Sisters of Divine Providence

What’s it like being a Sister? It is a gift. I am able to do what I love and live in a beautiful relationship with God that is so primary to my life. Describing my life as a Sister would be like trying to describe how a fish lives in water. You live in it fully. Words do not seem adequate. It is a great life!

The Reconnector: As a hospice chaplain, I spent one Christmas Eve at the deathbed of a woman and held her hand while her husband held her other hand. He needed someone to talk to, to help him remember the life and love they had shared. He had reconnected, not just with grief and pain, but also with love and faith.

As a psychiatric social worker, I was able to help teenagers reconnect with their families. Terrible hurts and misunderstandings had caused many family problems. Learning new ways to communicate and deal with past hurts, mistakes, and unhealthy habits helped them reconnect as healthier families.Providing HIV counseling with street people in San Antonio, I saw these people-mostly gay men-estranged from their families and life. They told me how wonderful it was to have someone from the church willing to talk to them without judgment. Guidance and judgment are two different things. They needed to somehow “find their way home.” “Home” to themselves; to the full reality of their illness, “home” to reconnect with their families and “home” to reconnect with their faith. I helped them face their situation and take a second look at their deeper values. We all need love and support, especially facing a devastating illness like AIDS. It’s amazing to me to see how love and mercy are stronger than fear and pain. I asked them as adults to consider what the wisdom from the past gives us, wisdom from the medical community and from their faith traditions. I encouraged them to make better choices. Some of them did.

How To Find Love? Sometimes people are surprised how I—a celibate woman—can talk about how to find love. What do I tell them? I say that love is really caring for people and that is the way we practice love. The way to love is started by being a friend and getting to know people. Words only helped when my actions backed them up. I remember a pastoral visit with a person who had been in counseling. The person told me it was very different talking to me than it was to a regular counselor. Ultimately only the Love of God through us can transform the world. Being a Sister is to be part of God’s love active in the world. What a life! That’s the gift of being a Sister.