Once again another earthquake, this time on February 27 in Chile, where Sisters of Providence have served in ministry in Bernarda Morin Province since 1853.The approximately 100 Sisters of Providence in Chile today continue their ministry of education, homes for the elderly and caring for social needs. “All of our sisters are well; no one has been injured as a result of the earthquake, the aftershocks or the tsunami,” General Superior Kathryn Rutan reported from the motherhouse in Montreal.
“The sisters are seeking ways to be of assistance to those who have lost everything and, in spite of the damaged roads, are carrying food and water to Concepcion and Linares and to other locations. At the same time, they carry the prayers, love and support of the entire Providence community to the sisters and to the people who have lost so much as a consequence of this natural disaster,” Sister Kathryn wrote.
The convents where the sisters live and the schools they run in Chile have experienced significant damage. An image often seen on the news is of the Church of Divine Providence, which suffered the loss of its bell and other damage. This was the first church that Mother Bernarda, foundress of the Sisters of Providence in Chile, built in Santiago. It is near the provincial house of the sisters on Avenida Providencia and no longer belongs to the religious community.
“In the images of the persons who are living with the consequences of the earthquakes in Haiti and in Chile, we can see the face of a Provident God,” Sister Kathryn wrote. “In their actions of compassion and mutual support, we can feel the presence and love of Jesus. In the midst of so much suffering, our Haitian and Chilean sisters and brothers are themselves evangelizers and witnesses of God’s love alive in our world. With them, we pray, Providence of God, we hope in you.”