From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Twelve Sisters of Providence celebrate jubilees

the Inland Register

(From the July 5, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

Twelve Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province celebrated 60-, 50- and 25-year anniversaries of Religious life at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23. The liturgy, followed by a luncheon, was celebrated in the Chapel at Mount St. Joseph in Spokane.

Bishop Skylstad presided at the liturgy.

The 12 Jubilarians will be celebrated at a second Jubilee liturgy and luncheon in August in the Seattle area, presided over by Seattle's Archbishop Alex Brunett.

Celebrating 60 years since taking first vows are Sisters Simonne Begin, and Cecilia Paganessi, Spokane; Maryann Benoit, Great Falls, Mont.; and Joan O’Brien and Elizabeth Sandmeyer, Seattle.

Celebrating 50 years are Sisters Mary K. Cummings and Anna Marie Koval, Spokane, and Scholastica Lee and Christopher Querin, Seattle.

Celebrating 25 years as a Sister of Providence are Sisters Patricia Glen, Seattle; Josefina Ramac, Quezon City, the Philippines; and Anna Loan Nguyen, Spokane.

Sister Simonne Begin, born in Atibiti, Quebec, Canada, had an international career in nursing and administration. Her most meaningful ministry experiences included service as a health advisor in the war zone in Vietnam and as a nurse for U.S.migrant workers in a federal program. In addition, she worked as a nursing administrator in Providence Hospital facilities in Seattle and Portland, Great Falls, Mont., and Wallace, Idaho.

Education ministry has been the life work of Sister Maryann Benoit, who began as an elementary and secondary school teacher of English and later Spanish. She currently serves in Great Falls, Mont., in Language Helping Services. Her own educational opportunities have taken her from the College of Great Falls to Gonzaga University, and the universities of San Francisco, Washington, and Notre Dame, as well as Cuernavaca and Saltillo, Mexico.

Born in Asssumption Village, Quebec, Canada, Sister Joan O’Brien moved into a Sisters of Providence orphanage at the age of 8 after the death of her mother. She was sent to Seattle in 1942 and spent many years in health ministry as a nurse, and as supervisor in medical services in several hospitals. She also helped develop the pastoral care ministry at Providence Medical Center in Seattle and ministered to the low-income housing residents at Vincent House in Seattle.

Sister Cecilia Paganessi, born in Centerville, Mont., began her teaching career at St. Francis Xavier Grade School in Missoula. For the next 31 years, she taught in parochial grade schools in Glasgow and Great Falls, Mont.; Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho; and Colfax and Walla Walla, Wash. She later served as an accountant in the business office at the College of Great Falls.

Sister Elizabeth Sandmeyer, born in Yakima, Wash., has the distinction of having taught in every high school in the former Sacred Heart Province over a period of 40 years. She then worked as a volunteer in various parishes in Burbank, Calif., before returning to Seattle as a volunteer helping immigrants learn English.

Sister Mary K. Cummings, born at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, currently serves as local superior/administrator of Mount St. Joseph and Emilie Court, in Spokane. Her ministries have included service as an elementary school teacher for eight years followed by work in finance at the College of Great Falls. She was director of pastoral care and of volunteers in a small rural hospital in Polson, Mont., while also commuting between Spokane and Western Montana as a part-time provincial council member.

Sister Anna Marie Koval was taught by Sisters of Providence in Missoula, Mont. After nurse’s training at Saint Patrick School of Nursing, she embarked on a 34-year health-care ministry that took her to Wallace, Idaho; St. Ignatius, Fort Benton, Missoula and Great Falls, Mont.; Spokane; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She currently is part-time chaplain at St. Joseph’s Care Center in Spokane.

Born in Eden, Ireland, Sister Scholastica Lee has served ministries in teaching, parish ministry and chaplaincy. Her first position was as a teacher at St. Patrick School in Walla Walla, Wash., followed by teaching assignments in grades 4 through 7 at many other schools in the state. Her parish and chaplaincy ministries have been in Coos Bay, Coquille, and Portland, Ore., and in Snohomish, Wash.

Sister Christopher Querin considers her most important ministry to be teaching political science courses at Seattle University, and serving as political science department chair from 1980 to 1986. She currently serves as assistant to the chair of the Providence Health System Board of Directors. Born in Seattle, she also served as a trustee for the College of Great Falls in Montana.

Born in Tacoma, Sister Patricia Glen spent 10 years in youth ministry in the Archdiocese of Seattle and also had a ministry to the sick and dying as a hospital chaplain at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland. She also served as director of pastoral care at Providence Yakima Medical Center. She currently holds two part-time positions, as assistant local superior at St. Joseph Residence in Seattle and as director of mission integration at Providence Mount St. Vincent.

Sister Josefina Ramac currently has a ministry as novitiate director in her country of origin, the Philippines, where she returned after a nearly 42-year absence. Prior to that, she served in a ministry in Yakima, working with the Hispanic community at St. Joseph Parish, and in parish pastoral ministry with families in Immaculate Conception Parish in Los Angeles.

Sister Anna Loan Nguyen, who was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, completed her transfer of vows into Sisters of Providence in a ceremony in February at the Vietnamese Martyrs Church in Seattle. She recently graduated from Gonzaga University with a master’s degree in spirituality and has been involved in ministries as a teacher and parish minister in Seattle. She has studied religious literature, theology, scripture, and biblical and pastoral ministry in Vietnam, Rome and England.


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