Katie Connolly (Submitted photo)

Sarona resident Katie Connolly recently deepened her relationship with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Connolly made a commitment as a Providence Associate, joining 21 other 2017 associates with the Sisters of Providence during the rite of commitment ceremony, which coincided with the Providence Associates 10-year anniversary celebration.

Connolly said the distance between Sarona and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods did not dissuade her from becoming an associate.

“I live pretty far away, up in the northwest corner of Wisconsin, so the process was very self-directed for me,” she said. “Even though I am hundreds of miles away, I still feel close to the sisters, associates and other candidates.

“I have always felt drawn to the mission and charism of the Sisters of Providence, and now that I am a Providence Associate, I feel that I am really a part of such an amazing community.”

Director of Providence Associates Sr. Diane Mason, SP, said in order to become a Providence Associate, a candidate is paired with a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate companion and goes through a year of study, prayer and reflection. Connolly’s companion was Providence Associate Tracy Wilson.

“I enjoyed the spiritual units, and they helped connect me spiritually to the community,” Connolly said.

The Nov. 18 commitment ceremony brought the total of Providence Associates to more than 270 in the United States and Taiwan.

This year, more than 30 women and men began their journey as Candidate-Associates. The associate relationship is open to all people of faith, ages 18 and older.

“I am very excited about the future,” Connolly added. “I know this is just one big step toward a future working with the sisters and associates to bring forth love, mercy and justice to the world. I am an environmental educator, and feel my mission in my career fits perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish.”