Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Northwest Sister named general superior of Sisters of Providence International; another Northwest Sister named to General Council

(From the , 2012 edition of the Inland Register)

Providence Sister Karin Dufault (right), provincial superior of the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, has been chosen to serve a five-year term as general superior of the Sisters of Providence international community. She is the 18th general superior of the congregation headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Delegates at the congrega-tion’s General Chapter called Sister Karin to the post through a process of discernment on Thursday, July 26.

The following day, another Sister from Mother Joseph Province, Sister Mary Kaye Nealen, was selected as a member of the General Council. Both their terms will begin Nov. 1, 2012, and continue through Oct. 31, 2017.

Sister Karin succeeds Sister Kathryn “Kitsy” Rutan, also of Mother Joseph Province, who has been general superior since 2002.

The international community of Sisters of Providence includes four provinces and a vice-province, with Sisters serving in ministry in the United States, Canada, Chile, Egypt, El Salvador, Cameroon, Argentina, Haiti and the Philippines.

A process for identifying Sister Karin’s replacement as provincial superior has yet to be determined.

A native of the Yakima Valley, Sister Karin entered the Sisters of Providence in 1959. Prior to becoming provincial superior on Jan. 1, 2010, she was executive director of Supportive Care Coalition: Pursuing Excellence in Palliative Care, in Portland, Ore., for five years.

Her background also includes serving in leadership in Providence Health System, now known as Providence Health & Services. Her roles included vice president of mission leadership, full-time chair of the board of directors, and acting president and CEO. She also was administrator at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, in Yakima, Wash., and assistant administrator for patient care services at Providence Portland (Oregon) Medical Center. She also was responsible for oncology and gerontology program development, including hospice services.

Sister Karin’s educational background includes undergraduate degrees in social science and nursing from Seattle University. She also holds a master’s degree in medical/surgical nursing (oncology focus) and a doctorate (gerontology focus) from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She completed the Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1985.

Sister Mary Kaye Nealen (left) is associate professor of theology and ministry at the University of Great Falls, Mont., where she has served in ministry on the campus for more than 20 years. She also has served as director of mission integration, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

She holds degrees from Seattle University and Aquinas Institute of Theology, as well as a doctorate in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America.

Earlier this year, Sister Mary Kaye traveled to Lorraine, France, for the intercongregational Sisters of Divine Providence assembly, where she gave the keynote address to seven congregations at a 250th anniversary event in honor of their founder, Blessed John Martin Moye, with the theme “Theology of Mission for the Whole Providence Family in the Context of a Globalized World.”

Born in Spokane, Sister Mary Kaye entered the novitiate in Seattle in 1960. This will be her second time serving on the General Council.

(IR photos courtesy of the Sisters of Providence)


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