Sister Dorothy Byrne has a ministry of prayer and presence at Emilie Court in Spokane, Washington.

What ministries have you participated in as a Sister of Providence?

When I entered Sisters of Providence, I thought I wanted to be a nurse. But the regulations required one to wait until making final vows — three years after religious profession — to enter nurses’ training. So instead I began teaching. I taught junior and senior high school and served as principal in both. I received masters degrees in history and education. Along with Vatican II, the latter changed my worldview.

I worked in the Diocesan Pastoral Center for six years and served on our Providence Provincial Council before choosing parish ministry at Assumption Parish in Spokane. For the past 16 years I have served as pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish. I’ve enjoyed each ministry!

What do you like best about parish ministry?

Getting to know people, especially adults, so I can encourage and support them as they grow in their faith life.

What do you do at the parish?

I have worked with RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) all through my 16 years here. I also train eucharistic ministers and lectors, visit the sick, take Eucharist to those in nursing homes or shut-ins in their own home, facilitate scripture sessions, initiate and work with small faith groups and outreach and other areas that need me. I’ve been part of the Parish Council, Religious Education Board, and outreach committee.

What are some of the things you’ve enjoyed as a Sister of Providence?

I’ve enjoyed living with other sisters in our Providence community. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to be well prepared for my various ministries. Being asked to serve on health care and higher education boards broadened my understanding in both areas and gave me new insights.

What have been some of your challenges?

My early years of teaching junior high gave me challenges. Physical illness from time to time has also been a problem. Hierarchical church structures have made it a challenge for women serving in the church, but I have seen improvement in my lifetime and have hope for the next generation of women in the church.

What is your motivation?

I want to be an instrument of God’s loving Providence by being a woman of compassion, sensitive to the needs of others.

I want to be an instrument of God’s loving Providence by being a woman of compassion, sensitive to the needs of others.