Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Diocesan Faithful Make Commitments As Providence Associates


Bloomfield resident Cindy Montgomery and Evansville resident Sandy Powell have made commitments as Providence Associates during the Nov. 17 rite of commitment ceremony at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. The ceremony coincided with the Providence Associates’ 10-year-anniversary celebration.

Montgomery is a member of Holy Name Parish in Bloomfield, and Powell is a member of Holy Rosary Parish in Evansville.

Sister of Providence Diane Mason , Director of Providence Associates, said that in order to become a Providence Associate, each candidate is paired with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion and completes a year of study, prayer and reflection. Montgomery’s companion was Providence Associate Sheila Donis. Powell’s companions were Sister of Providence Mary Mundy, pastoral associate at Holy Rosary Parish, Providence Associate Mary Longtime.

“In many cases, a deep friendship forms between the candidate and companion and they continue the journey of Providence that so far has never failed us,” Sister Diane said.

“Meeting regularly with my companions was very helpful,” Powell said. “We discussed our thoughts on the material we were to discuss at our small groups, which met regularly at St. Meinrad. “Being part of a community that has the same ideals and goals helps keep our spiritual life focused and grounded.”

While the first group of Providence Associates entered the relationship with a rite of commitment ceremony on Nov. 17, 2007, the Sisters of Providence had looked into the addition of associates for several years before committing to the project.

In 2005, the late Sister of Providence Mary Alice Zander was named founding director of the Providence Associates ministry. Later that year, Sister Mary Alice formed a committee, which included five sisters and five non-sisters to become the Associate Advisory Group. The goal was to develop the relationship.

And by 2006, the sisters were ready to move forward with this relationship, as they invited men and women to become Providence Associates. The application period came to a close in August 2006, and 71 people had showed interest.

Candidate-Associates were then paired with a Sister of Providence companion to go through a year of study, prayer and reflection before the rite of commitment ceremony. After the year, 54 of those first applicants became Providence Associates.

Now 10 years into the ministry, there are more than 270 Providence Associates walking with the Sisters of Providence.

If you feel called to explore the Providence Associate relationship, learn more at or contact Debbie Dillow, Providence Associate, at 317-250-3294 or by email at