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Phyllis Silva-Keith, PA, Seattle

  • 1993: became a Providence Associate
  • 1996: private vows at Motherhouse in Montreal with three witnesses

I, Phyllis Elaine Silva-Keith, Providence Associate of the Sacred Heart Province, for the greater glory of our Provident God, and the honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, vows this day, to live the rest of my life, in service of the poor, following the charism of Mother Emilie Tavernier-Gamelin, as fully and as much as I am able.

I give myself wholly to my God, asking for the grace to be faithful to this my lifelong commitment.? I vow this with my whole heart and without reservation. May God do with me whatever He wills, as I answer His call to serve wherever He leads me.

I ask prayerfully for the Holy Spirit's guidance in all I do in fulfilling this vow and promise to share in the mission and ministry of my spiritual family, the Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates.

Vous et nul authre!? The love of Christ compels me!

Lillian (Adams) Rouzan, PA, Los Angeles

  • 1985 became a Providence Associate
  • 1996 private vows in Montreal
  • February 26, 1997 private vows in church on 25th wedding anniversary with husband Frank, also a PA, as witness

I, Lillian Rouzan, give myself to God and our Mother of Sorrows as a Providence Associate. I vow to live the rest of my life as Frank's wife, but also in service to the poor.

Because of my love of my Providence Family and what they stand for, I would like to make a vow as a Providence Associate by giving of myself in whatever way I can to the poor, the elderly and those in need. I will continue to join my Providence Family in prayer, not only praying with you but also for you. I will always spread the good works, compassion and devotions of Mother Gamelin and my Providence Family.

My life has truly been blessed and enriched by my Providence Family.

Veryl Snowhill, Portland

October 12, 2004 private vows

I, Veryl Snowhill, believing myself called to a radical commitment, freely make to God without reservation the non-canonical vow of chastity. In the spirit and charism of Blessed Emilie Gamelin, I align myself in service with and for the poor of my particular world, in conjunction with the Sisters of Providence. I commit myself to continue Jesus' ministry to the sick by sharing my own gifts and my personal resources of time, energy, schedules, personal preferences and personal space for the needs of others as they present themselves to me and according to my best abilities to respond. I promise to spend time daily in personal prayer and reflection according to the circumstances of my ministry and to participate regularly in the celebration of the Eucharist. I ask God's blessing and guidance in all I do in fulfilling this sacred covenant. Through this affiliation with the Sisters of Providence, without financial obligation on either part, I promise to share in their mission and ministry, to support them in prayer, and to participate in community affairs as appropriate and possible, according to my circumstances.

Veryl wrote the following poem that describes how she came to this moment in her life:

Second Vocation

A musty apartment,
cheap rent, sagging wallpaper.
Beneath the broken verandah,
green algae in a stagnant pond.

This was the dream. I awoke 
Was the green a portent 
Permission to free myself of vows;
permission to start a new life?

A real life!
Empty hours
fear like the chill of fog.
Working to be a someone.
Trying to create a presence
integrity threadbare.
Grasping for unripe fruit.

Days can slip away so silently,
deserts, plateaus, valleys.
One pushes ahead; time dissolving
into a garden, a lawn, a new roof.

Then, awkward and uphill
a change
a job needing to be done:
A seeking, some gains, some defeats;
learning grudgingly, of service,
learning of friendship.

Learning the meaning of silence,
the awful weight of meanness and hate,
the sweet hunkering down of humility.
And then at last, once again
once again, a chance to say "Yes."

Mary Murtha, PA

  • 1989 became a Providence Associate
  • 1998 made private vows

She wrote the following poem about her experience:

The Dream

O Holy One, my all!
Desire, desire so deep
It sears and burns within my very soul
Each moment of each hour
of each day.
The moment comes to hear the word
The spoken word of answer to my dream!

The words echo through my mind.
The words put finality to the dream.
The words spoken by a heart in pain
and knowing my heart's pain.
My friend of all the years at my side,
and knowing my heart's pain.
The council and the team say "no."
The dream is over, Holy One,
replaced by grief so awful, searing, burning.

My friend of all the years
in pain herself, remains so close
As years before, when pain and grief
had power.
 We pass the time as best we can
in silence and in tears,
in nature's healing places
until the chaos in our hearts subsides
and quiet acceptance takes its space.

I drive the highway going home
consumed with sorrow deep.
Deep longing for my dream,
never to be fulfilled.
I'll never be a Sister of Providence!

O Holy One, my All!
Fill these spaces in my sad being
with your hearts desire for me
for all the rest of life to be.
your will, your peace.
May your arm of comfort
Rest on me!

I know, beloved daughter,
I know!
I have plans for you
For all the rest of life to be,
Lean on me!
Lean on me!

Marcelyn (Marcie) Madden, PA

  • 2003 became a Providence Associate
  • 2004 made private vows

POVERTY - woundedness in solidarity of the poor and internal "emptiness" which God Himself fills. All my resources, all gifts of God, will be used to bring about God's Kingdom on earth, and in consideration for the needs of the many who do not have, and any future generations.

CHASTITY - that total self-gift to the Light of My Life, Jesus Christ. His freely given, transforming and overwhelming Love for myself and all humankind incites service to God and humanity in the spirits of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Emilie Gamelin. Its graces are purity, loyalty, not manipulating others, and allowing others freedom to be themselves.

OBEDIENCE - that freeing commitment and radical surrender to the Holy Spirit and also to humanity's deepest need of love. That commitment guides my actions, my responses to life's challenges, and my heart's and prayers' contents. I will obey the superiors of the Sisters of Providence in all matters pertaining to our shared relationship.

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