Anxious energy had me up early as I prepared to meet the sisters and the other students participating in this amazing opportunity to be involved with the oral history project SisterStory. Our first encounter started by celebrating Mass in the Annunciation Chapel. The chapel was sparsely decorated, but its simplicity was peace inspiring.
We soon changed gears as we made our way to the convent’s dining room. As I sat enjoying the delicious meal, the clattering of utensils and the chattering of friends filled the room and I wondered about the joys and the sorrows, the fears and the courage, and the failures and accomplishments of the women religious in the room. I thought about how many books and how many subjects could be written with just the knowledge in this simple, unassuming dining room.
At this point we, the students, were not aware which of the sisters each of us would get to know intimately, so the anticipation was high. As we transitioned from the dining room to the meeting room, we walked through a maze of corridors within the convent, ending at a comfortable, spacious living area. I automatically felt at home even though the sisters were on one side of the cozy sitting area and the students were on the other. I wanted to chuckle since both sides were probably nervous, a nervousness which would quickly fade after praying together the Act of Abandonment to Divine Providence, a prayer by Father John Martin Moye.
After a brief introduction, the sisters were asked to state what they hoped to gain from this project. The sisters are hoping that by using this storytelling platform they will be able to share with others what the Providence Charism is, what it means and what it has done for them and those they serve. Sister Joyce provided the best one line that sealed my interest in wanting to know more when she said, “The same spiritual DNA that ran in the original founders also runs in my DNA.”
Wait! What? Tell me more…