Home / Connect / Blog / Sister Ann Casper, SP

Sister Ann Casper, SP

Sister Ann Casper, a member of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, recently shared her story with SOAR! 

What attracted you to become a Sister? 

I was attracted to becoming not just a Sister, but a Sister of Providence (St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana), at the tender age of seven! The Sisters of Providence were my grade school teachers and I loved and admired them as a child. I never lost that attraction and after high school (also at St. Mary-of-the-Woods), I entered the Congregation in January, 1956. I have been a Sister of Providence for 68 years.

 As you look at your years of faithful service, what has been your greatest joy? Your greatest challenge?

My greatest joy has been the development and deepening of relationships, first of all with God and then with the people with whom I have ministered through the years: Sisters of Providence, faculty and staff members, former students, parents, lay men and women Providence Associates and donors to our Congregation.

My greatest challenge has come as I age to my 85th year and experience declining health, limiting what I am able to do in ministry and in life. I am trying to shift gears to a ministry of presence, where being with others is more important than doing for/with others. I currently have an eight-hour a week ministry coordinating interment of lay persons who have had long-standing relationships with the Sisters of Providence in our Providence Community Cemetery columbarium. It’s a wonderful ministry and I am privileged to do it.

Can you share a story about a favorite time in ministry?

For 17 years I was executive director of our Mission Advancement Office for the Congregation. When appointed, I knew next to nothing about fundraising, so I relied on the God of Providence for direction, and provide it God did! Capital campaigns (and we had several) were the biggest challenge and Providence prevailed with a wonderful, knowledgeable consultant, a fun-loving staff with great expertise, supportive and encouraging leadership and generous donors who loved the Sisters of Providence. I recall a donor pressing a check into my hand after a burial service. I had had a conversation that same morning when I was told we had a bid for $26,500 in order to finish a project completely. Later that day when I opened the check, it was for $25,000. As our foundress St. Mother Theodore Guerin said: “Lean with all your weight on Providence and you will find yourselves well supported.”

Each part of our life journey is touched by the holy, and we in turn are asked to bring Christ to others. Can you share such a moment from your life?

I was in provincial leadership here at our motherhouse in the 70s. It was my first time as minister to the elderly and I learned so much from their wisdom and experiences. During my seven years as provincial I was at the bedside of close to 140 sisters as God called them home. I was profoundly touched by the peacefulness of their deaths and their readiness to meet God.

Do you have a word of wisdom you would like to share with people today?

Surround yourself with people who know more than you do and have expertise in a given area, then listen to them and give them free rein to forward the mission. Don’t take yourself too seriously and laugh a lot.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!