A magazine dedicated to sharing the mission, spirituality and ministries of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
Different dress, same mission:love, mercy and justice"In the past we often were treated with great respect because we were wearing a habit. Now that respect must be won by our work and our service as we walk among you, sometimes not recognized as a sister."Sisters of Providence leaving the Conservatory of Music after receiving instructions from the superior general. (Photo courtesy of Sisters of Providence Archives)-- Sister Jeanne Knoerle, Still rooted in Christ's love, page 4The 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 firstname.lastname@example.orgHOPE // SUMMER 2008HOPEwithin FeaturesCover story 4Still rooted in Christ's loveVolume 3, No. 3 summer 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: email@example.com or 812-535-2804 Web Address: www.SistersofProvidence.org Printed on recycled paperNew habitsProvidence to the corePage 810New habits13Making sense of the present momentNew habitsFirmly rooted like the Woods15PhonathonPage 917A big thank you!DepartmentsPartners in our mission Photo album My heart watches ... Her-storyPage 126 9 17 18 21 21 22 23Sustainable Living Alumnae/i news 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, Ind.On the cover: The habit of the Sisters of Providence has changed many times since the foundation of the Congregation in 1840. Today, almost all sisters wear contemporary dress. Pictured from left are Sisters Cathy Campbell, the late Marie Ambrose McKenna, Marie Agatha Vonderheide and the late St. Eugenia McBarron.www.SistersofProvidence.org3Cover storySChrist'sin"Story by Sister Jeanne Knoerle, Graphic by Christina Blusttill rootedlove"These are the kinds of comments Sisters of Providence hear from time to time -- or hear about if the speaker is uncomfortable speaking directly to them. In such changing times, of course, that is not surprising. So I will attempt to ... we strive to describe the community I know and love to see if my description will help understand what put a face on contemporary Sisters of Providence."I am concerned about who the Sisters of Providence are today. They don't wear a habit. Most of them don't teach in schools anymore. They are against the death penalty. They speak out on things that I think have nothing to do with religion. While I was taught by these sisters, I am sometimes confused about who they are now."God is calling us to at this time.During ensuing centuries, the role of religious evolved, and wearing a habit became a symbol for the "apartness" of religious women. Most of us alive now grew up with -- and accepted -- that understanding. However, during intense discussions among us in the late 1960s (when almost everything was changing), this belief system was examined and discussed in great detail, and with a great deal of angst among us. The final result was that -- because of differing/shifting/altering perceptions about the reasons for wearing a habit in the changing world we served -- we could not fully agree with one anotherIt is true that most of us do not wear a habit as we once did. Originally, many years ago, religious habits were simply the peasant dress of the time, not intended to set religious apart but to show that we were ordinary women in service to our neighbors.Continued on page 54HOPE // SUMMER 2008about this issue and it would be best to allow an individual sister to make her own choice. That significant vote took place in 1969 -- almost 40 years ago.Continued from page 4educated Catholic population that a significant lay contingent has taken over the Catholic school system and is doing a fine job of staffing it.We are aware that there are some people who feel that the value of wearing a distinctive habit is so great that it should be re-established. Perhaps, in the future as mores change again and life flows on, that will happen as it is happening in some more traditional communities right now. However, at present almost 99 percent of Sisters of Providence have chosen to wear contemporary dress, though in public we proudly wear the SP cross symbol as a clear sign of our commitment. I hope this description will help explain how we came, painfully and over many years, to our choice for contemporary dress and especially underscore that a life of love, mercy and justice continues to be our strong, vowed commitment. Why don't most of us teach in schools anymore? Largely because the advancing age of many of us leaves us with less energy and makes teaching in schools very difficult. Furthermore, sisters did such a good job of developing anDid this choice weaken our vowed commitment? I believe not. In fact I think it has strengthened it. In the past we often were treated with great respect because we were wearing a habit. Now that respect must be won by our work and our service as we walk among you, sometimes not recognized as a sister.Relative to our being "against the death penalty," or "speaking out on things that have nothing to do with religion," these are among the choices we have made as a community during many common assemblies. If you were to join us for one of those assemblies you would see the wide variety of points of view among us, and know that it is never easy for us to agree. When the Sisters of Providence speak as a group, it is the result of a long-discussed, very hard-won agreement, not the result of the argument of a single person.Also, we were forced to sell many of the schools we had built and owned, primarily to enable us to take care of our aging membership, and so our options to teach in those schools are fewer. However, many of us love teaching; it has been part of our lives for years. Wherever we serve now we feel we are using the skills we learned as educators. In other words, we consider ourselves as still teaching, but in different ways.When we gather each July for our annual meeting we pray deeply together, we discuss our evolving understanding of Providence spirituality, we explore how we can be faithful in these times to the life and mission that Saint Mother Theodore articulated so well for us more than a century-and-ahalf ago. Finally, we agree on our common priorities.See STILL ROOTED on page 8www.SistersofProvidence.org5Partners in our missionreaking boundaries, creating hopeBy Connie McCammon "Breaking boundaries, creating hope speaks to me because I've always been kind of a boundary breaker. I do believe we have to be people of hope these days. It's so important to be not just Pollyanna positive, but to really create hope," said Marilyn, whose connection with the Congregation began in 1949 as a student at Marywood School for Girls, Evanston, Ill. Marilyn learned how to break boundaries and create hope by watching her parents, who volunteered in many parish and civic activities in their hometown of Wilmette, Ill. During her time at Marywood, she watched as sister-teachers created hope in their young charges. "I had great admiration for these women. I admired their spirituality, their professionalism. They were great teachers. I remember their goodness and their genuineness," continued Marilyn. Breaking boundaries, creating hope is the identity statement used in the logo of the Sisters of Providence. It could also serve as the identity statement for Marilyn Marschall Antonik.C"In those days, if you really wanted to do good, this is what you did [enter a religious congregation]. It wasn't a driving urge to be a teacher, but a desire for a life of service. And at that time I thought this was the best way to live a life of service," said Marilyn, who later earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics.After graduating from Marywood, Marilyn enrolled in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. In 1955 -- during her sophomore year -- Marilyn entered the Congregation, receiving the religious name Sister Peter. Reflecting on her entrance, Marilyn shared that she was deeply affected by the sisters' example and commitment to teaching.As a Sister of Providence, Marilyn taught in high schools in Indiana and Illinois. It was during her time at Providence High School, Chicago, that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This terrible tragedy and the entire Civil Rights Movement greatly affected Marilyn.ontinued on page 76HOPE // SUMMER 2008Continued from page 6"At that time," said Marilyn, emphasizing that there has been dramatic change in the Congregation since those days, "it was very difficult to do the outreach ministry to the poor and the needy that I thought needed to be done because of the community rules. As sisters, we were not able to be involved in the [local] community." Thus, by 1968, Marilyn was beginning to ask herself if she should leave the Congregation. One year later, while working in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, she made the very difficult decision to leave.Marilyn, not forgetting how the Sisters of Providence influenced her life, has financially given back to the Congregation. She supports various ministries of the sisters and she has also remembered the Congregation in her will.It's rather ironic that Marilyn and the Congregation took different paths to ultimately reach the same goal: to break boundaries and create hope."I just felt that I could better live out a life of ministry outside of community than within it. That's kind of the same reason I entered," she softly laughed."I'm concerned about effecting change, not just charity. We need both. I've always done charity and we'll probably always need it. But we also need to address change of unjust systems that make charity so necessary. So anything we can do to bring about a more just and caring world by changing unjust systems challenges me," said Marilyn. Spoken just like a woman who breaks boundaries and creates hope! HTwo years after leaving the Congregation, Marilyn married Joe Antonik. The couple, who reside in Chicago, now has two grown children and four grandchildren. Today Marilyn spends a lot of time with her precious grandchildren, the love and joy of her life. During her time of raising her family, Marilyn continued to reach out to the marginalized by serving as a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) or a coordinator of ESL teachervolunteers for 27 years at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Ill."The good news is I left with a lot of love in my heart for the sisters and they in turn for me. I've always had a very positive relationship since the time I left. I've always felt free to go back," she continued.For information about planned giving, please contact Sister Joan Zlogar at 812-535-2811 or JZlogar@spsmw.org.Pictured above: Marilyn and Joe Antonik break boundaries and create hope in many ways. (Submitted photo)Learn more on the WebDo you have a will? Did you know that there is no better time than the present to plan for the disposition of your assets? Having a will provides peace of mind as well as the possibility of leaving gifts to the people and organizations you care about. For more information about the importance of having a will or how to make a gift by bequest, visit www.SistersofProvidence.org and click on the "As seen in our publications" link.Now retired, Marilyn and Joe worship and volunteer in two parishes: Old St. Patrick's Church in downtown Chicago and Saint Mary of the Woods Faith Community on the north side. Their volunteer activities include such areas as the environment, peace and justice, tutoring at the Salvation Army, women's spirituality groups and fair-trade activities.www.SistersofProvidence.org7Preservation needsYou can help preserve Congregation treasuresRemembering the past is often coupled with a desire to preserve that past so that future generations can learn about it and reverence it. The Sisters of Providence do this through its Archives Department which collects, preserves and makes available to researchers Congregation records and materials which pertain to our origin, history, spirit and growth. If you would like to assist in this effort, please use the response envelope enclosed in HOPE and simply mark it "Archives." Future projects include: � preservation by digitization of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin's letters by the Indiana Historical Society; � proper storage for Saint Mother Theodore's journals and letters and for Congregation artwork; and Right photo: Saint Mother Theodore's rosary may be seen in the Heritage Museum at Providence Center. � quality signage and plaques to more effectively display archival materials in the Heritage Museum in Providence Center. Left photo: This bowl used by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin is on loan to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.Still rootedWhile we realize our decisions will not always be popular ones and sometimes even will be in conflict with the expectations of those we love, we strive to understand what God is calling us to at this time. We hope our choices will always be rooted in our undying love for and belief in Jesus and that the only thing that will really change is the way we express that love. Determining how best to do that, we believe, is what keeps faith vibrantly alive in a continuingly changing and challenging world. HContinued from page 5YOU CAN HELP ...Saint Mary-of-the-Woods collegeHere is how you can get involved:It is not too late for students to apply for Campus, WED, and Graduate Studies. You can help by identifying and encouraging future students to apply.Application fees will be waived for these students when they apply for admission.If you know someone who should receive information about SMWC, please contact us:One recommendation I might make is to read the book, "Love, Mercy and Justice: A Book of Practices of the Sisters of Providence," available through our Web site (www.ProvCenter.org) or in The Gift Shop for $15. The book may give you a much more expansive understanding of the fundamental beliefs upon which our contemporary practices are based. The Gift Shop may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 800-926-SMWC www.smwc.edu8HOPE // SUMMER 2008Photo albumCongregation and college sponsor spring break mission tripThe offices of Campus Life and Campus Ministry of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the Sisters of Providence co-sponsored a rural recovery mission trip for 16 college students in Lafitte, La., during their spring break March 3-7. The college and the Congregation worked in collaboration with Sister Helen Vinton, rural resource development director of the Southern Mutual Help Association. Three college staff members and Sister Jenny Howard, vocation director, (back row, center) chaperoned the event. (Submitted photo)Creighton students participate in alternative spring breakA group of students from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., participated in alternative spring break experiences offered by the Sisters of Providence in March. One group stayed at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and gave service at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice as participants in WoodsWorks. Another group spent the week in Indianapolis giving service and learning about peace as participants in Indy Peace Works. The group is pictured with Sister Jane Marie Osterholt (left side, second row), general officer; Julie Szolek-Van Valkenburgh (right side, second row), Providence Volunteer Ministry director; and Nicole Engels (left side, back row), Providence Volunteer Minister and WoodsWorks coordinator. (Photo by Cheryl Casselman)www.SistersofProvidence.org9New habitsProvidenceto the coreStory and photo by Christina BlustIPhoto at right: Sister Rosemary Borntrager poses before a statue of the Holy Family in Providence Hall.10Editor's note: The following articles about Sisters Rosemary Borntrager, Cathy Campbell and Maureen Abbott illustrate that the Sisters of Providence are rooted in their deep love for Christ. Indeed their outward appearance may have changed over the years, but their commitment to love, mercy and justice will never change.Looking forward to having time to pray, she joined the Sisters of Providence and was given the name Sister Rose Cecile. She remembers her first year in the novitiate as "a hotbed of prayer." Recalling days full of structured community prayer times and meditation every morning, she says, "It was one of the happiest years of my life." In the years that followed, Sister Rosemary grew to see her community like a family. This has been invaluable to her. "On my own I wouldn't be able to do it," she says.Sister Helen Rose Newland, Sister Rosemary's eighth-grade teacher, had asked her one day, "Would you like to be a sister?" Upon hearing this question, Sister Rosemary realized, unexpectedly, that her answer was, "Yes!"Her first entrance into the novitiate was at age 17. "I didn't have the slightest idea what [being a sister] meant," she says. "I just knew that Sister Helen Rose was the happiest person I'd ever met, and I wanted to be just like her."n many ways, Sister Rosemary Borntrager entered the Sisters of Providence community twice.Sister Rosemary's second entrance of sorts came years later, in the midst of the postSecond Vatican Council (1962-1965) turmoil that changed religious life dramatically. As many sisters around her were leaving the Congregation, Sister Rosemary realized she was meant to stay. She says, "I `entered again' as a mature person, knowing what I was getting into."Continued on page 11HOPE // SUMMER 2008This transition period was not always easy. For example, starting to go without the habit was a traumatic experience for some sisters. "It's an outward sign of an inward grace," says Sister Rosemary, and going without this outward sign could be difficult. She emphasizes that each sister's choice was hers alone. "You couldn't do it until you were ready." In Sister Rosemary's case, the transition happenedContinued from page 10naturally. When she began a year of study at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, she began going by Sister Rosemary instead of Sister Rose Cecile. Remembering this year, she laughs. "I looked around at all the crazy things the other students were wearing and decided I would fit in better with the habit than without it!" After her year of study, she moved and began a new position. In this new place where no oneSee SISTER ROSEMARY on page 12www.SistersofProvidence.org11Church of the Immaculate Conception focus of youth art contestAbove: The Church of the Immaculate Conception was the focus of the 2008 Sisters of Providence Youth Art Contest. Winners according to age categories are: (kneeling) Billy Davignon, Makenna Eccles, Zachary J. Klug and Celine Mitchell; (seated) Canton Terry, Alexis Hux, Camden Roembke, Nathan Harpenau, Stephen Koos, Syndee Rigsby, Caitlin Mitchell and Cheyenne Kyle; and (standing) Jeremy Snyder, Kayla Marie Pepelea, Ariel McQuade and Solly Burton. Inset: Kayla Marie Pepelea's artwork garnered her first place. Kayla is a 16-year-old student at South Vermillion High School, Clinton, Ind. (Photos by Becky Igo)Sister RosemaryContinued from page 11comes with maturity."knew her, there was little reaction to her wearing "civilian" clothing.Despite outward changes like this, Sister Rosemary has stayed true to herself. Prayer, important from the beginning, still holds a high place in her heart. A block of time each morning and each night is spent in prayer, time which she cherishes. During a recent 30-day retreat, Sister Rosemary grew in love of the Blessed Sacrament that has remained with her. About her ever-growing spirituality, Sister Rosemary says, "I cherish the spiritual depth thatSister Rosemary also enjoys the way Sisters of Providence seem to find each other for prayer and for community. "We love to get together," she says. "We're like magnets." Currently living in the novitiate, Sister Rosemary gets to display a bit of her own magnetic personality. She takes part with other sisters in daily group prayer and provides an experience for the novice of living in community. Her life serves as an example for a woman learning what choosing to be a Sister of Providence really means. About her own choice, she smiles. "It had to be that way. I'm Providence to the core." H12HOPE // SUMMER 2008New habitsSister Cathy Campbell teaches theology at Providence Cristo Rey High School, Indianapolis.Making sense of thepresent momentSister Cathy Campbell explained Providence Spirituality as the "sacrament of the present moment," as does Jean-Pierre de Caussade in his book, "Abandonment to Divine Providence." "I try to stay open to God in each person, moment and circumstance that I encounter," she added. Story and photo by Diane Weidenbenner Sister Cathy has been a Sister of Providence for 42 years, having first come to know the sisters as a student at Immaculata High School in Washington, D.C., and later at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She was a year-round student, working summers in the college business office. Because of this, she got to know the sisters as teachers and friends, learning about their ministries first-hand. Sister Cathy also participated in the sisters' prayer life.She had no desire to be a sister, however. She wanted to become an award-winning journalist; so after college she went to work for The Indianapolis Star. While working atContinued on page 14www.SistersofProvidence.org13The Star, Sister Cathy began to feel a call to explore religious life. After a series of conversations with an SP friend who had also been a college advisor, she decided to apply. "I had always felt a resonance with the Sisters of Providence life and mission and was impressed by their visible commitment to love, mercy and justice." She decided to "give it six months and see what happened." The rest is history.Continued from page 13The Scriptures are very important to Sister Cathy. "They are the Word of God and I have always felt inspired by them. I think of myself as a person of the Word because I am a writer and I now teach the Old and New Testaments to my students."In developing her own understanding of Providence spirituality, Sister Cathy says she has fused ideas from many SPs who have influenced her, like Sister Barbara Doherty. "I learned from them that Providence is that name and face of God that enables you in the swirl of life to make sense of the present moment. I try to be a reflective person that looks for the face of God amid the chaos in various moments of life," said Sister Cathy. She has many spiritual practices including prayer, spiritual reading and participating often in the Eucharist. "I also value having spiritual companions -- good friends, sisters and priests, lay men and women -- who are in touch with God in significant ways. It's good to reflect and pray with them about what's happening in our lives as faithful people," said Sister Cathy.She is fairly eclectic in her reading and keeps an open mind. "I'm always looking to see how the Word is being broken open to help us meet the challenges of the secular world," added Sister Cathy. She has recently become interested in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and is reading his "Jesus of Nazareth" which she has found "moving and beautiful."Sister Cathy feels the Beatitudes provide a good understanding of the gospel message today. "God calls us blessed. In a very real way, God gives us an agenda for the Christian life and reminds us that if we develop certain attitudes, we can become a blessing to one another and the world," said Sister Cathy. Putting her faith into practice, Sister Cathy currently teaches theology at Providence Cristo Rey High School, a Congregation-sponsored institution in Indianapolis serving economically disadvantaged youth. She is also campus minister, handling faith formation activities for students, faculty, staff members and parents.Sister Cathy has had great devotion to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin since she was a teenager. "She was a woman who did in fact eloquently live the notion of the sacrament of the present moment. She took what God put in her path and saw it through with love, mercy and justice. She's probably my greatest role model," said Sister Cathy."I'm pleased that the Sisters of Providence are committed to this ministry and that I am a part of it. Religious communities have grown and prospered throughout history by meeting real needs of real people. In this way, they have shown they understand that they are participating in God's mission." HYou can receive monthly e-mail updates!Stay in touch with Congregation news through our monthly e-mail newsletter, Providence Partners. Each edition features upcoming events, ministry activities and general news. You'll get reminders of retreats, trips and special liturgies. Visit www.SistersofProvidence.org and look for the Providence Partners link to sign up!14HOPE // SUMMER 2008New habitsFirmly rootedlike the WoodsDo you recall the 1982 movie "Sister Act?" In it, comedian Whoopi Goldberg stars as lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier, who inadvertently witnesses a murder. She ends up at an inner-city Catholic church and its convent dressed as (you guessed it) a nun.Photo below: Sister Maureen pauses from her work in Archives. (Photo by Becky Igo)"Deloris" is asked to improve the convent's choir, while trying to stay in the good graces of the mother superior (actress Maggie Smith). At the start, the mother superior is stiff and resistant to new ideas. However, by the end of the movie, the mother superior softens."That is the perception people have," Sister Maureen Abbott said, referring to the media's portrayal of nuns as rigid. "Part of it is complimentary," she said. The other part is not so flattering. Sister Maureen formed real-life impressions of women religious at an early age. In Buffalo, N.Y., where she was born, her family's life centered on their parish. As a second-grader in January 1946, she moved with her family to Robstown, Texas, and she was enrolled at the newly opened St. John School, with four recently arrived Sisters of Providence as faculty. Since both parents had grown up as "city kids," the rural Texas town was a big change, so it was natural that her family's life centered on their parish. The family grew right along with the parish school and she graduated from St. John High School in 1956. Right after high school, Sister Maureen left home and, at the age of 17, came to Saint Mary-of-theWoods, where she entered the Congregation on July 22, 1956.Sister Maureen said the Sisters of Providence influenced her life early on. "All of the Sisters of Providence I knew were teachers," she explained, "and I always wanted to be a teacher. Besides, the sisters talked about far-away places like Chicago, and my mother had planted the travel bug in my imagination."Continued on page 16www.SistersofProvidence.org15To those ends, Sister Maureen taught in Indianapolis, California, Chicago, Texas and Oregon. She served as a principal in California and Illinois. Her experience includes Sisters of Still, "there is continuity," Sister Maureen assured. Providence provincial administration, working in "We are like the trees in the Woods. Each tree is diocesan administration and adult education. She very rooted in common soil, soaking up nourishnow serves as director of Ministry ment from the soil and spreading Formation and defender of the bond out to the environment." in the Tribunal of the Archdiocese You start with of Portland, as well as part-time Prayer, of course, is an important the assumption staff in the Sisters of Providence part of the sisters' days. Sister that it is God who Archives. "So you see," she said, Maureen cautioned, "If you don't smiling, "I'm still an educator." make prayer a scheduled part of the is after us. day it is unlikely to happen." -- SISTER MAUREEN Sister Maureen said she's always ABBOTT made it a point to consider "how to The most important thing about carry on and inject a positive aspect prayer, she said, is to realize it's into personal relationships." In her God's initiative. "You start with the work, she has made it a priority to greet everyone assumption that it is God who is after us," Sister and ask about their day. "That draws people out Maureen emphasized. "We need to pay attention to where they are," she explained, adding, "It gives that. There's the nudge. We need to do our part by them a chance to be valued for who they are." taking time for spiritual reading to counteract the culture, and just sitting in the true listening format If you tried to describe the Sisters of Providence in of meditation. But ... Providence? That's God's today's world, Sister Maureen surmised, "Good part." H luck with that because we're all over the place."Continued from page 15Translate "all over the place" to mean not only geographically, but to include all the various ministries, the sisters' numerous interests and philosophies as well.""16HOPE // SUMMER 2008Development updatesThanks to you, the phonathon is a successAs of April 7, donors have sent $60,895 from 664 pledges made during the Sisters of Providence 2008 phonathon. That is an outstanding 91 percent payment rate for pledges.Of course, in addition to pledges, callers are told by some donors that they "will give something" or are "undecided." Also, many donors cannot be reached, and so messages are left on the answeringMany of these types of responses also materialize into monetary gifts. When all of these gifts are considered, our total becomes $119,072, given by 1,470 donors. So, barely a month and a half after our last phone call, we are already at 99 percent of our $120,000 goal.machine or a personal message is mailed later to those donors without answering machines.All aboard the new Congregation bus!Thanks to our donors and the use of Congregation funds, a new bus has been purchased at Providence Center to accommodate the needs of pilgrims and visitors to Saint Maryof-the-Woods. The bus will also be used for sponsored ministries and programs, as well as for general Congregation needs. The bus seats 29 passengers, is air-conditioned, has wheelchair access and is equipped with a public address system. Learn more at www.SistersofProvidence.org, by clicking on "As seen in our publications" link.(Photo by Becky Igo)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. E.J. and Christin Valentini of Phoenix share their story. We are so blessed by the arrival of our miracle babies, Vittoria Kathleen and Giovanni Guerin, and thank Sister Josephine Bryan, who introduced us to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Sister Jo gave me the relic, and I prayed twice a day to Mother Theodore to bless us with pregnancy. Upon hearing the news that we were pregnant, both Christin and I continued to pray twice daily that she would carry the babies full term and they would be strong and healthy. We prayed for the safe and healthy delivery of our twins. Now, we pray every day in gratitude, and for the continued health and safety of our miracles. All of this, we strongly believe, would not have happened without the prayers from the Sisters of Providence, Sister Josephine, our network of friends of priests and sisters in La Crosse, Wis., and, of course, the blessings from Saint Mother Theodore.www.SistersofProvidence.org17Her-storySisters' habitsBy Connie McCammonA18n engineering degree was practically required in order to understand the 1960 instructions for the new caps and collars worn by the Sisters of Providence. The instructions read in part: "The cap should be worn just in front of the serre-t�te facing and should fasten or rest about 1/8-inch fr