Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Sisters of Providence choose four for 2015-19 Leadership Team

the Inland Register

(From the January 15, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Pictured from left, above, the 2015-19 Leadership Team for Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province: Jennifer S. Hall, provincial treasurer; Wendy Iwami, provincial secretary; Sister Jo Ann Showalter, provincial councilor; Sister Judith Desmarais, provincial superior; and Sisters Joan Gallagher and Josefina (Josie) Ramac, provincial councilors. (IR photo courtesy of the Sisters of Providence)

Four Sisters of Providence began a five-year term to provide leadership for Mother Joseph Province on Jan. 1: Sister Judith Desmarais, who continues to serve as provincial superior; Sister Jo Ann Showalter, serving a second term as provincial councilor; and Sisters Joan Gallagher and Josefina (Josie) Ramac, who are new members of the Provincial Council.

In addition, two laywomen have been appointed to serve on the six-member Mother Joseph Province Leadership Team: Jennifer S. Hall, who continues as provincial treasurer, and Wendy Iwami, former executive assistant to the provincial superior, who will serve as provincial secretary.

The provincial superior and provincial councilors were chosen in the Discernment Chapter of Elections in Renton, Wash., in June and were confirmed by Providence Sister Karin Dufault, General Superior, and the General Council in Montreal, Quebec.

In addition to leading the religious community, the provincial and council members serve as corporate members of Providence Pariseau Corporation and also co-sponsor other ministries, including Transitions in Spokane.

Sister Judith Desmarais has been a professed Sister of Providence for 51 years. She became provincial superior of Mother Joseph Province in the fall of 2012 after serving as a provincial councilor and provincial of the former Sacred Heart Province. She also served two five-year terms on the General Council in Montreal, Quebec. In addition to community leadership, her ministry experience includes teaching primary grades and pastoral ministry with deaf people for the archdioceses of Seattle and Portland. Her educational background includes a BA degree in social sciences, an MA degree in theology and interpreter training.

Sister Jo Ann Showalter has been a professed Sister of Providence for 20 years. Her ministry experiences have included medical radiography and sonography, and serving as a member of the Formation Team for Mother Joseph Province and the Community Life Team for Mount St. Joseph in Spokane. She also is a regional liaison for the Providence Associates in the region in the state of Georgia. Sister Jo Ann has been active on the Reclaiming Earth Committee, as a member since 2004, and as council liaison for the past five years. Her committee/volunteer/board experience outside the Religious community includes the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) national board and Region 15 chairperson; the board of Earth Ministry, an interfaith organization with a focus on faith and environment; and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Global Concerns Committee. Her educational background includes a BA degree in religion, a certificate in pastoral care and counseling, and an MA degree in earth literacy. She also has spent 12 weeks in Spanish language studies in El Salvador.

Sister Joan Gallagher has been a professed Sister of Providence for 29 years. Her ministry experiences include elementary and high school teaching and serving as librarian. She currently manages the Sisters of Providence libraries. Sister Joan also has worked in parish ministry, has led retreats, and provides spiritual direction. She served in a longtime ministry role in vocation/formation, serving as vocation director three times and serving on boards and committees for the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) and the Women of Providence in Collaboration (WPC) Vocation/Formation/Religious Conference. She also chaired the religious communityís 150th anniversary committee and was coordinator of the international formation gathering in Edmonton in 2002. Her educational background includes a BA degree in elementary and secondary education, library science certification, an MA degree in theological studies and certification for spiritual direction.

Sister Josefina (Josie) Ramac has been a professed Sister of Providence for 34 years. Her ministry experience includes K-12 teaching and parish ministry as director of religious education and as a pastoral associate. She has been a Formation Team member and candidate and novice director for the United States, Canada and the former Philippine Sector. Sister Josie also has been a Formation Team member for the Sisters of Providence International Formation Program. Her committee/board/volunteer experiences outside the community include serving as a missionary teacher in La Paz, Baja California, with the Sisters of Servants of Immaculate Conception; and volunteering in Yakima, Wash., at Rodís House, at St. Joseph Parish, and serving on the planning committee for annual gatherings of the Filipino-American Womenís Association. Her educational background includes a BA degree in languages, certification in Curso de Estudios Hispanicos (Hispanic Studies), an MA degree in teaching, and a certificate in theological studies.

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