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


Providence Sistersí Mother Joseph Province names new provincial councilor

the Inland Register

(From the January 17, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Celia Chappell SP (IR photo courtesy of the Sisters of Providence)

Following upon discernment and sharing with several Sisters, the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province (MJP), has announced that Sister Celia Chappell has begun a two-year term as the new provincial councilor effective Jan. 3, 2013.

Sister Celia replaces Sister Judith Desmarais, who became provincial superior when Sister Karin Dufault left for Montreal to serve as general superior for the international congregation.

Sister Celia, a Seattle native and the fourth of nine children, was the second daughter to become a Sister of Providence. The oldest child, Sister Lynn Chappell, entered the Religious community six years before she did.

Sister Celia entered the Religious community in 1966, on the cusp of changes in Religious life as a result of Vatican II. She attended formation and college at Providence Heights in Issaquah, Wash., and was among those teaching or studying there when it closed as a formation house. She made first vows in 1970 and final vows in 1978.

She first prepared for a ministry as a teacher, graduating from Seattle University in 1971 with a degree in education and spending three years at Providence High School in Burbank, Calif. Following a year as a parish visitor to the frail and the elderly at Holy Rosary Parish in Seattle and completing an internship at Providence Medical Center in Portland, Ore., she changed her ministry to parish-based social work.

She returned to Seattle in 1976 to serve in parish social ministry at St. Anne Parish. She later earned a masterís degree in social work from the University of Denver, and a masterís degree in applied spirituality from the University of San Francisco.

Sister Celia worked as a social worker with Catholic Community Services, King County, Wash., for four years, helping to start Volunteer Chore Ministry, a parish/congregation-based outreach program that developed volunteer help for elderly in need. She then was asked to serve as vocation director and candidate director for the Sisters of Providence. During the years that she was vocation director, she learned how to be a spiritual director through the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (SEEL), a nine-month ecumenical retreat program based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

After finishing her term as vocation/candidate director, Sister Celia was a spiritual director with the SEEL program. From 1995-1999 she was a member of SEELís administrative team in charge of the intern training program for spiritual directors.


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