In this memorable year of 2020 the Women of Providence celebrate their 40th anniversary as an organization! The two founding members began their dreaming in the late 1970s. Sisters of Providence Michelle Holland, from Spokane, WA., and Ruth McGoldrick, from Holyoke, MA., met one another at a board meeting of the National Sisters Vocation Conference. They each remembered how thrilled they were to meet another Sister of Providence who shared their charism. As they continued to meet their dream came to a reality when, in 1980, the first Providence Event was held at the College of Great Falls in Montana.
Coming together to explore the subject of Providence theology and spirituality has carried this group through forty years of various expressions of the Providence relationship. From its humble beginnings came many events, symposiums, retreats, and many publications over the years. Through the work of a Steering Committee for ten years, and then from its Executive Directors from 1992 until the present time, along with a Board of directors, the WPC became a providential global fiber to effect change. For forty years we have plumbed the depths of Providence theology and spirituality that is our gift, our charism. We have formed partnerships with others and been enriched by the new cosmology as it interfaces with our understanding of all the providential possibilities in our times.
We were preparing to celebrate this 40th anniversary at a Providence Event this past June. But with Covid-19 it was not to be. By the spring the Core Planning Team had everything done except our centerpieces for the tables! Regrettably the decision to cancel had to be made. As Providence would have it, a new plan emerged! The Board decided to try a virtual Providence Event, which will take place on Feb. 20, 2021.
The theme: Providence: Where Justice and Radical Hope Meet will certainly speak to us in these turbulent times. We look forward to hearing our speaker, Nancy Sylvester, IHM.
In the weeks to come you, the reader, will see stories posted here that show justice and radical hope in action. It may be about life and death issues, executions, racism, service to the poor, and women who have cast their lot with others to be the face of Providence visible in a wounded world.
Barbara McMullen, CDP