Recently I read a passage in Gaudete et Exsultate by Pope Francis.  It says:  “Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.”

It struck me at the time because I had just finished a zoom meeting with the 55 and Under gathering of the Women of Providence in Collaboration.  They are a relatively new group within WPC, but energetic and vibrant women who want to get to know each other better and find ways to share their charism of Providence with one another.  They met with Nancy Sylvester, IHM, to further explore some of her presentation at the last Providence Event via Zoom last February.

Each of them, in their own unique way is reflecting a certain part of the Gospel in this specific moment in our history.  Each of them brings their gifts, talents, spirituality and personal charisms to expand, enliven, and enrich our united charism of Providence!  It is exciting to see and listen to these women as they meet and discuss with one another how the message of Jesus touches their lives.  

Pope Francis invites us to see the entirety of our life as mission.  His blessing to us is “May you come to realize what the word is, the message of Jesus that God wants to speak to the world by your life.” (cf 23-24)

Religious life is emerging today in new ways.  What those new ways will be we don’t yet know.  We are living in what seems to be the “in-between” times, but we are called to make space for the unknown to emerge.  It seems to me that this group of 55 and Under is doing just that–making space for the unknown to emerge.  They are building relationships among themselves, paying attention to the encounters they have, using their gifts and their time for the building up of the kindom of God.  

As I ponder the vineyard of religious life in the future I have great hope.  I see these women as co-creators of that vineyard, collaborators in witnessing Providence to all they meet, and for that I am deeply grateful.  

If you want to view the featured image that companions this article, visit and look under What’s New!   (It recently came to my attention that the image I use to accompany an article is not seen if you only get it in your email box.  Sometimes the photo is worth more than the words!!)


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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