Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Mother Joseph Province includes Washington State
the Inland Register
(From the Aug. 3, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)
Six women, both laity and Religious, provide leadership for the Sisters of Providence’s Mother Joseph Province. Seated, from left, are Sisters Kaye Belcher and Annette Seubert, both Provincial Councilors. Standing, from left, are Sisters Anita Butler (Provincial Treasurer) and Charlotte Van Dyke (Provincial Councilor), Alaine Qualls (Provincial Secretary), and Siste4r Margaret Botch (Provincial Superior/Leadership Team Coordinator). (IR photo from the Sisters of Providence)
Sisters of Providence are Catholic women of faith called to respond to the needs of society’s poor and vulnerable.
They take their inspiration from Blessed Emilie Gamelin, who founded the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, Quebec, in 1843. A young widow, she was moved by the love of Christ to serve the many poor, hungry and sic people who lived around her. The people, who looked upon Emilie as “providence” for the needy, named her work “Providence.”
In 1856, Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart and four other Sisters traveled to the Pacific Northwest, establishing schools, hospitals, orphanages and other homes of care for those in need.
Mother Joseph Province, headquartered in Seattle and Spokane, encompasses Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and El Salvador. It was formed in 2000 with the combination for the former St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart provinces.
The province is one of five in the international community whose Motherhouse is in Montreal, Quebec. General Superior Kathryn “Kitsy” Rutan, a native of Great Falls, Mont., is a former member of the Mother Joseph Province Leadership Team. She is the second U.S. citizen to lead the international community that is spread across Canada, the United States, Chile, El Salvador, Argentina, Egypt, the Philippines, Haiti and Cameroon.
Currently, Mother Joseph Province includes about 185 professed Sisters, one Sister in temporary vows, and two novices. There also are approximately 250 Providence Associates, “caring individuals who desire to share the mission and spirituality of Providence but do not seek vowed membership.” Associates are men and women of various faiths.
The Sisters’ ministries include education, parish ministry, health care, community service and support, housing, prison ministry, pastoral care, spiritual direction and retreats, and foreign missions.
Sponsored ministries include Providence Health System, headquartered in Seattle, and Providence Services, headquartered in Spokane, in addition to various community projects.