Women religious from El Salvador and Vietnam transfer vows to Sisters of Providence

August 7, 2007


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Two women religious – natives of Vietnam and El Salvador – will participate in Eucharistic celebrations of the canonical transfer of their perpetual vows in September in Spokane. The ceremony for Gabrielle Nga Nguyen will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 8, and the ceremony for Ana Dolores Orellana will be at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, September 9. Both celebrations will be at Mount St. Joseph Chapel, 12 West 9th Avenue, followed by receptions.

“After sharing our life and mission with Sisters Gabrielle and Ana Dolores for more than three years, we welcome them as sisters,” says Provincial/Leadership Team Coordinator Margaret Botch, SP. “We have been mutually enriched by their presence. Their eagerness to love and serve Christ in the poor and their strong trust in Providence invite us to a deeper living of our common call.”

Both sisters are living in Providence communities, Sister Gabrielle in Spokane and Sister Ana Dolores in Portland.

Sister Gabrielle was born in South Vietnam in 1962, the second oldest of 10 children. Her family escaped to the United States in 1975, settling first in Fort Chaffee, Ark. She entered the Congregation of Mary Queen in 1982 in Springfield, MO, and professed final vows in 1991. After obtaining certification as an LPN, she served as a community health nurse at the St. Louis Vietnamese Center through Catholic Charities. Initially drawn to religious life by a wish to teach children, she was surprised to discover a passion for working with the elderly.

Sister Gabrielle met several Sisters of Providence at a workshop on transferring to another community and maintained contact with them for more than a year before deciding to take a closer look. She came to Spokane in February 2004 to live with sisters in a “Come and See” experience to explore whether a transfer of vows into the community would be right for her. That experience included visits to the sisters living in Yakima, Portland and Seattle. She began the transfer process in July 2004.

Today, Sister Gabrielle is working towards her RN degree at Spokane Community College and is on call at Mount St. Joseph.

Sister Ana Dolores, a Salvadoran citizen, has been a sister of perpetual vows in the religious community Mothers of the Orphans in Rome, Italy. She came to Spokane in August 2002, where her mother and most of her siblings have lived since becoming part of a sanctuary program at St. Ann’s Church before becoming documented.

Sister Ana Dolores began the formal transfer process with a prayer service attended by family and friends in Yakima in September 2003. She studied English as a Second Language and ministered with the Hispanic community in Yakima while living with Sisters of Providence at the candidate house. She completed a Come and See program that included five months living with sisters in El Salvador to experience the life of prayer, community and ministry with them.

She currently is taking English as a Second Language at Portland Community College. She also is a volunteer at Providence ElderPlace and at Providence Portland Medical Center.