As the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul celebrate their 150th Anniversary 1861-2011, Providence Associates celebrate their journey too, 1985-2011.
Associate Carol Groten enjoys quiet reflection at the 150th Anniversary stained glass window
BY SISTER CATHERINE CANNON
In 1983, Sister Muriel Gallagher went to Guatemala. During her Visitation there, she suggested the formation of a group of Associates to pray with and support the Sisters in serving the poor.
Meanwhile back in Canada, in Brantford and in Kingston, Sisters were dreaming the same dream; namely, the desire of many Sisters and lay people to come together to pray and to support one another in spreading the Gospel message of love and compassion among themselves, in their families and out to the world.
A proposal regarding the establishment of Associates was submitted and accepted at Chapter 1981. The proposal was ratified at Chapter 1985. It reads “ An Associate Program will be established in the immediate future to evolve regionally in both eastern and western Canada and in our southern missions.”
And so the story continued and First Commitment Ceremonies were held in :
Guatemala – September 28, 1985 Ontario – September 26, 1987 Peru – January 20, 1992 Moose Jaw – June 26, 1994 Camrose – September 25, 1999
At present our numbers include:
Canada Associates 57, Candidates 4, Inquirers 2 Guatemala Associates 24, Candidate 1 Peru Associates 33
WHAT DO ASSOCIATES DO ?
Associates minister in parishes, in their families, in prisons, in nursing homes and WHEREVER THE GOSPEL CALLS THEM.
To quote Sister Pauline Lally, first Director of Providence Associates, “This very important movement was neither planned nor imposed from on high. It was and still is very much a Grassroots Movement and it will continue to evolve and persist provided we don’t get in the way of the Spirit” Associates and Sisters sing their motto: “WE ARE COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY”