photo by: Kate Glynn, EMC Newspaper
Sister Nancy Wilson, seated, centre, celebrates with her congregation following a farewell Mass at St. John Chrysostom in Arnprior Sunday, June 20, 2010.
BY CHRISTINE ROSS
During a special Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, June 20, the congregation of St. John Chrysostom in Arnprior bid a fond farewell to Sister Nancy Wilson and all Sisters of Providence who have ministered in the parish over the last 101 years.
In his homily, entitled What is Providence, Reverend Patrick Dobec described how God’s Providence has been given a human face in Arnprior in the presence of 146 Sisters.
“Few could match the far-sightedness of these women. Few could match their giving of self. Few could sustain unto death their practice of asceticism and their deep life of prayer.”
He offered a special thank you to Sister Nancy Wilson, whom he called the human face of God’s Providence for the last 18 years in Arnprior.
“As teacher, principal, and as pastoral minister within our midst, Sister Nancy, you have been an instrument of peace and a source of inspiration for the people of God who walked in your company.”
The Thanksgiving Mass was held on Father’s Day, a theme mentioned in both the homily and by Sister Nancy Wilson, in her words of gratitude to the parish.
“It is a day to honour our birth fathers and to honour and thank our Heavenly Father for all our many blessings.”
Sister Nancy is closely connected to Arnprior having spent thirty years in the community as an educator and for the last 18 years as pastoral minister.
“Working as a team, especially under Father Dobec’s leadership has been pure joy,” said Sr. Nancy. “ I?am sure over the 101 years of faith expressed in your openness, support, love, joy and friendship to our Sisters, you supported them too in the good and difficult times. You are good, good people of God. Continue to pray and work together in harmony.”
Sister Nancy worked in a myriad of ministries while in Arnprior; social justice, spiritual retreats, food bank, furniture dispensary in addition to her many years as a school teacher and principal.
On behalf of the Sisters of Providence, Sister Pauline Lally, General Superior, received a memorial plaque from the parish. Sister received the gift with great gratitude and a little sadness as there will be no more Sisters of Providence in Arnprior. However, Sister Pauline challenged the congregation by saying “The Providence Presence will now be kept alive by you.”