heck, Becky Igo, Sister Jeanne Knoerle, Sister Bernice Kuper, Sister Peggy Lynch, Sandy Scroggins and Sister Joan Zlogar Contact Information: Office of Congregational Advancement, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876 For change of address: cdavis@spsmw.org or 812-535-2804 Web address: www.SistersofProvidence.org Printed on recycled paper4BiodieselPage 88Reduce, reuse, recycle!BiomassOn the cutting edge9Sisters eating ...... local food10Practical ways ...Page 1217... to make a differenceDepartmentsPartners in our mission My heart watches ... Her-storyPage 236 7 12 14 20 22Photo album Obituaries Upcoming eventsMission Statement:The purpose of HOPE is to extend the energy and power of Providence to our friends by sharing information about the mission, spirituality and ministries of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.On the cover: This field of oats across from the north entrance to Saint Maryof-the-Woods is a portion of the nearly 400 acres of Indiana certified organic cropland owned by the Congregation. The crops are managed by White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence. On the back: This way to the biomass drop off! See page 9.www.SistersofProvidence.org3Providence spiritualityCare of Earth:an ascetical practice for our times?By Sister Bernice Kuper, Graphic by Christina BlustThe dictionary tells us that our English word asceticism is derived from an ancient Greek noun meaning "an exercise, a practice or a training program which is entered into with the purpose of arriving at a goal worth striving for." Originally the word applied to an athlete's training of the body; later the meaning was expanded to include training of the mind to acquire wisdom. Finally it became associated with the spiritual training designed to help one become a more virtuous person. The difficulties involved in the practice were considered a fair price in exchange for the value acquired! In the western world, words commonly associated with asceticism are sacrifice, penance, renunciation, self-discipline, self-control, etc. While all major religions teach a theology of asceticism, the way it is practiced has varied in different cultures and in different periods of history. In the Christian tradition, for example, older readers will remember practices in which all Catholics were expected toContinued on page 54HOPE // FALL 2008Continued from page 4engage -- such as the requirement to abstain from eating meat on Fridays; to observe certain days with the practice of fasting and abstinence; to prepare for the reception of Eucharist by fasting from food and drink after midnight, etc. In the 1960s during the Second Vatican Council, Catholic bishops acknowledged that, for many Catholics, practices such as these had deteriorated into mere formalities or legalities and had lost their meaning as exercises leading people to spiritual growth and maturity. Although many of the former legislated practices were dropped from Catholic practice, the bishops reaffirmed the importance of practices of penance in the spiritual life. They recommended that each Catholic freely choose to engage in certain practices of penance which would best help him/her overcome, with God's grace, all that stands in the way of one's becoming the person God created one to be. Authentic asceticism does not depend on any legally prescribed action; rather, it should be seen as a call of the Spirit to an individual to respond in a particular way to the loving service of God, one's self, one's neighbor and the whole of creation. Is it possible that in this 21st century the Spirit is calling us to listen to and to find ways to respond to the cries of distress which seem to be rising from our universe? For centuries humans have lived under the illusion that God created the universe for humans to dominate and to use as they wished. In more recent years we have come to recognize that not only have we humans used this living planet, our Earth, but we have also abused it! Daily we read or hear about the effects of global warming, the pollution of our water, air and soil, the extinction of countless species, the cries coming from Earth herself in the form of countless natural disasters! Could it be that all of these phenomena are telling us that something is desperately wrong with the way we humans are relating, not only to one another, but also to the planetary interconnectedness that sustains our very lives? Is the Spirit calling our world to some new ascetical practices? Are we being called to care for our world in such a way that it will still be here for future generations to use and to enjoy? This issue of HOPE details some of the steps which the Sisters of Providence have taken to move towardone of our goals: to provide hope and healing for our Earth. We invite you, our companions on the journey, to join us in this endeavor in any way that you feel called to participate. We recognize that to work for eco-justice is a very complicated issue. We have all learned to enjoy, and even to expect, the conveniences and comforts which both the Industrial and Technological Ages have continued to provide for us. It is not easy to change our habits or to embrace the inconveniences of recycling, reusing or energy saving, etc. We may easily become discouraged and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems and decide that there is nothing we can do! At such times it may be encouraging to reflect on an old bit of advice: "It is better to light one candle than to simply sit and curse the darkness!" On the other hand we can take comfort in the wise words of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin: "We are not called upon to do all the good possible, but only that which we CAN do!" As eco-justice begins to emerge as the most critical issue of our age, it is time for each of us to ask ourselves "What am I doing to bring hope and healing to Earth? What can I do? What will I do to help restore health to Earth, my home, the place where I live, move and have my being?" HYOU CAN HELP ...Saint Mary-of-the-Woods collegeEncourage a student to apply for admission and the application fee will be waived.Programs include Campus, WED, and Graduate Studies Financial Aid Available If you know someone who should receive information about SMWC, please contact us:smwcadms@smwc.edu 800-926-SMWC www.smwc.eduwww.SistersofProvidence.org5Partners in our missionA`place where Earth is honored'By Sister Ann Casper, Photos by Cheryl Casselman Sisters Maureen Freeman, CSJ, and Paul Bernadette Bounk, CSJ, Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, get asked the question a lot. "Why are you ministering at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Providence?" The answer goes way beyond "There was an opening and I applied. ..." Both sisters grew up as city girls, but Sister PB, as everyone calls her, always preferred being outside as a child, playing, swinging and finding refuge in a favorite peach tree. She was exposed to natural beauty by an aunt and uncle who took her to see wildlife, enjoy parks and experience the Colorado mountains. "Ever since I was young, I found my sense of God in nature," she says. For Sister Moe, as everyone calls Sister Maureen, it was her grandparents who first gave her experiences of and a value for nature. But ministering 10 years in Peru, South America, and daily encounters with the poor who respected and appreciated Earth and land as their livelihood cemented the value of that early exposure. These two sisters ministered together for 11 years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and for another three years in Alaska, both profound experiences of God's creation. It was there that they learned to live off the land, eating fish and moose meat, and enjoying vegetables from their own gardens: cabbage, potatoes, zucchini and beets. After those years, their ministry paths went separate ways for several years, but within a few months of each other, they found themselves together again, ministering at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Sister Maureen came to WVC for a short sabbatical in January 2002 after several years in congregational leadership. When she left, she asked Founding Director Sister Ann Sullivan to keep her in mind should a ministry position open. She returned in October as administrative assistant, then became assistant director and after Sister Ann Sullivan announced her resignation in July 2008, was named interim director beginning in August. Sister Paul Bernadette received a phone call in May 2003 from Sister Maureen. "Remember how you always say that the perfect ministry for you would be getting to work outside all day? Well, how about `pasture worker,' which involves taking care of an alpacaContinued on page 7Pictured above: Sister Maureen Freeman, CSJ, is pictured with the Rev. Diarmuid O'Murchu in July during EcoJustice: Embracing the Gospel of Our Time at Saint Mary-of-theWoods.6HOPE // FALL 2008Continued from page 6herd?" Sister PB arrived, learned the ropes and is now alpaca care manager three-fourths-time and is a spiritual director. Both sisters see their presence at WVC as modeling collaboration among women religious, accomplishing dreams by working together. "It amazes me," comments Sister Maureen, "that the Sisters of Providence are doing this, that they have the foresight and vision to make it happen -- from the founding director to the leadership team to the individual sisters. When you have sisters in their 80s and 90s attending programs or checking out videos about the cosmos and global warming, you know that love of all creation has got to be in their bones." "It thrills me that I have a place to `fit in,'" adds Sister PB. "WVC is a place where Earth is honored, where animals are respected, where natural garden products are offered to the local community and where education and sharingknowledge is valued. And now the SPs have started supplying their energy needs with biomass. How exciting is that!" The two CSJs' commitment to the environment does not stop with their ministry. Each year they have requested grants for WVC from the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Louis Province, Tabitha Fund. Among other things, the fund supports programs that encourage structural change. WVC has received grants totaling $47,165 that have helped fund such needs as a Kubota tractor, a speaker's series, an alpaca barn and a truck. "Such funding is another way of modeling collaboration," noted Sister Maureen. And the other collaborators in the equation -- the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-ofthe-Woods -- certainly treasure having these "partners in our mission." HPictured above: Sister Paul Bernadette Bounk, CSJ, shows Providence Simone at a national alpaca show in Peoria, Ill., last spring.Since Saint Mother Theodore's canonization Oct. 15, 2006, a steady stream of favors attributed to her intercession have been sent to the Office of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Chandrika Manamperi of Boston shares her story. Chandrika Manamperi, a native daughter of Sri Lanka, now lives in Boston. Approximately two years ago, she learned of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin from TV when she saw a man who reported a miracle in his life through our saint's intercession. Chandrika, who had suffered from a great deal of back pain for years, went online and printed out a prayer card/picture of Saint Mother Theodore and prayed the prayer daily. Two days after praying to Saint Mother Theodore, she reports that she no longer had the terrible pain. Anytime she felt pain again, she asked Saint Mother Theodore to ease her pain and soon it would be gone. Chandrika tells us: "I thank her for coming into my life." Chandrika continues to pray for good health and intends to visit Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.www.SistersofProvidence.org7BiodieselReduce, reuse, recycle!Story and photo by Cheryl Casselman Reuse is the second of the three R's. And isn't it amazing that used cooking oil can be reused as an ingredient in making fuel? As the price of fuel has been skyrocketing the Sisters of Providence have been making their own off-road biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel, to be used in their lawn mowers and off-road trucks at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Since biodiesel has fewer harmful emissions than petroleum diesel it is part of the efforts to live more sustainably. A blend of 20 percent biodiesel to 80 percent petroleum diesel, known as B20, is being used in the biomass program Tub Grinder. It takes only 48 hours to create a batch of ready-touse fuel, said Sister Dana Augustin, who has been working with this project for about a year. She said 40 gallons of used vegetable oil becomes about 40 gallons of fuel. "Essentially you add methanol and lye to the vegetable oil, mix it for an hour and let it sit overnight," she said. "It's messy and it can be frustrating, but I like this project." The processor is quite a contraption. There are hoses, valves, pipes and a temperature gauge connected to the reaction/separation/wash tank. Then there are the large storage containers that hold the used cooking oil from the kitchens and the finished fuel. Since January, Sister Dana has been working with Providence Volunteer Minister Nicole Engels, of Phoenix, on perfecting the recipe. Nicole has a chemistry degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. "I've learned a lot. Towards the end of college I was taking all of these classes but it wasn't affecting anyone and I was getting frustrated," Nicole said. "Now that I'm making the biodiesel I am doing something that is beneficial to society. Even if biodiesel is not the answer to the future it is part of the bigger picture and something that will go on helping." HPhoto below: Sister Dana Augustin, at right, and Nicole Engels, Providence Volunteer Minister, pour some used vegetable oil collected from the Sisters of Providence kitchens into a storage unit. Behind Sister Dana is the equipment used in making the off-road biodiesel fuel.8HOPE // FALL 2008On the cutting edgeStory and photo by Cheryl Casselman The Sisters of Providence are on the cutting edge with the new energy source that this fall will begin heating and powering the nearly 550,000-squarefeet of buildings they call home at Saint Mary-ofthe-Woods. The mountains of donated construction debris, downed trees, wood palettes and wood chips are a testament that something big is going on. Installed last year, the biomass boiler that replaced two old, inefficient boilers is finally being put to work. Sister Dana Augustin is the supervisor of biomass processing. "We're hoping economically this will be much more viable than gas," she said. "We're taking waste we and others have and making it into a product." The estimated three to four truckloads of byproducts burned in the biomass boiler, such as downed trees, trimmings and scrap wood from construction projects, are being donated from local tree services, cities and manufacturing companies. "Biomass comes to us free or we are paid to take it," Sister Dana said. "Obtaining the materials to burn has been successful." Mike and Frances Scott of Scott's Tree Service, located outside of West Terre Haute, Ind., have been donating tree trimmings to the Sisters of Providence biomass program for about a year. "It's a big benefit for us because we don't have to pay for dumping," Frances Scott said. "We're there about every other day. And rather than discarding [the tree trimmings] they're being recycled." Environmentally, the choice of biomass uses materials that are sustainable and alleviates the dependence on oil or gas. The Congregation and Earth benefit because biomass is a fully renewable energy resource. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct, but with the planting of poplar trees and Miscanthus, there is an effect of no greenhouse gas. Economically, the Sisters of Providence are hoping to save about $400,000 a year with this new energy system. For example, instead of buying 241,200Biomassdecatherm of natural gas for a six-month period, 3,000 tons of biomass will be used. "I like the social justice part of that. If we can save that much a year, we can pay people who need jobs to help us run this program," said Sister Dana. HPhoto below: The fire from the biomass being burned can be seen as these men test the biomass boiler that this fall will begin heating and powering the buildings at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.www.SistersofProvidence.org9Organic/biodynamic gardensSisters eatingStory and photo by Cheryl Casselman Exciting changes have been occurring in the Sisters of Providence Food Services Department at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Within the last few years the sisters have stopped using Styrofoam because it practically never decomposes in landfills; they serve vegetables from their own gardens and fruit from their orchards; they purchase vegetables, eggs, beef and pork from local farmers; they recycle everything possible; and they make off-road biodiesel fuel from their used cooking oil. Deborah Heffernan is the director of Food Services. She said the Food Services staff, which consists of about 35 full-time and part-time employees, serves an average of 320 meals at lunchtime alone each weekday. The gardens at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, where much of the delicious produce is grown, are managed and cared for by the staff members and volunteers at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence. Deborah shares her menus with the organic/biodynamic gardener, Mark Trela, during the winter so the most useful vegetables can be grown for the kitchens the following year. In 2007, a total of 4,978 pounds of fresh, local produce was served in the two Sisters of Providence dining rooms and in the Sisters of Providence Health Care Services.Continued on page 1110HOPE // FALL 2008Continued from page 10Disposables aren't what they use to be Instead of Styrofoam that can't be recycled when everyday dishes are not used, the kitchens now use biodegradable dinnerware that goes into the compost pile instead of the trash can. "We can use it and reuse it in the garden compost," Deborah said. "The costs for these items are coming down, but if you look at what Styrofoam does, cost is not an issue." Food scraps also go in the compost bins. For more than a year the sisters have been separating their non-protein food scraps into special compost containers near the dining rooms. Deborah said there was some education about what can and cannot be composted, but once that was established it has become routine. "What we've done here has changed my life at home," Deborah said. "We just learn right along with the sisters." H"The sisters love it. They break beans. They shuck corn," Deborah said. "In the fall we make spaghetti sauce from the tomatoes and freeze it for the winter." What doesn't come from their own gardens is purchased from other local farmers, such as the Amish community in Rockville, Ind., and meat and eggs from the Royer family farm in Clinton, Ind. "It just continues to get better," Deborah said about the efforts to buy locally. "As the local farmers' businesses increase, their production increases. We're also saving transportation fuel since it's local." Sister Adele Beacham lives in Owens Hall and helped break fresh green beans with other sisters one afternoon in July. "Good comes out of bad and families are now growing their own food," she said. "That's the good that comes of high transportation costs."Photo page 10: From left, Sisters Dorothy Drobis, Joseph Fillenwarth, Kathryn Koressel, Elizabeth Meyer and Adele Beacham break fresh green beans from the organic/biodynamic gardens that will later be served in their dining room.Be a part of our sustainable living ministryThe Sisters of Providence commitment to live sustainably and to preserve, restore and reverently use all natural resources requires addressing ongoing needs. Our wish list in this area is quite extensive. The operators of the biomass project have two specific wishes: � Enlarge the biomass barn door in order to store larger equipment inside: $5,000. � Extend the biomass barn with a lean-to-type awning in order to shelter more equipment: $18,000. We are beginning the first year of farming our own land, rather than leasing it. Most needed now are a working 125-150-horsepower tractor, hay rake, bush hog and a sprayer. Other specific needs related to White Violet Center for Eco-Justice programs include: � two yurts (simple structure to house families and program participants): $10,000 each; � four beehives: $75 each; � scholarships for educational programs: $100 each; � hoop house to replace an aging greenhouse: $10,000; � upright freezer for use at farmers' market (used or new); and/or � Adopt an Alpaca (great gift idea): $100 per year. If you desire to assist with any of these projects, please use the envelope enclosed with this issue of HOPE to designate a financial gift for a certain wish or to offer a gift-in-kind.www.SistersofProvidence.org11Her-storyA spirituality of hope and healingFor nearly 168 years the Sisters of Providence have called approximately 1,200 acres of land, trees and lakes in west central Indiana home. The face of the land has changed over time, from the predominantly woodland area in the time of the foundress, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, to the beautiful campus of Saint Maryof-the-Woods College and the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence. Nearly 400 acres are now Indiana certified organic cropland. A garden to provide organic food locally for both the Sisters of Providence and the weekly farmers' market and a herd of alpacas take the place of the dairy cattle and chickens of the early years. White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC), a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, is working to restore the health and diversity of this piece of the Wabash River bioregion, the land and wildlife, lakes and wetlands, and the vitality and spirit of all who live in the area. The mandate of WVC to work for eco-justice goes far beyond the boundaries of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. True to its Providence charism of hope and healing, the center arose out of the call of Sisters of Providence from the 1991 General Chapter to live justly and harmoniously with Earth, recognizing our interdependence with all creation. Building on this commitment, the International Assembly of 1993 moved to establish Saint Mary-of-the-Woods as an eco-justice center and called Sisters of Providence, wherever they may be, to view themselves as central to this ministry. A planning committee established initial goals during 1994 and 1995 and a director was hired in 1995. The greenhouse was refurbished -- part of it designed as an office site. The center later moved to a larger facility, the former laundry, to house increasing staff and education programs, retreats and workshops. Now in its 13th year of ministry, the WVC staff members continue to provide education for just, sustainable living, and to promote a spirituality of hope and healing. Programs are varied with education the focus of all. The alpaca herd, White Violet Farm Alpacas, has grown from only three in 1998 to currently more than 50. The sale andContinued on page 13Photo at right: White Violet Farm Alpacas has grown from only three alpacas in 1998 to currently more than 50. (Photo by Cheryl Casselman) Photo on page 13: Joan Estelle Scully, now Sister Estelle, visits the herd of cattle at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1946. (Photo courtesy of Sisters of Providence Archives)12HOPE // FALL 2008Continued from page 12breeding of the highest quality animals is the current goal of this program. These environmentally friendly animals not only help to put back what we take out of the soil, but also provide for a small in-house fiber industry involving women and men learning new skills, such as spinning, weaving, felting and knitting. The handmade scarves, hats and other items provide income for the program. The alpacas also provide compost for the organic vegetable garden and orchards. The gardening staff is augmented in the summer with the addition of interns and volunteers who come to WVC hoping to learn about organic and biodynamic gardening and the mission of eco-justice. A farmers' market at WVC on Wednesdays andthe Terre Haute Farmers' Market on Saturdays help provide the opportunity for people to purchase locally grown organic/biodynamic produce. Bees from several hives help with pollinating crops and produce honey that they share with all of us. Educational programs and programs in spirituality emphasize a worldview expanded to include the growing evidence from science which sees the interconnection and interdependence of all life and demands that we live within limits in order to honor and preserve the bountiful Creation. This way of living provides for a just, sustainable life for all beings on the planet and moves us toward a spirituality of hope and healing.See HOPE AND HEALING on page 16www.SistersofProvidence.org13Photo albumThree sisters profess vowsSunday, June 29, was an important date in the lives of Sisters Deborah Campbell, Janice Smith and Deidre Jordy (left to right). On that date during a Eucharistic Liturgy in the Church of the Immaculate Conception Sisters Janice and Deidre professed perpetual vows and Sister Deborah professed temporary vows. (Photo by Christina Blust)Sisters celebrate their jubileesThe Church of the Immaculate Conception was filled with family and friends on Saturday, June 28, to help nine Sisters of Providence celebrate their golden jubilee and one sister her silver jubilee. Jubilarians and general officers posing for a portrait prior to the Eucharistic Liturgy are (front row, left to right): General Superior Sister Denise Wilkinson, Sisters William Eyke, Linda Kaliker and Gloria Memering; second row: General Officer Sister Paula Damiano, Sisters Rosemary Schmalz, Donna Butler, Brigid Ann Bonner and Patricia Fillenwarth; third row: General Officer Sister Marsha Speth, Sisters Jenny Howard (silver jubilarian), Katherine Manley and Rosemary Ward; fourth row: General Officers Sisters Nancy Reynolds, Jane Marie Osterholt and Marie McCarthy. (Photo by Christina Blust)Three ruby jubilarians celebrateAs part of the summer events at the Woods, three ruby jubilarians celebrated their special day during a Eucharistic Liturgy in the Church of the Immaculate Conception on July 3. Celebrating their 40th anniversary are (left to right): Sisters Jan Craven, Marianne Ridgell and Jody O'Neil. (Photo by Connie McCammon)14HOPE // FALL 2008Family Day: a great day of fun!A young girl learns how to make a rope necklace out of twisted yarn at the craft booth at Family Day at the Woods. The event, held June 22, was just one program in a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. From center are Sister Joseph Fillenwarth, Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior, and Sandy Scroggins, major gifts associate in the Office of Congregational Advancement. More than 500 people participated in the afternoon celebration which also featured four different choir performances, two handbell performances, hay wagon rides, games, a scavenger hunt, face painting, sidewalk chalk art and hot dogs, popcorn, cookies and Pepsi products. Everything was free for visitors. (Photo by Diane Weidenbenner)Statue placed in Mary's GardenRoses were placed at the feet of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin's statue by children attending the dedication May 10 in Washington, D.C. "Love the children first, then teach them" was Mother Theodore's motto when it came to educating children. The statue is only the second one to be placed in Mary's Garden which was designed to honor important women of the Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Teresa Clark sculpted the 6-foot clay sculpture which was then carved into Indiana limestone by Nick Fairplay of Oberlin, Ohio. (Photo by Diane Weidenbenner)PVM celebrates 20th anniversarySeveral former and current Providence Volunteer Ministers (PVM), Sisters of Providence, and staff members gathered in July at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to celebrate the 20th anniversary of PVM. Front row from left are, Alice Liu, Christina Blust, Claire Wu, Sarah Scheibe, Sarah DeMoor, Sara Kolb, Maria Hackett Mueller and Monique Ierardi Seabeck; back from left are, Kim Knoblock, Sister Jane Marie Osterholt, Maryellen Crump, Dorothy Brown, Nicole Engels, Sarah Batt, Sister Donna Butler, Sister Susan Paweski, Mark Rusch, Missy Rightley Weber, Kimberly Flash, Sister Mary Montgomery, Shannon Mee, Jenny Hyatt and Julie Szolek-Van Valkenburgh. (Photo by Cheryl Casselman)www.SistersofProvidence.org15Learn more about charitable life-income plansAs our country's economic outlook is uncertain, it becomes especially difficult to make investment decisions. Risk versus reward -- an increasingly complicated choice. On our Web site we highlight some charitable life-income plans that are ideal in this type of situation. The risk is removed from the equation and only rewards remain -- both for you and for us. You will gain by receiving a life income, a valuable charitable tax deduction and possibly the avoidance of capital-gain tax. The Sisters of Providence will gain through your generosity. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.SistersofProvidence.org and look for "As seen in our publications" link.Hope and healingContinued from page 13A week-long "Earth Plunge" program each year provides an intensive look at the critical issues of eco-justice and informs us of changes all can make to live more sustainably. The full-time environmental education specialist provides organized tours and educational programs for area schools and local community groups. A straw bale hermitage, completed in 1999, provides a space for people to reconnect with nature while providing education on sustainable construc-tion, as well. Recently, two small retreat houses, built using recycled materials, offer more sustainable housing for visitors and Sisters of Providence making retreats. The WVC staff is active in influencing public policy around areas of environmental concern, global economy, land use and just treatment for all people and inhabitants of Earth. Everyone is welcome to visit WVC. For more information go to www.WhiteViolet.org or call 812-535-2930. H16HOPE // FALL 2008PSister Florence Nortonwww.SistersofProvidence.orgProvidence journeysractical ways to make a differenceStory and photos by Connie McCammon Biomass, biodiesel fuel -- these may be great for institutions, but how can individuals make an environmental difference? Sisters Florence Norton, Evelyn Ovalles and Mary Moloney share some practical ways that they are making a difference. The importance of water Growing up in the city, it would have been easy for a young Sister Florence to not appreciate nature. Her father, however, was interested in plant and animal life. Through his contagious interest, Sister Florence developed a love for things in the heavens, in the trees and on the ground. Early this sum