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


Providence Sisters will celebrate jubilees in Seattle

the Inland Register

(From the July 7, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Twenty Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province will celebrate significant anniversaries of their years in religious life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Seattle.

One of the Jubilarians, Sister Kathryn “Kitsy” Rutan, a native of Great Falls, resides in Montreal, Quebec, where she is serving a five-year term as general superior of Sisters of Providence International. In addition, a Salvadoran Sister who is residing in Yakima while exploring transfer from another religious community will celebrate 25 years of Religious life.

This year’s jubilarians reside in Olympia, Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Yakima.

Seattle’s Archbishop Alex J. Brunett will preside at the liturgy, which will be followed by a luncheon honoring the Jubilarians in the parish hall. The theme of the celebration is “We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

Spokane Sisters celebrating their jubilees are:

75 Years

Sister Anne Bouffard was born in eastern Canada and moved with her family to Butte, Mont. She entered the novitiate in Seattle and made first vows in 1930. A graduate of the nursing school at Columbus Hospital, Great Falls, she served in ministry as a nurse in every hospital in the former St. Ignatius Province. Sister Anne also served as a pastoral care minister, working with Native Americans at St. Ignatius and Browning, Mont., and among Hispanics and low-income residents of Walla Walla. She retired to Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, in 1994.

Sister Louisa Hageman, born in Chewelah in 1904, celebrated her 100th birthday last year. She entered the Religious community in 1930 and made first vows in 1932. Before entering, she attended Kinman Business College, Spokane, and did several years of office work. After earning a degree in medical technology, she managed laboratories and supporting services in Providence hospitals in Montana and Washington and was certified as a clinical medical technologist. Sister Louisa was among the first Sisters of Providence in the province to take a course in pastoral ministry (CPE), receiving certification from St. Joseph Hospital, Denver. She served a term at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, as superior/coordinator before beginning a “second life” in health care at Sacred Heart Medical Center, where she worked in pastoral care for 20 years. She retired to Mount St. Joseph in 1993.

70 Years

Sister Paul Gabriel Desilets was born on a maple tree farm in St. Wenceslas, County of Nicolet, Quebec, in 1914. In 1935 she entered the convent of the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, joining her great aunt. After two years in the novitiate she made profession in 1937 and was surprised to be ordered to go west. The Religious community sent her to school to learn English and to become a dietitian. Since 1941, all of her years have been spent on the east side of the mountains, beginning with Columbus Hospital, Great Falls. She spent nearly 20 years in the dietary department of St. Ignatius Hospital, Colfax, and later was a dietitian at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, for 15 years. She retired there in 1996.

Sister Agnes Rohr was born in 1916 in Brooklyn, N.Y, and was taken in by the New York Foundling Hospital of the Sisters of Charity in New York City as an infant. She grew up in Yakima with the adoptive family of Peter and Mary Rohr that she joined in July 1919. Sister Agnes graduated from St. Vincent Academy, Walla Walla, and entered the novitiate in 1934 at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, where she professed first vows. Her 35-year ministry in teaching began in the former Sacred Heart Province, in schools from Alaska to California. Her second career was in health care, starting in 1971 in medical records at Providence Hospital, Portland, and then admissions and the information desk at St. Vincent Hospital, Portland. She later became receptionist at St. Vincent, followed by a move to St. Mary’s Hospital, Walla Walla, where she was admitting clerk and then director of volunteer services. In late 1982, she transferred to the former St. Ignatius Province. After serving on the switchboard and as a driver at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, she retired there in 1988 but continued to volunteer for a time as a Eucharistic minister at St. Aloysius Parish.

50 Years

Sister Kathryn Rutan was born in 1936, the second of six children. She has lived “the fullness of Religious life,” entering the Sisters of Charity of Providence in Seattle in 1954, the year she graduated from high school in her birthplace of Great Falls, Mont.

Her first ministry was teaching fourth grade at St. Francis Xavier School, Missoula. She also taught at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Wallace, Idaho, and in Great Falls at St. Thomas Home and at Sts. Peter and Paul School, where she also was principal.

She received a bachelor’s in education from the College of Great Falls in 1961 and the master’s from Georgetown. She also did post-graduate work at Seattle University and Louisiana State University. She has served as a provincial councilor and was provincial superior of the former St. Ignatius Province from 1986 to 1992. She was legislative policy coordinator for Providence Services, interim director at Providence Renewal Centre in Edmon-ton, and spent a year as a dishwasher at Eddie’s Find Foods, Boise.

Active in many peace and justice groups, she also was assistant director of Montana Encampment for Citizenship. She was in Spokane, serving as a member of the first Leadership Team of Mother Joseph Province, formed in 2000, when she was called to Montreal. In October 2002 she moved there to become general superior of the 1,000-plus member congregation of the Sisters of Providence International.

25 Years

Sister Ana Dolores Orellana OMO was born in El Salvador in 1963. She met the Oblates of the Mother of Orphans at the age of 15 and claimed to be the mandatory age of 16 to enter the community. When she was 18, she entered the novitiate in Milan, Italy. Her father, coffee farmer Jose Stanislaus, was taken by soldiers and never returned home. Her mother and most of her siblings received sanctuary at St. Ann Parish in Spokane and continue to live in that city.

Sister Ana Dolores met the Sisters of Providence there and has been living with the Providence Sisters as she explores a transfer of vows. Currently, she is living in Yakima, teaching 15-year-old Mexican girls Quinciñera preparation, including responsibilities they will have to take in this coming of age rite in their community, and she is taking English as a Second Language courses at Yakima Valley Community College.


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