National Catholic Sisters Week was initiated in 2014 through the support of a grant from the Conrad Hilton fund. This annual celebration takes place from March 8–14 in conjunction with National Women’s History Month. The week has been designed to honor vowed Catholic women religious and is meant to instruct, enlighten, and bring greater focus on the lives of Sisters.
The theme this year for National Catholic Sisters week is “Meet a Sister. Be Inspired.” Certainly, Blessed Emilie Gamelin and Mother Joseph, Sisters of Providence, continue to inspire our efforts, as does Venerable Mary Potter, a Sister of the Little Company of Mary, and Mother Xavier Ross, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth. These are the women we look to as foundational to the services we now provide locally, although their impact reaches far beyond our region.
Two Sisters of Providence are working together with us today. Sister Blanca Sagles, SP, is a chaplain at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. Her religious sister, Sister Rosa Nguyen, SP, serves as an account assistant at Providence High School. Sister Teresa White, SP, who retired from Providence Holy Cross Medical Center as a chaplain, continues her involvement with that ministry as a Eucharistic Minister.
The Little Company of Mary Sisters, too, continue to have a presence with us in California. Sister Terrence Landini, LCM, can often be seen scurrying up and down the halls of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, serving as an inspiration to caregivers and patients, alike.
Three Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth continue to involve themselves in the ministries of Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. They are Sister Maureen Craig, SCL, Sister Therese Zimmerman, SCL, and Sister Mary Kamperschroer, SCL.
Sisters from many other religious communities share their gifts with us in our Southern California Providence ministries. A number of Sisters work in the area of spiritual care. Sister Martha Vega, SSS, a Sister of Social Service, is a chaplain at Providence Holy Cross. Sister Madeline Meagher, RSC, a Religious Sister of Charity, comforts the dying as a chaplain for Providence TrinityCare Hospice. Sister Frances Baker, CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondolet, serves as a per diem chaplain at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance. Sister Margaret Ellen O’Connell, RSHM, a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, is a volunteer with the Spiritual Care department at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro. Sister Chukwuleta Ugocha, DMMM, a Daughter of Mary, Mother of Mercy, brings Holy Communion to Catholic patients as a Eucharistic Minister within the Spiritual Care department at Providence Tarzana Medical Center. Sister Kitty Moloney, DMJ, a Daughter of Mary and Joseph, serves as a volunteer in the “No One Dies Alone” program at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance.
Four Catholic Sisters serve within Providence Southern California as Mission Leaders. Sister Nancy Jurecki, OP, a Dominican Sister of Adrian, Michigan, ministers regionally as Chief Mission Integration Officer. One of her Dominican Sisters, Sister Joyce Caulfield, OP, recently joined her in community and ministry. Sister Joyce works part-time as Mission Leader at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro. Sister Colleen Settles, OP, a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, has been with Providence for multiple years. For the past few years she has been Mission Leader at Providence St. John’s. Sister Sheila Browne, RSM, a Religious Sister of Mercy, is the Mission Leader at Providence Saint Joseph. She also represents Providence on the Providence High School Board of Regents.
Sister Joeline Santiago, SSS, a Sister of Social Service, has been ministering Providence High School for several years. Sister is the Chair of the Religious Studies department.
Sister Tiffany Dang, LHC, is a member of the Lover of the Holy Cross community. Sister is a registered nurse who shares her gifts at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance. Her religious sister, Sister Diem Ngo, LHC, is a clinical pharmacist ministering at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance.Sister Angela Breeden, SCRH, a Sister of Charity of Rolling Hills, serves as a digital technician in an Axminster Medical clinic in the South Bay.
Vowed religious women serve God through a diversity of ministries. While some live cloistered lives in contemplative prayer, others, like those working together with us, are actively engaged with the people of God in health care and numerous other ministries. Sisters use their gifts to do their part to make our world a better place.
Be inspired! Why not ask a Sister who works together with us to share her story. Each, I assure you, has a story to tell. One aspect of any Sister’s story, that I know each of our colleague Sisters would want to relay, is gratitude for the many caregivers and physicians and administrators, of multiple faiths and traditions, who keep the Mission, vision and values of Providence alive within our ministries.