November 2, 2018

Vocations Supplement

Providence sister follows God’s call from Taiwan to west central Indiana

Providence Sister Teresa Kang practices face painting on Nov. 28, 2017, at Corbe House on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. (Submitted photo)

Providence Sister Teresa Kang practices face painting on Nov. 28, 2017, at Corbe House on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. (Submitted photo)

By Jason Moon (Special to The Criterion)

TERRE HAUTE—From a very young age, Providence Sister Teresa Kang knew she wanted to devote her life to God.

“When I was a child in Taiwan, I wanted to live a religious life,” Sister Teresa said. “I thought about religious life and used it as a learning goal. I wanted to be a partner of Christ; my life only belongs to him.”

And after attending a Come and See Retreat with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on the hallowed grounds of its motherhouse in west central Indiana, Sister Teresa knew she was home.

“That night, I slept in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence,” she said. “I felt so peaceful, so much at home. It felt so familiar, like I had been here before. This feeling went through my whole body and soul, which I’d never felt before.”

That, Sister Teresa said, is when God called her to religious life.

Sister Teresa entered the congregation on Sept. 24, 2017. Since that date, her relationship with God and the Sisters of Providence has grown exponentially.

“My life has taken on a different meaning from that day,” she said. “For me, every moment of life here is important. It is a gift from God.”

During her first year in the community—known as the postulancy year—Sister Teresa attended weekly conferences, which included discussions about life as a member of the Sisters of Providence. She also received instructions on living the life of a woman religious.

“This helped me a lot,” Sister Teresa said. “My director [Providence Sister Marsha Speth] helped me to understand and adapt to life in this community of women dedicated to the mission of God. At the same time, Sister Marsha was a good listener and encouraged me to share about what I was learning and experiencing, and what touched my heart during this period.”

During her postulancy, Sister Teresa also had an opportunity to expand her knowledge of the English language.

“The community allowed me to enroll in a course at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College to do this [in its] English Language Institute Center,” she said. “In addition to studying English, I was also able to meet different people from other countries, learn about their different cultures and build new friendships with them.

“I was also blessed to have some of the sisters at the motherhouse tutor me in English. This time with them not only helped my English homework, but more importantly, let me know the talents, personality and the personal life of these different sisters.”

She also participated in some of the ministries of the Sisters of Providence, including the ministry of care at Providence Health Care on the motherhouse campus. During her time in the ministry of care, Sister Teresa said she began to learn more about the bond of the congregation through talking with other sisters.

“This ministry experience gave me the opportunity to get close to the older sisters and learn from them the spirit and the dedication of the Sisters of Providence,” Sister Teresa said. “For example, once I asked a sister, ‘Do you like playing Bingo all of the time?’ She answered, ‘Well, you know in community, relationship is very important ... just like making a friend.’ ”

Since becoming a member of the Sisters of Providence, Sister Teresa said her life has grown tremendously.

“When I share my story with young friends, they trust me not only because I am their friend ‘Teresa,’ but also because I am a Sister of Providence,” she said. “With this type of experience, I am now able to participate in the mission.

“The call of God’s love is so strong that it urges one to seek God and respond. For me, it’s like that. Only by responding to God will I have that closeness and peace in my heart.”
 

(To learn more about the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, visit www.spsmw.org.)

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