July 15, 2011

Sister Denise Wilkinson re-elected as Sisters of Providence general superior

Shown are the Sisters of Providence new general officers, from left, Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, Sister Jeneen Howard, Sister Mary Beth Klingel, Sister Lisa Stallings and Sister Denise Wilkinson, who was re-elected general superior. (Submitted photo)

Shown are the Sisters of Providence new general officers, from left, Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, Sister Jeneen Howard, Sister Mary Beth Klingel, Sister Lisa Stallings and Sister Denise Wilkinson, who was re-elected general superior. (Submitted photo)

Special to The Criterion

SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS—Providence Sister Denise Wilkinson, a native of Chicago, has been elected to her second term as general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. This will be her final term because the general superior may serve only two terms in that capacity.

Elected to the congregation’s General Council was Providence Sister Lisa Stallings, who will serve as vicar, and Providence Sisters Jeneen Howard, Dawn Tomaszewski and Mary Beth Klingel. Sisters Lisa, Jeneen and Dawn were classmates at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

The officers-elect will be installed during a eucharistic liturgy on Sept. 10.

The election of officers is the culmination of the congregation’s general chapter, which occurs every five years. During the general chapter, the congregation sets its direction for the next five years then elects its leadership.

The general chapter was held at Saint Mary of the Woods. It began on June 27, and the election took place on July 5-6.

Sister Denise talked about what the future might hold.

“I think we are trying to do an honest assessment of ourselves and our resources so that, given who we are this moment, we can move ahead with the same energy for mission that Mother Theodore [Guérin] and her companions had. For the most part, we are older, but we are no less enthusiastic or dedicated to the mission,” she said.

“I think we are trying to understand for ourselves what we need to let go of, or embrace, given our current reality. We are far from feeling that our moment in history is over. We are trying to discover who we are at this moment and get on with it,” Sister Denise said. “There is a very strong energy for our mission. It might look different, we might be doing different things, or we might be doing the same things, but we’ll be doing it with all of our might.”

Sister Denise is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She received a master’s degree in counseling from Saint Louis University. Prior to being elected to the General Council in 2001, Sister Denise served as director of the Office of Congregational Advancement at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, which oversees development, marketing and communications.

Sister Denise entered the Sisters of Providence on Sept. 12, 1963, from St. Mary-of-the-Woods Parish in Chicago. She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 25, 1973.

Sister Lisa Stallings is a native of Evansville, Ind. She currently ministers as the congregation’s coordinator of liturgical music at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister Lisa entered the congregation on Aug. 29, 1975, from Christ the King Parish in Evansville. She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 25, 1984.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She received a master’s degree in music with concentration in sacred music and liturgy from St. Joseph College, and a master’s degree in theological studies from St. Meinrad.

Sister Jeneen Howard is a native of Indianapolis. She currently ministers as the congregation’s vocation director at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister Jeneen entered the congregation on Aug. 22, 1983. She was a member of St. Matthew Parish in Indianapolis, and entered the congregation from Holy Cross Parish in Indianapolis. She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1992.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She received a master’s degree in biology from Ball State University. She also received a master’s degree in guidance counseling in secondary schools from Northeastern Illinois University.

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski is a native of Chicago. She recently resigned her ministry as vice president for advancement at Guérin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, Ill.

Sister Dawn entered the Congregation on Aug. 29, 1975, from St. John Brebeuf Parish in Niles, Ill. She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 19, 1984.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, and a master’s degree in theology from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Sister Mary Beth Klingel is a native of Jasper, Ind. She currently ministers as the congregation’s Director of Novices at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Sister Mary Beth entered the Congregation on Sept. 12, 1964, from St. Joseph Parish in Jasper. She professed perpetual vows on Sept. 6, 1970.

She graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College with a bachelor’s degree in education. She received a master’s degree in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame.

(For information about any of the ministries of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, visit the congregation’s website at www.SistersofProvidence.org.)

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