In this month when we celebrate Consecrated Life, the Sisters of Providence from St. Mary of the Woods, IN have recently welcomed a new postulant to their community.  In the photo, Sr. Dawn Tomaszewski, SP, General Superior, welcomes Leslie.  Jason Moon, who works for the Sisters, tells her story as follows:

“Leslie Dao felt something missing in her life.  After a chance encounter, God’s light shone on the right direction she needed to take.

Leslie, 44, emigrated with her family from Saigon, Vietnam, in 1990, settling in Missouri and later California.  She graduated from California State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.  She also has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Saint Louis University.

For a time, Leslie was a woman religious in another Congregation and ministered in Texas with Catholic Charities.  In 2014, she began a ministry at St. Pius Parish in St. Louis as the Pastoral Associate for Immigrants and Refugees.  It was there she learned about the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, when she met another woman religious who had stayed with the Sisters of Providence.

She contacted Sister Editha Ben, SP, vocations director, and the two corresponded. Leslie visited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 2019.

“I loved the environment,” Leslie said.  “It was so joyful and very welcoming.  The sisters were so hospitable to other people.”  The joyfulness led Leslie to attend a Come and See retreat.  “The interaction and joyful spirit inspired me. It attracted me to this community.  I wanted to be a part of it.”  The spirit of the Woods tugged at her heart.

“Because of COVID, things got slow,” Leslie said.  “But my desire to be a Sister of Providence was still there.  When I said, ‘This is it,’ they assigned me a mentor.”  Sister My Huong Pham, SP, originally from Vietnam, mentored Leslie.  On Sept. 21, 2021, Leslie knocked on the door of historic Providence Hall and General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, SP, greeted her.  Stepping through the doorway, she was welcomed as the Congregation’s newest postulant.”

Leslie said, “I now feel complete and fulfilled.”

It’s always amazing how the finger of God works in a person’s life and directs them where they need to be.  We wish Leslie well in her new journey in religious life.

Barbara McMullen, CDP


Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


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

Events / Calendar