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

Providence Sister professes perpetual vows; three other women are now novices

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 23, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

The Mother Joseph Province of the Sisters of Providence welcomed three new novices recently.

In addition, one Sister made her pepetual vows.

Providence Sister Blanca Sagles professed perpetual vows Aug. 19 at St. Joseph West, Yakima, Wash.

Born in the Philippines, she lived and worked in Toronto for eight years and is a Canadian citizen.

She entered the novitiate of Sisters of Providence, Sacred Heart Province, on Aug. 15, 1996, and professed first vows on Aug. 9, 1998.

Most recently, Sister Blanca has been in charge of mission integration at St. Joseph/Marquette School in Yakima, where her duties included carrying out the Sisters’ mission statement through the religious program, coordinating outreach activities for eighth graders, teaching religion classes to third graders, and planning the school’s liturgies.

While a canonical novice, from August 1996-1997, she studied theology and spirituality at Gonzaga University, while also serving as a volunteer at the Women’s Drop-in Center in Spokane. As a candidate in Yakima, she taught religious education at St. Joseph Parish in Yakima and worked in child care at the interfaith organization Casa Hogar.

Prior to her entrance, she worked as an accountant at Max Factor in Hollywood and at 1928 Jewelry in Burbank, Calif.

Beginning Sept. 3, Sister Blanca will serve as director of Emilie House, a low-income housing facility for the elderly in Portland.

The next day, Aug. 20, three women entered the novitiate of Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, in a simple prayer service on Aug. 20 at the Candidate House in Yakima, Wash., where they have spent the past year becoming acquainted with the Religious community.

The new canonical novices are:

  • Margaret Anne Rising, of Chula Vista, Calif., formerly administrative assistant to the chairman of Brento Corporation in San Diego. Born in Pittsburgh, she holds a diploma in religious education from the University of San Diego and the Diocese of San Diego.
  • Jessica Taylor, of Sumner, Wash., formerly a special education teacher at Highline High School in Burien, where she was born. She holds bachelors degrees in psychology and special education from Central Washington University.
  • Brenda Velasco, of Spokane, who formerly worked in news production at local television stations in the Tri-Cities and Spokane. Born in Santa Barbara, Calif., and raised in Wisconsin, she holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Following the novitiate, which is located in Spokane, the next step to entry into vowed Religious life is profession of first vows.

As the number of Sisters continues to decline, efforts are being made today to attract a broader spectrum of candidates. As a result, women entering the community are no longer just recent high school graduates.

Both Brenda Velasco, who is of Mexican descent, and Jessica Taylor, are college-educated. Margaret Anne Rising formerly was married and has four grown children.

These three women, with different ages and life experiences, represent a new reality for communities of vowed women Religious today.

The novitiate is a stage of discernment and of intensive preparation for responding to the call of God, says Providence Sister Barbara Schamber, Team Leader/Provincial, quoting from the Sisters of Providence Constitutions.

In a climate of solitude and prayer, the novice comes to a more intimate knowledge of Jesus and of his mission the novitiate is a process in which the novice gradually comes to a desire to offer herself totally to God.

Sisters of Providence are women of faith who respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable through education, parish ministry, health care, community service, housing, prison ministry, pastoral care, spiritual direction and retreats, and foreign missions.

Mother Joseph Province encompasses Alaska, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington in the United States, as well as El Salvador.

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