Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



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


Twenty-three Sisters of Providence celebrate jubilees of Religious life

the Inland Register

(From the May 20, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Twenty-three Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province will celebrate significant anniversaries of their years in religious life at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 7000 35th Avenue S.W., in Seattle.

This year’s jubilarians reside in Seattle, Spokane, Centralia, Olympia, Walla Walla and Yakima in Washington state, as well as in Portland, Ore., and Burbank, Calif.

Msgr. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral, Seattle, will preside at the liturgy, which will be followed by a luncheon honoring the Jubiliarians in the parish hall.

The Jubilarians with ties to the Spokane Diocese are as follows:

75 Years

Sister Eva (Laureen) O’Hare taught all the grades from first through high school except for the third and fourth grades for a span of 40 years. She taught in Vancouver, Walla Walla, Tacoma, Moxee, Seattle, Yakima and Olympia, as well as Burbank, Calif., and Anchorage, Alaska. In addition, she served in ministry in health-care institutions in Tacoma, Olympia, Portland and Yakima. She was receptionist at Providence St. Vincent Hospital’s medical office building in Portland before she retired to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, in 1978.

70 Years

Sister Therese Leonie Beaupre was born in St. Hubert, Quebec, and entered the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, then was immediately missioned to St. Thomas Orphans’ Home in Great Falls, Mont. She went to work learning the English language and helping in the kitchen. For 30 years she worked in school and hospital kitchens in Great Falls, Wallace, Idaho, Missoula and Sprague, then became a patient visitor and pastoral care minister at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, where she stayed for 22 years. She retired to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, in 1990, then moved to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

Sister Catherine Palmatier SP Sister Catherine (Mary Francis) Palmatier was born in Corsica, S.D., but moved with her family to Miles City, Mont., at the age of three weeks. She met the Sisters of Providence when they literally came knocking on her family’s door on a begging tour to raise money for the orphans’ home. She became well-known as a pinch hitter for the Sisters of Providence for many of her 70 years in the Religious community, serving in ministry as a companion, teacher, bookkeeper, treasurer, prefect, dean of women, receptionist, secretary and pastoral minister. She taught in Great Falls, Glasgow and Missoula, Mont., and DeSmet and Wallace, Idaho. She served as bookkeeper and treasurer at medical facilities in Spokane, Colfax and Missoula. Before retiring to St. Joseph Residence, Spokane, she served in pastoral care ministry at St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula.

60 Years

Sister Dorothy Byrne SP Sister Dorothy (Dolores) Byrne (left)is a longtime educator who was born in a tiny oil town in Montana and was one of the foundresses of St. Raphael School in Glasgow, Mont. All told, she served 24 years as a teacher and/or principal in Missoula, Great Falls, Sprague, DeSales High School in Walla Walla and at Marycliff High School in Spokane. She also was an adult education consultant for the Diocese of Spokane, a member of the Provincial Council and pastoral associate at Assumption and Sacred Heart parishes, both in Spokane. She continues to be active as a member of the Diocese of Spokane’s seven-member review board dealing with sex abuse issues.

Sister Marita Chesnut SP Sister Marita Chesnut (right) was born in St. John, Wash., and was first a teacher at St. Thomas Home in Great Falls, then later in DeSmet and Wallace, Idaho; Missoula and Glasgow, Mont.; and Walla Walla, Wash. Three years of art school training and study of Creation Spirituality helped her find a new passion – creating figures from clay. Her artworks include Stations of the Cross, the Pieta, a life-size Nativity, parade floats and posters. In Great Falls, she created multiple statues that grace the entrance to the Gift of Life housing for families of cancer patients treated at nearby Benefis West. She retired in 1999 and currently resides at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane.

Sister Mary Audrey McCoy SP Sister Mary Audrey McCoy (left) served in ministry as a teacher, kitchen helper, librarian and nurse’s aide. She found her true calling in ministry as a home chore aide in Seattle’s Central Area, visiting the low-income elderly and helping them remain independent. Operating under the auspices of Catholic Community Services, she helped seven elderly people living alone on limited incomes remain independent. Whether it was grocery shopping, housecleaning, running errands or just offering companionship, she relished it. She taught in Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver, Tacoma and Burbank. Born in Spokane, she retired to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, in 1990.

Sister Mary Ann (Rosalia) Meyer was born on a farm in Washougal, Wash., and served as a teacher in schools in Yakima, Olympia, Moxee, Walla Walla, Van-couver and Seattle, as well as Sun Valley, Calif. For six years she served as supervisor of the 11 elementary schools administered by the Sisters of Providence while also directing the education block in the College of Sister Formation at Providence Heights. She later filled a teaching position in the Issaquah School District, then joined its curriculum department where she designed and trained teachers and aides to implement a federal grant program to increase the reading skills of children from low-income families. In 1978, she became director of religious education at St. Anthony Parish, Renton, and was pastoral associate at St. Mary Parish, Aberdeen. Retired since 1995, she lives in Olympia and volunteers in St. Michael Parish.

Sister Carol Marie Morin SP Sister Carol Marie Morin (right) was born in Red Lake Falls, Minn., and traveled by train at the age of six weeks to Missoula with her mother and seven brothers and sisters. Her ministry years as a companion and kitchen helper took her to St. Thomas Home, Great Falls; DeSmet, Idaho; Maryville Academy in Des-Plaines, Ill.; Wallace, Idaho; Sprague and Spokane. In 1965, motivated by a lifelong love of art, she began teaching arts and crafts in Great Falls, DeSmet, Sprague, Wallace and Spokane. She also served as activity director in nursing homes in Spokane. She retired to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, in 1998, but still always has an art project handy.

Sister Virginia (Monica Mary) Paul was born in Seattle and raised in Lincoln County, between Davenport, Wilbur and Sprague. After entering the Religious community she became a registered nurse and worked in hospitals in Wallace, Idaho, and for 17 years in Montana in St. Ignatius, Missoula, Great Falls and Fort Benton. In 1962, she was one of six Sisters sent on mission to minister in health care in the Patagonia area of Argentina, where she remained for 14 years. Returning in 1976, she moved to Walla Walla to provide nursing services at St. Mary Hospital. She has been in the region ever since, serving the community through a volunteer ministry to migrant farmworkers. She also continues to serve as a senior companion and volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul in Walla Walla.

50 Years

Sister Eileen Croghan SP Sister Eileen (Mark) Croghan (left), born in Great Falls, was a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane, as her first mission in the community. She subsequently served as director of nurses and later as director of educational services at St. Patrick School of Nursing, Missoula. She served from 1962 to 1968 in Great Falls, as director of Columbus School of Nursing and as assistant administrator of Columbus Hospital. After five years as director of hospital-wide education at Sacred Heart and a six-year term as provincial councilor for health and social services, she moved to St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula, as director of educational services. She returned to Columbus Hospital as vice president of general services in 1987, remaining in administration there until 1992. Sister Eileen was provincial superior of the former St. Ignatius Province from 1992 until the end of 1999. She currently is a Community Life Team member at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane.

Sister Chloe Keitges Sister Chloe Keitges (right) (formerly known as Sister Matthew Marie of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon), born in Danbury, Iowa, and served as a primary grade teacher in St. Andrew’s Parish, Portland, for 15 years. She transferred into the Sisters of Providence 30 years ago and found a new love: pastoral ministry in pediatrics at Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane, where she became known as the “play lady” to young cancer patients and children in long-term care. Three years later she moved to Providence Hospital in Everett to offer a similar ministry to less severely ill children. After studying pastoral care at Providence Medical Center, Portland, she began serving the elderly through pastoral care at Providence Mount St. Vincent, Seattle. She also was director of pastoral care at St. Joseph Hospital, Aberdeen, and a pastoral associate at Mount St. Vincent before beginning a healing ministry at Still Point House of Prayer in Seattle. Later, she volunteered to teach English as a Second Language at Casa Hogar in Yakima and opened a clothes closet that offered free clothes to the needy. She also did volunteer work in jail ministry with women. She currently resides at Emilie Court, Spokane.

Sister Charlotte (Paulette) Van Dyke was the reigning Miss Capitol Hill and slated to be a Seafair princess in Seattle in 1953 when she entered the Sisters of Providence. Born in Olympia, she had finished two years as a student nurse at Seattle University when she entered the community. Since then she has embraced four very different careers – teaching, nursing, hospital administration and law. She taught in Walla Walla and Providence High School, Burbank, then was sent to St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, to resume her nursing studies. She later was assigned to Burbank as a staff nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, then enrolled in 1967 in the MBA program at George Washington University, followed by a residency at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, and as a consultant for an international firm in Washington, D.C. Next came 20 years in administration with Providence Health System in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, as well as at Providence Hospital, Oakland, and Providence Hospital, Seattle. She was named chief executive of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Yakima, where she served for 12 years before moving to St. Joseph Hospital, Aberdeen. She became an attorney in 1994 after studies at the University of Puget Sound and passing the bar exam, then began a practice in downtown Seattle specializing in family law that she continued until early this year.

25 Years

Sister Lois Murray SP Sister Lois Murray became a Sister of Providence at the age of 55 after working as a journalist on the staff of the Great Falls Tribune for 19 years. Born in Los Angeles, she was a non-believer when she came to Great Falls in 1957, but experienced an awakening of faith when she was sent to interview Sister Providencia, a Sister of Providence who was a committed advocate for Native Americans. In 1975, she was confirmed into the Catholic faith and she became a candidate in the Religious community in 1978. From 1982 to 1990 she served in mission in Harlem, Mont., working on the Fort Belknap Reservation. After serving as editor of a province publication, she was in volunteer ministry in Great Falls, then retired to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, in 1996.


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