According to the Constitutions of the Sisters of Providence, “Each sister sets aside
annually five or more consecutive days for retreat in order to give herself completely to prayer
and to that union with God to which she is called. In silence and solitude...she listens to the
Spirit speaking to her heart and responds in faith, accepting God’s action in her life” (Article 34).
Sisters of Providence generally take this directive very seriously and are faithful to this
yearly exercise. The pastoral concern I wish to address is the challenge presented in fulfilling
this directive for the sister who resides either in Lourdes or Karcher Hall, health care facilities,
at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence. In speaking of sisters
in health care in the context of making an annual retreat, I am including only those sisters who
are physically and mentally able to engage in the activities of a retreat tailored to their needs.