Starting this Friday Feb. 8 Our Lady of the Lake University students have the opportunity to partake in the Providence Leadership Program and meet other OLLU students who share similar values, desire to grow spiritually and build a community of learners with a focus on service to others.
“The Providence Leadership Program is a program that places a very heavy emphasis on everyones call through baptism. In baptism we were all called to respond to a call to holiness, to growing spiritually and a call to build community and be a part of a community, and to be of service to others. So because of that call through baptism in the program we place a very heavy emphasis on explaining what that call is,” Sister of Divine Providence Gloria Ann Fiedler said.
Students in the program participates in five sessions throughout the semester each meeting on a Friday from 3:30-5:00. The spring session begins this Friday with an orientation that focuses on CDP history and heritage. On Feb. 22 the baptismal call session takes place, followed by the March 8 CDP charism & spirituality session, March 29 personal & liturgical prayer and April 5 personal reflection session.
One of the sessions includes a renewal of your baptism. In another session “Four of our sisters come in and they each share our four virtues, poverty, simplicity, charity and abondonment to divine providence. These are the four virtues our founder Father Moye gave to us and said to us if you live out these virtues you will be living the charism of God, and they love to hear the sisters share their experiences,” Sister Gloria Ann said.
Upon successful completion of the program students submit personal reflections and have the opportunity to become a CDP Young Adult Associate.
“We recommend that students attend all five sessions. That’s what enables them to becoming an associate. But what we have done if they have to miss a session, I have done some makeup sessions when it is possible to meet with the student. When it is a baptismal session that needs to be done in a group, so the student can come in next semester for that one session,” Sister Gloria Ann said.
After finishing the five sessions students have the formation needed to consider becoming an associate of the CDP. A young adult associate continues growing spiritually and responding to the call of baptism despite finishing the providence leadership program. “They light up like-could we really do this, and I say yes you have that option now. We give you every opportunity to keep immersing in that spirituality.” Sister Gloria Ann said.
The program puts heavy emphasis on service which Sister Gloria Ann feels is “crucially important. This is the message throughout the entire Gospel, to be of service to others. It was truly God speaking through our founder to call all of these sisters into service, and that service would be to bring the message of Gods providence throughout the entire world,” she said. Sister Gloria Ann followed up by stating the main mission of service is to outreach to the poor. “Our sisters and associates believed the best way to reach out to the poor is provide an education for them. That’s the reason for OLLU and Providence High School and the many schools we have founded, and now the sisters are in the field of education through many kinds of ways. Service is the response to the Gospel message,” she said.
Sister Gloria Ann looks forward to continuing this program at OLLU this semester. “OLLU students are just like cream of the crop. I’ve worked at so many secular universities and OLLU is the best university I’ve ever worked with because we are able to tap into the spiritual dimension with the students. I want to continue this program for as long as its possible for me to do it. I am the one who benefits from seeing the joy in the faces of the students. The joyful outcome of this has changed many of their lives. One student told me he had a transformation experience and it changed his life, and that has been true for many of them, they say things like we came to a Catholic university and want to receive something that helps us spiritually. We want to understand our catholic faith better and respond to it better because we have a better knowledge of it. That’s gratifying to me. I have worked with young adults for many years of my life. The young adults are full of life and energy and spontaneity. They have it! It’s a great joy for me to be able to work with them.
According to the Sister Gloria Ann and “Providential Moments,” a book published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the CDP many students have enjoyed and learned from the program.
“Being in the Providence Leadership Program has taught me humility. The Providence Leadership Program has taught me to think differently,” Sarah Nino said.
“The Program has taught and reassured me in my faith. I have gained amazing new friends, friends in Christ,” Susan Aguilera said.
“I have made new friends and connections through my journey in this program. Becoming acquainted with Sisters of Divine Providence and developing lasting friendships with my peers of the same faith is an ultimate blessing for me,” Michelle Davis said.
If you are interested in joining the Providence Leadership Program contact Sister Gloria Ann Fiedler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 210-854-0837 or Jackie Walter at email@example.com or 210-313-0839.