Irene Charron, SP (Sister Ann) – 80 Years

Sr. Irene Charron motto is “Everything in moderation.”  At 102 years young, that philosophy has obviously served her well.

Irene Charron, SP

“God has always given me enough light and strength to accomplish what I wanted to do,” said Sr. Irene about her 80 years as a Sister of Providence.  Having spent more than 20 years at St Joseph Residence, she now considers it her second home.

Since her earliest days in the novitiate, Sr. Irene has been at home with her circumstances. While others found the need to adapt to the new routine of the novitiate, Sr. Irene was pleased that the routine of meals and bedtime were the same as her family’s home in Yakima, Washington.

It probably should not be a surprise that she adapted so well to the novitiate.  Sr. Irene came home from her first day in first grade at St. Joseph’s Academy in Yakima and announced to her mother that she intended to be a Sister of Providence when she grew up.

She was inspired by the Sisters at the Academy in the same way she is now inspired by her fellow Sisters at St. Joseph Residence:

“I see the Sisters as loving one another, helping each other,” she said.  “As a young girl, they were like angels to me.  They seemed peaceful and radiated a steady upbeat air.”

Entering the community in 1942, and making her first profession two years later, she spent many years teaching at schools around the Province.  She was for several years the librarian at Providence High School in Burbank, California, and even spent some time at the Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois.  She also spent 17 years as the Medical Librarian at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Yakima where she visited patients and served as the Sisters’ representative.

Sr. Irene is abundantly thankful for the life she now has but her mood turns pensive and concerned when she talks about people who have little.  She especially thinks about migrants looking for help and assistance and how they might feel trying to protect their children.

She is optimistic by nature but if she ever needs cheering up she has some diversions that work for her: “I enjoy painting, reading and game shows,” she said. 

Her real graces, however, come from the Holy Rosary, which she says twice a day.

“I’m happy when praying the rosary,” says Sr. Irene.  “It is a blessing just being alive.  I’m particularly blessed to be with my fellow Sisters, taking care of each other.

“The seasons quickly come and go.  All I can say is thanks be to God for all.  I have been blessed.”