We received some very sad news recently. As you know, the Providence Associate Committee established a Life Time Membership for those people who have lived the charism and the spirituality of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul for many years and who are not able to renew their commitment because of physical or cognitive limits.
Maria Konopeskas made her commitment in 1991. She has been a faithful Associate for 30 years. Maria had cerebral palsy, lived in Ottawa, taught high school and worked for the federal government.
In 2017 Maria went into the Ottawa General Hospital for minor surgery. Because of the shortage of Personal Support Workers, Maria was not able to leave the hospital and return to her apartment because of her need for help. She has lived in the hospital for 4 years where she developed relationships with nurses, cleaning staff and even folks in the coffee shop.
I was hoping to visit Maria over the Thanksgiving weekend to give her the Life Time Membership certificate. I phoned the hospital to make arrangements and was told that Maria died on August 21, 2021.
In a note she sent to us dated September 9, 2020 she wrote, “Thank you Dear Providence Associates for your kind love and support! I love your newsletters which I keep in my bible. Everyday I pray for you. With love, Maria K.”
Please keep Maria’s family, friends and the hospital staff in your prayers.
Providence Associates Director