Providence: The Heart of God
What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the past three months, my religious order community and I have been engaged in a process of discernment. Every six years, the entire membership of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence gathers to discern both a Chapter Statement and elected leadership for the community. That gathering occurred January 29-February 5. We prayed for over a year that what Providence intends for us would be revealed to us through the Spirit. I share with you today our Chapter Statement to be the focus of our activity for the next six years.
Entrusted with the flame of God’s loving Providence, we Sisters of Divine Providence are committed to sharing its light of hope with all people. We live the mission of being the loving face of our Provident God, who delights in and provides for all creation, leading and guiding it to abundant life. We immerse ourselves more deeply in the charism of Providence, building up our CDP community in gratitude and love for one another, empowering us for mission.
As humble instruments of God’s love, we co-create a world of healing, inclusivity and unity, where every life and all creation are honored and valued. Upheld in prayer, we offer our energy and resources to take the following actions:
- Being the presence of Providence, we listen with open hearts and minds, nurturing caring relationships with those we encounter;
- Collaborating with CDP Associates, sponsored ministries and diverse groups, we address the needs of migrants, the vulnerable, and Earth;
- Uniting with our neighbors wherever we live and minister, we support life-giving communities, giving special focus to those living on the West Side of San Antonio.
Eagerly and joyfully, we carry the flame of Providence to our world in need, fully confident in the Risen Christ’s promise to all, “Know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” (Mt. 28:20)
February 4, 2023
I also share with you that our community discernment resulted in my being elected as the Congregational Leader/Superior General of the congregation. I am the leader of a team of four General Council members. Our responsibilities include guiding and directing the congregation in living this Chapter Statement, caring for the Sisters (the members), shepherding our sponsored ministries (Our Lady of the Lake University, Providence Catholic School, Moye Retreat Center, McCullough Hall Nursing Center), and managing all that is involved in providing for the needs and involvements of the congregation, otherwise known as the business aspects.
This new ministry for me formally begins with an Installation Mass on June 24. In many ways, the transition from SFA to ministry in the congregation has already begun. Stay tuned for more details as we discern further at SFA.
I have enjoyed being the presence of Providence with all of you for almost 14 years. I admit that I have resisted the work of the Holy Spirit in previous chapter gatherings twice. This time, I was consistently reminded in prayer that my religious community has been forming me and investing in me for 57 years. My sisters have placed great trust in me to lead. And I am reminded very strongly that we continue to trust that God prepares and provides for all that is not yet seen or heard or experienced when God’s love calls us to service. I trust that the Holy Spirit is at work, full-time!
I know that there are things that have not yet entered this human heart, my human heart. But know that each of you already resides there occupying lots of space. And there is room for more. Thanks be to God, to Providence!