The following post is one that came from Sisters Karina Conrad, CDP and Dina Bato, SP who spearheaded the Providence Gathering of Sisters Under 55. I’m grateful they were willing to share with all of us the results of their gathering.
“The Women of Providence in Collaboration event had been scheduled for June 12-14, with an opportunity for Sisters under the age of 55 to gather on Sunday after the event’s conclusion. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we took the initiative to gather virtually. We spearheaded the gathering in the hopes to have the opportunity to meet one another, form relationships, and share how COVID-19 has impacted us.
On Sunday, June 14, we were 24 Providence sisters who gathered as a community. Sisters in attendance “Zoomed in” representing congregations from Washington state, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, and Canada. We ranged from sisters in formation to sisters in leadership. Though our congregations are based in the United States and Canada, our cultures of origin span four continents (North America, South America, Asia, and Africa). Though our small groups were English- and Spanish-speaking, many sisters present are multi-lingual. Our experiences in embracing and living our Providence charism brought us together to reflect on what we are all experiencing these days.
Our theme for the gathering, I to We to One: Providence Together, invited us to go deeper into how we have lived and are living our Providence charism during the pandemic, and now given the civil unrest due to racism. The final reflection question, “How can we come together to manifest Providence in our world moving forward?” confirmed in us all the need to strengthen our community bonds with each other, and propelled us to explore ideas on how to do that. Some ideas included engaging in more frequent gatherings using technology, celebrating milestones in our religious life, deepening our Providence spirituality through group prayer and other forms, and engaging in a common social justice project.
Overall, we both believe that this inaugural gathering of the Sisters Under 55 was an invaluable way of forming and deepening community bonds. We look forward to our future gatherings and hope to grow and strengthen our sisterly relationships with one another.”
Dina Bato, SP & Karina Conrad, CDP
My deepest appreciation to both Dina and Karina for spearheading this endeavor, sharing with all of us what the group shared with each other, and certainly engendering hope in all of us for the future of the Women of Providence in Collaboration!
Barbara McMullen, CDP