The Sisters of Providence in Holyoke, MA sponsor a retreat and spirituality center known as Genesis.  This summer they celebrated its 45th anniversary with approximately 400 people on zoom and 30 in person who heard a presentation by famous author, Sr. Joan Chittister,  OSB.  

Friends of Genesis Spiritual Life Center celebrated its 45th Anniversary on July 18, 2021. While a group of about 30 people gathered on site in Westfield, MA for the occasion, they joined with approximately 400 others honoring the occasion who participated in the Genesis-sponsored Zoom presentation by Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB speaking on the topic: “Spiritual Life: It’s All About Relationships.”

Following her thoughtful and challenging presentation, those at Genesis continued the celebration with Executive Director Liz Walz recognizing the Sisters of Providence, particularly Sisters Elizabeth Oleksak, Ruth McGoldrick and Mary Caritas Geary, for their instrumental roles in the creation and development of Genesis Spiritual Life Center.

In 1976, Sr. Elizabeth Oleksak, the foundress, had prevailed upon Sr. Mary Caritas, then President of the Congregation, to allow her to develop a retreat center at the former 19-acre site of Our Lady of Providence Guild, a home for unwed mothers. Once she gained approval, Sr. Elizabeth urged her friend Sr. Ruth McGoldrick, then head of the National Sisters Formation Conference, to join her once she completed her term a year later. The three Sisters were saluted for launching and sustaining Genesis Spiritual Life Center. Sr. Kathleen Popko, who enabled the renovation of the Carriage House in the early 1990s and supported Genesis during her Congregational leadership, was included in the group.

All the guests enjoyed light refreshments prepared by Chef Jen and then participated in small group discussions focusing on Sr. Joan Chittister’s presentation. Congratulations to all at Genesis Spiritual Life Center on this 45th Anniversary!

It was a great presentation and many of us were glad to be invited to participate long distance!  Thank you for sharing your anniversary with us!  I, for one, enjoyed the presentation by Sr. Joan, but have also enjoyed time at Genesis Spirituality Center surrounded by its beautiful grounds in any season!

Barbara McMullen, CDP



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123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

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8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am

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