Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
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Sister of Providence from El Salvador to profess first vows in Spokane Aug. 15
the Inland Register
(From the Aug. 2, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)
Margarita Hernandez (right), a 26-year-old native of El Salvador, will make first profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as a Sister of Providence at a 7 p.m. Mass on Aug. 15 in the chapel of Mount St. Joseph, 12 W. 9th Ave. in Spokane.
“En sus manos he questo mi confianza (In your hands I have put my confidence)” is the theme Sister Margarita has chosen for her vow ceremony.
Celebrant for the bilingual Mass will be Bishop William Skylstad. Concelebrating will be Jesuit Father Misael Enrique Rueda Meza.
A reception will follow the Mass.
By taking these vows, Sister Margarita makes her formal commitment as one of the 168 Sisters in Mother Joseph Province who embrace the charism and the mission of the Sisters of Providence.
Sister Margarita arrived in Spokane last spring from Chile, where she was a canonical novice.
Sister Margarita’s home village is in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador, which is where the Sisters of Providence first established their mission in 1995. Her family back home includes her father, seven brothers and three sisters. Her mother died one month into Sister Margarita’s candidate year.
During the war that ravaged El Salvador from 1980-1992, many people did not go to the church because they were easily influenced by those in authority and were afraid, said Sister Margarita.
After the war ended, things slowly began to change. Once the Sisters of Providence arrived, she began to notice a growth in her community.
“I saw the reality of our people,” she said. “They began getting involved with the church again and their faith began to grow.”
She became involved in her community as a youth group leader, animator and catechism teacher for young children, and was aided in her own education through scholarship funds contributed by Providence Associates in Portland, Ore. (Providence Associates are women and men of various faiths who share the mission and spirituality of Providence but who do not seek vowed membership.)
“The Sisters of Providence brought a new face to La Papalota,” Sister Margarita says. “A lot of enthusiasm evolved among the people, especially the youth. I, too, began to open up to others more and felt a need to help.”
Her admiration of the sisters’ spirituality and prayer life led her to do a “Come and See” experience in 2001. This gave her the opportunity to live with the Sisters of Providence and see what it was like. She says she loved the experience and felt that her call to Religious life was growing stronger.
“I felt that this truly is the life God was calling me to do. His call is a wonderful mystery,” she said.
Sister Margarita will study English as a Second Language at the Institute for Extended Learning’s Adult Education Center. Her dream is to study psychology so she can help her people in El Salvador.