Sisters of Providence have worked alongside lay people since the early days of the congregation when they ministered to the suffering people of Montreal with the help of the Society of the Ladies of Charity.
Providence Associates was formally established as an organization in 1982. Members are compassionate lay people who desire to share the mission and spirituality of Providence. They are drawn by the same spirit and charism as the Sisters of Providence.
Today, there are more than 1,000 Providence Associates worldwide. They are women and men, single, married, widowed or divorced, who live all over the world and come from various ethnic, educational and faith traditions. Mother Joseph Province has about 225 Providence Associates in Alaska, California, Central America, Georgia, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Role of the Associates
Providence Associates and Sisters of Providence come together in community to enrich each others’ lives and deepen spiritual growth. Associates meet regularly, in person and virtually, for mutual faith sharing, prayer and reflection, workshops, retreats, community gatherings and ministry. They support and challenge one another in living the mission of Jesus Christ.
Ways to serve
Providence Associates share their gifts and talents in many ways:
- Providing meals for people in need
- Working in shelter, hospice and housing centers
- Volunteering in schools, jails, nursing homes, hospitals, community services, eco-centered organizations and churches
- Coordinating spiritual retreats
- Donating food, clothing and gifts to those who are underserved
- Actively serving in peace and social justice organizations
- Raising funds to support youth scholarships in developing countries
Become an Associate
Many individuals connect with a Sister of Providence or a Providence Associate through work, church, family or ministry. A person interested in partnering with the Sisters of Providence in an associate relationship participates in an orientation that consists of mutual sharing and reflection on the topics of Providence heritage: charism, mission, prayer, ministry, community and discernment. A sponsor accompanies the candidate on this journey.
After a period of evaluation and discernment, the individual formalizes this association with the Providence community by making a commitment that challenges her or him to live out the Providence spirit of prayer, service and hospitality to the poor.
The initial process culminates with a formal covenant ceremony including Providence Associates and Sisters of Providence. Associates continue their covenant commitments by deepening their relationships, building community with each other and with the sisters, and engaging with one another in prayer and ministry.
For more information, contact:
Providence Associates of Mother Joseph