Tuesday May 22, 2018
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The Sisters of Providence of Mother Joseph Province are delighted to share the results of their recent Discernment Chapter of Elections.  The election of Judith Desmarais, SP, to the position of Provincial Superior/Leadership Team Coordinator of Mother Joseph Province has been confirmed by General Superior Karin Dufault, SP, and the General Council.  The Sisters also elected three Provincial Councilors in their prayer and discernment process. The councilors are: Sisters Joan Gallagher, Josie Ramac and Jo Ann Showalter.

Understanding the role of leadership as the Sisters do causes them to look upon and treat these occasions of selection of leadership as more than an “election”.  The process of prayerful discourse and discernment that led to the election of the Provincial Superior and Provincial Council members who will serve from 2015 through 2019 began in September of 2013, involved all of the members, and concluded at the Chapter held June 27-30 in Renton, Wash.

In addition to leading the religious community, the provincial and council members serve as corporate members of Providence Pariseau Corporation, which includes the Sojourner Place and Building Bridges ministries.  They also co-sponsor several other ministries for women and children through Transitions in Spokane. 


Sister Judith Desmarais has been a professed Sister of Providence for 51 years.  She currently is provincial superior of Mother Joseph Province after serving as a provincial councilor and she has been a provincial councilor and provincial of the former Sacred Heart Province.  She also served two five-year terms on the General Council in Montreal, Quebec.  In addition to community leadership, her ministry experience includes teaching primary grades and pastoral ministry with deaf people for the archdioceses of Seattle and Portland.  Her educational background includes a BA degree in social sciences, an MA degree in theology and interpreter training.

Sister Joan Gallagher has been a professed Sister of Providence for 29 years.  Her ministry experiences include elementary and high school teaching and serving as librarian.  She currently manages the Sisters of Providence libraries.  Sister Joan also has worked in parish ministry, has led retreats, and provides spiritual direction.  She served in a longtime ministry role in vocation/formation, serving as vocation director three times and serving on boards and committees for the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) and the Women of Providence in Collaboration (WPC) Vocation/Formation/Religious Conference.  She also chaired the religious community’s 150th anniversary committee and was coordinator of the international formation gathering in Edmonton in 2002.  Her educational background includes a BA degree in elementary and secondary education, library science certification, an MA degree in theological studies and certification for spiritual direction. 

Sister Josefina (Josie) Ramac has been a professed Sister of Providence for 34 years.  Her ministry experience includes K-12 teaching and parish ministry as director of religious education and as a pastoral associate.  She has been a Formation Team member and candidate and novice director for the United States, Canada and the former Philippine Sector.  Sister Josie also has been a Formation Team member for the Sisters of Providence International Formation Program.  Her committee/board/volunteer experiences outside the community include serving as a missionary teacher in La Paz, Baja California, with the Sisters of Servants of Immaculate Conception; and volunteering in Yakima, Wash., at Rod’s House, at St. Joseph Parish, and serving on the planning committee for annual gatherings of the Filipino-American Women’s Association.  Her educational background includes a BA degree in languages, certification in Curso de Estudios Hispanicos (Hispanic Studies), an MA degree in teaching, and a certificate in theological studies.

Sister Jo Ann Showalter is a current member of the Provincial Council and has been a professed Sister of Providence for 20 years.  Her ministry experiences have included medical radiography and sonography, and serving as a member of the Formation Team for Mother Joseph Province and the Community Life Team for Mount St. Joseph in Spokane.  She also is a regional liaison for the Providence Associates in the region in the state of Georgia.  Sister Jo Ann has been active on the Reclaiming Earth Committee, as a member since 2004, as Region 15 chairperson, and as council liaison for the past five years.  Her committee/volunteer/board experience outside the religious community includes the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) national board, the board of Earth Ministry, an interfaith organization with a focus on faith and environment; and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Global Concerns Committee.  Her educational background includes a BA degree in religion, a certificate in pastoral care and counseling, and an MA degree in earth literacy.  She also has spent 12 weeks in Spanish language studies in El Salvador.

The other current members of the Provincial Council (Sisters Celia Chappell and Maureen Newman) will continue in their roles until their terms end on December 31, 2014.

Providence of God, we thank You for all!

Lucille Dean, SP

Chair of the Chapter Planning Committee

Mother Joseph Province