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 mark jubilees of Religious life

the Inland Register

(From the May 19, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Thirteen Sisters of Providence will mark 25, 50, 60, 70, and 75 years of Religious life at a Mass to be celebrated Saturday, July 30, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Burien, Wash. Jesuit Father John D. Whitney will be the celebrant for the liturgy, which will be followed by a reception in the parish hall.

Several of those Sisters have served in the Spokane Diocese:

75 years

Sister Cecilia (Beatrice of Jesus) Paganessi, born in Centerville, Mont., decided to be a Sister as a 10-year-old, when she and her four sisters went to St. Thomas Home in Great Falls, Mont., after their motherís death. After high school graduation, she enrolled at the College of Great Falls and then entered the novitiate at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle. For 31 years she taught in parochial grade schools in Glasgow and Great Falls, Mont., Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho, and Colfax and Walla Walla, Wash. Other ministries included work in the provincial treasurerís office in Spokane and community service, including in Walla Walla, where she handmade countless baby blankets for Hispanic women in St. Patrick Parish, and baked cookies and pies for neighbors. Today she lives at Emilie Court, Spokane.

70 years

Sister Inez (Victorine) Arkell, born in Minneapolis, moved with her family to western Montana. As a high school student at Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula, she was hired as a nurseís aide at St. Ignatius Hospital to care for elderly Sister Victor Nibbler. When she entered the Sisters of Providence novitiate in Seattle, she took Sister Victorine as her name in religion. Her ministries have been in nursing, pastoral care, chaplaincy and volunteer service, largely in Montana. She took care of boarding school girls in Sprague, Wash., and Missoula, Mont., before she became a licensed practical nurse. Then she served at hospitals in Fort Benton and Great Falls. She transitioned into pastoral care and later trained to become a chaplain, serving at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls. Other ministries in Great Falls included working at Benefis Health Care, at St. Lukeís Parish with the Legion of Mary as spiritual director, at the former Angel Room at St. Vincent de Paul, and with Providence Associates. She now lives at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

Sister Lily May (Rose Theresa) Emertís ministries have included pharmacist, chaplain, aide to the elderly and infirm, community volunteer and advisor and support to Providence Associates in Spokane for nearly 25 years. A Seattle native, she was raised primarily in Spokane County and worked part time doing chores in the pharmacy at Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane, while in high school. She entered the religious community in 1946 and was assigned to help with bookkeeping in the business office at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, Mont., and later to assist in the pharmacy. She also assisted in the pharmacy at St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula, Mont. Five years later, she was sent to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., for pharmacy training. She worked at St. Patrick in the summers, and then continued working there for 10 years after her graduation. For the next 20 years, she worked in the pharmacy at St. Mary Hospital, Walla Walla, Wash., and also substituted at St. Ignatius and Colfax hospitals. In 1990 she volunteered as a chaplain at St. Mary and then completed clinical pastoral education training at Providence Hospital in Portland, Ore. In 1992 she joined the Community Life Team at Mount St. Joseph, Spokane, serving elderly and infirm Sisters. When Mount St. Joseph closed in December 2013, she began volunteering at Our Place community ministry. She continues to live in Spokane.

Sister Clarella Lois Mae Fink was born in Minneapolis and grew up in Montana, where she met the Sisters of Providence as a 5-year-old at religious vacation school in Hyshum. After graduation from Sacred Heart Academy in Missoula, Mont., she entered with her high school friend Inez Arkell. Her first ministry was helping at St. Francis Xavier School in Missoula. She taught third and fourth grades at St. Thomas Home and first grade at St. Gerard School in Great Falls, Mont., and in Walla Walla, Wash. She also lived and worked on the Indian reservation in DeSmet, Idaho, and taught for 12 years in Missoula, including St. Anthonyís and St. Francis Xavier. She was one of the founding Sisters of the mission in the Philippines and served there for 12 years, including three as the first superior and more than nine as treasurer. A seizure and fall in 2001 brought her back to the states, initially to Spokane, but she later returned to the Philippines for a time. Today she lives at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

50 years

Sister Linda Jo Reynolds is general councilor-secretary of the international congregation of Sisters of Providence in Montreal for a term that ends in 2017. Born in Portland, Ore., she graduated from Providence Academy (PAV) in Vancouver, Wash., and entered the Sisters of Providence in 1965 with five PAV classmates, bound for the College of Sister Formation. After nursing studies at Seattle University, Sister Linda Jo moved to Oakland, Calif., to minister at Providence Hospital there. She returned to the Northwest and took an internship in emergency services at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Yakima, Wash., and then moved back to Seattle. She expressed an interest in missionary work and was sent to study missiology at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, as a potential foreign missionary. In 1977 she was sent to nurse in Nigeria, where she was in charge of the inpatients at a small bush hospital in Koton Karifi. Three years later, she requested a change to pastoral ministry in the parish. The Providence sisters left Nigeria in 1981 and she returned to the United States. After a year of study at Seattle University, she began a two-year ministry at Blessed Sacrament with the parish elderly and shut-ins. Next, she was a member of the novitiate formation team in Spokane for five years. In 1989, she and four other Sisters founded the mission in the new Philippine Sector. Sister Linda Jo served in Asia for 25 years doing parish and formation work and serving in leadership roles within the Philippine Sector, which became Our Lady of Providence Vice-Province.


Inland Register Index | Home


© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved

WEB CONTACT