Lucille (Lucy) Villanova, SP (Sr. Mary Eugenius) – 80 Years

Sr. Lucy just celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year and proudly displayed the gift which makes her smile – a faux newspaper front page highlighting the cost of a home in 1923, other events from the year and a list of famous people who were born the same year.

Lucy Villanova, SP

“My life has been regulated by Providence in very apparent and real ways,” she explained.  “I lost my mother before I was two years old and my father never remarried.  I lived for eight years in the Marysville Academy and then with an aunt and uncle.”

Sr. Lucy points to a particular instance that shows how Providence has worked.

After a retreat in California, her ride to the bus depot had to take her earlier than originally planned. During breakfast, Lucy’s subsequent conversation led to the fact that the man she was conversing with was from Montreal and had been educated by the Sisters of Providence. Before he left, his partings were “God bless your ministry.”

“Why else would Providence place me in that diner, much earlier than I needed to be there, with total strangers who were also touched by Providence?” she reflected.  “God picked me up and planted me right there!”

She also sees Providence in her friendships with Srs. Annunciata and Lucille Dean who looked after her during her ministries. Mother Annunciata was responsible for Sr. Lucy coming to Seattle and her lifetime interest in art and calligraphy.

“Those two life-long friends were of great influence in my life.”

She recalls fondly some words from Sr. Dean: “Sister Lucy has graced our lives, she has challenged us, she has ministered to us.  Over the years she has even annoyed some of us ordinary people.”

Sr. Lucy earned a bachelor’s degree at the College of Great Falls (now University of Providence) and a master’s in art from the University of Notre Dame.  She went on to teach for more than 45 years. 

She spent 16 of those years at Providence High School in Burbank, California.  She also created a mosaic for the baptistry at St. Finbar Parish to commemorate the many years the Sisters of Providence taught at the Burbank parish.  The three-panel display took more than 700 hours to complete and serves as a testament to her creativity.

As one of the newest members of the century club, Sr. Lucy chuckled, she knows she is blessed to be in good health for her age.