Sr. Kathryn Rutan adds pioneering spirit to Guatemalan service trip

A special guest joined Providence Health International’s service trip to Guatemala last May. Former general superior of the international congregation of the Sisters of Providence, Sister Kathryn “Kitsy” Rutan added her gifts to the talented team of Oregon employees.

As a vital member of the stove installation team, Sister Kitsy – just 77 years young – traveled the twisting mountain roads and climbed the steep hillside towards a goal of reducing serious health hazards for 40 families in the village of Sehaquiba. She brought with her the pioneering spirit and comforting presence of a Sister of Providence.

Read Sister Kitsy’s full reflection on her time in Guatemala

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Providence Health International’s Guatemala initiative provides opportunities for Providence employees to participate in international development, particularly around global health.  This shared experience allows them to live the legacy the Sisters of Providence have left them with and to really understand what it means to be a person of Providence.

In this first year of the Guatemala initiative, PHI has made several service trips to Guatemala, but this is the first that included a Sister of Providence, said Aimee Khuu, program director for the Guatemala initiative.  “It was so important to have Sister Kitsy on this trip,” Aimee said.  “It put the group in touch with the Sisters of Providence in a real connection.;

“Sister Kitsy offered a wonderful challenge through her ability to provoke conversation.  She called the team members sons and daughters of Mother Emilie Gamelin and asked, ‘what would she say if she were with us?’  That took everyone to a deep place of contemplation.”

Aimee said the group bonded before the service trip through three orientations, and during it through nightly reflections. Team members have gathered several times since then, and a summer reunion was planned with family members.

To visit the Providence Health International website, click here.