Renton, WA, September 13, 2022 –(PR.com)– This year, the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, recognizes eight jubilarians: Sister Dianne Crawford is celebrating her 50th anniversary. Celebrating 60 years are Sisters Fidela Adriano, Rosalie Locati, Mary Alice Miller, Barbara Schamber and Ann Mary Vu. And, Sisters Mary Fox and Liz Gress are both celebrating 75 years as Sisters of Providence.
The Sisters are marking their anniversaries this week with vespers, mass and a reception to be held in conjunction with a province-wide gathering.
Longer bios and photos are available at sistersofprovidence.net.
Dianne Crawford, SP, 50 Years
A RN and graduate from Seattle University, Sr. Dianne has served in hospitals and elder care facilities in Olympia, Everett and Portland. She tells story upon story of how she gains strength from those she served.
“God’s love is always growing, whether you are serving someone or they are ministering to you. It is a continuous circle,” she says when she reflects on her ministry.
“As you come to your life’s work, you need to come with an open heart,” she explains. “Be open to everything that comes your way. If you’re open, you will learn what you need to learn and God will be there.”
Sr. Dianne grew up on Vashon Island and attended Immaculate High School in Seattle.
Fidela Rosario Adriano, SP (Sr. Rosario Fidelis), 60 years
Sr. Fidela Adriano joined the congregation after nearly a decade as an RN in her native Philippines. She has faced many challenges in her life including her mother dying in World War II, her return to the Philippines only after her father died and her experiences forming a new Sisters of Providence community during a coup.
When she migrated to the US to join the congregation, Sr. Fidela’s first assignment was at St. Joseph Nursing Home in Spokane. She also served in Missoula, Montana, and at St. Mary’s Hospital in Walla Walla, Washington, as a registered nurse..
Her path led her to clinical pastoral education at St. Joseph Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then pastoral care at St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart in Spokane.
Rosalie Carol Locati, SP (Sister Angelica), 60 Years
Sr. Rosalie Locati recently retired from her mission work for Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where she served as a director and resource Sister. Most recently, she worked with caregivers sending them personal notes, providing mini-retreats, prayer reflections and other guidance and offering spiritual and mission-related resources.
She has also ministered as an elementary school teacher and a member of the University of Providence’s Board of Regents among other boards.
Her favorite ministry, which led to life-long relationships, was in campus ministry at the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center at Washington State University.
“Divine Providence has always held me tenderly, compassionately and mercifully,” she reflects. “I have been called by name and am so very grateful for that call.”
Mary Alice Miller, SP (Sister Anna Catherine), 60 years
Sr. Mary Alice Miller has been involved in ministry at St. Robert’s Parish in Burbank, California, for much of her life as a Sister of Providence. She is part of the faith life of generations of parishioners.
“I have had the privilege of educating many children. Now, as a volunteer at St. Roberts, I am seeing their children and grandchildren coming for Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations.”
Sr. Mary Alice is a graduate of Providence High School in Burbank. Her teaching career started at St. Joseph School in Vancouver, Washington, then Holy Family School in West Seattle, St. Finbar School in Burbank and Assumption School in Seattle. She spent 19 years teaching at St Roberts and the last 20 years on the parish staff or volunteering.
As she looks back on sixty years as a Sister of Providence, she is also grateful for the close relationship she has had with her family, for her many friends and for a Provident God who called her.
Barbara Schamber, SP (Sister Barbara Rose), 60 Years
Sr. Barbara Schamber’s is currently serving as the Provincial Leader for the Mother Joseph Province, the third time she has held that position.
“It’s been a privilege serving in the Leadership Team,” said Sr. Barbara. “The Provincial Council has been a gift to me because I have been able to visit with each of the Sisters. We pray, we laugh and, sometimes we cry.”
For someone so involved in leadership, however, her favorite ministry was teaching first graders because of their enthusiasm at that age for leading.
Reflecting on the role of Providence in her life, Sr. Barbara points to the care and support she has received from parents, grandparents, siblings and the Sisters of Providence community.
“We all experience Providence in different ways,” she says, “but as people of faith we can see every day how God is present in our lives and our response is one of gratitude to God.”
AnnMary Vu, SP, 60 Years
Sr. AnnMary Vu joined the Adorers of the Holy Cross order in 1962 and transferred to the Sisters of Providence in 2003. Her degrees in Physics and Chemistry prepared her for teaching in her native Vietnam but, once the communists took over, she was prohibited from teaching and was assigned to factory work.
Her life has given her plenty of opportunities to show trust in God. The decision to flee Vietnam with her family was difficult. She did not want to get her original religious order into trouble and feared what might happen if captured by Thai pirates. In her prayer, she told Jesus she would trust in His guidance. Happily, life is somewhat calmer now.
“It just shows you that no matter what the stage of your life, you can still do something powerful for God,” said Sr. AnnMary. “Elderly people are still valuable.”
Mary Fox, SP (Sr. Kathryn Ann), 75 Years
When she entered the Congregation in 1946, Sr. Mary Fox did not want to be a teacher or nurse but trusted that the community had many other opportunities. So, she was pleased that her first ministry was as assistant bookkeeper at the old St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Years later she had the opportunity to serve as a novitiate officer in charge of the pantry, the sisters’ refectory and the sewing room.
She worked on the switchboard at Providence Heights in Issaquah, Washington and then began her favorite ministry, 18 years as school secretary at St. Joseph Elementary School in Vancouver.
In 2012, she became the last sister to leave Vancouver, breaking the continuous stream of SP presence dating back to the arrival of Mother Joseph in 1856.
Liz Gress, SP (Sister Rose Monica), 75 Years
Sr. Liz Gress attended St. Joseph Academy in Sprague, Washington before she entered the order in 1946. Of her various ministries, she says her favorite was living in the novitiate community for twenty years, serving as a companion to the new Sisters and getting to know them as they started their new life.
Her years of service include many years of teaching, mostly in Montana schools. She has served as principal of St. Peter and Paul School in Great Falls, Montana, and spent six years as admissions counselor at the College of Great Falls (now the University of Providence.)
She has also had the distinction of being invited to teach at Maryville Academy which provides mental health, behavioral therapy and many other services for children who have experienced trauma.
Sisters of Providence are Catholic women religious who respond to the needs of people who are poor and vulnerable through education, parish ministry, health care, community service and support, housing, prison ministry, pastoral care, spiritual direction and foreign missions. Mother Joseph Province encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, California, El Salvador and the Philippines.