Bill Bouton runs his family’s construction business in Spokane, Wash. As a Providence Associate, he helps the sisters manage their building programs.

Building contractor supports sisters’ construction projects

Bill Bouten’s family has been associated with the sisters since 1946.

His grandfather founded Bouten Construction in Spokane and worked with the sisters as a general contractor and consultant, a role Bill continues today as owner and president.

Remembers childhood Christmas visits to Mount St. Joseph

Bill remembers family Christmas visits to the sisters at Mount St. Joseph beginning in the late 1960s. Later, upon his return to Spokane in 1986 to work for the company when his father was president, Bill met the sisters again through his work.

Sister Ethel Richardson, SP, a family friend, planted a seed by initiating a conversation about the Providence Associates. She described the program as an opportunity to form a personal connection with the sisters and to share in their work.

What got Bill hooked was “seeing who the sisters are and what they do,” he recalls. “I was drawn to how they live – their commitment is so incredible to others and to their own religious community. I love people who are committed.”

Personal connection results in extra effort

All of the Providence Associates support and carry out the work of the sisters in their own ways, Bill says. “You participate as much as you can and as much as you want to.”

Bill furthers the Providence building tradition, working on construction, renovation and remodeling projects for the community. The personal connection to the sisters encourages him to put extra effort into the work he does for them, Bill says.

“I get wrapped into what they are doing, and I help them make good decisions about investing their resources wisely.”

Over the years, Bill says he has gained a greater awareness of the laity’s increasingly important role in the work of the church. That awareness was bolstered during an international gathering of associates in Montreal, where Bill took a walking tour in the footsteps of Mother Emile Gamelin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence.

“To think that it all started with her,” he says, “that one single person made such an impact. It’s inspiring.”

I was drawn to how (the sisters) live – their commitment is so incredible to others and to their own religious community. I love people who are committed.