Three Sisters of Providence were missioned to international experiences early Monday, September 23, in the chapel at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane. Sisters Annette Seubert and Vilma Franco were blessed, embraced and offered good wishes as they prepared to travel to El Salvador. Sister Sue Orlowski was missioned to Chile. For Sister Vilma, the ministry experience in El Salvador is also a homecoming to her native land. For Sister Annette, the cross-cultural experience in El Salvador fulfills a long time dream of being part of the Providence mission that began there in 1995. And Sister Sue has been brushing up on her Spanish in preparation for a cross-cultural experience that includes work with teenage girls in the orphanage in Valparaiso, Chile. The opening prayer for the missioning ceremony was as follows:
“Creator God, we gather together this day to ask your blessing on the ministry of service of our sisters. You taught us that faith without works is dead, so with love and hope we entrust our sisters to the mission to which you are calling them at this time. May they be strengthened by your Providence. Open their hearts and minds to the guidance of your Spirit so that they will recognize the opportunities for good that lie before them. May our time together be of benefit to each of us and to all the people we serve, reinforcing our sense of call to your service. May it enliven and refresh our spirits and our commitment to our ministry. Amen.”
Some of those attending the missioning offered their own thoughts about the sisters’ journeys. Sister Mary Wilson noted that “the world has become much smaller” with the congregation’s embrace of what is known as the “3 Is” – international, intergenerational and intercultural.
Sister Rosa Sen Nguyen said that the more sisters go away for intercultural experiences, “the more the reality comes alive,” but she added that it was not easy to see three sisters from her own house leave. “My great desire for you is that you arrive with your whole being open to receive what God wishes to give you there,” Sister Marisol Àvila said in Spanish, which was interpreted by Sister Kathryn Rutan. May God bless and protect all these sisters as they go forth to minister in the name of Providence.