Sr. Mary Alice Chineworth, OSP

It was by a circuitous route that I became an Oblate.  I grew up in the Midwest.  The year was 1917.  With my sister and two brothers,  under the careful guidance of our devoted parents, we prayed and played together, a truly happy family. 

It was during my formal education in kindergarten that the Holy Spirit planted the seed of a vocation in my four-year-old heart!  My teacher exhibited such kindness as she helped us with weaving paper mats, etc., that I decided early on that I would “be a Sister just like Sister Mary Fidelis.”  That desire and determination followed me through the years, until in high school my guidance counselor brought the situation into focus.  “What Order will you enter?” was the first question.  Her answer was earth-shattering and literally changed the course of my life.  “You cannot become one of us because of your color,” she said, and her eyes (and mine!) filled with tears.

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Divine Providence was watching.  I learned of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, their history and the tremendous contribution they made to the life of the Church in America.  It was “love at first sight,” – a love that increases with the years.  I have served in missions in South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Minnesota as well as in Washington, DC.  I have never wanted to be anything but a Sister.  I have had great satisfaction in being a Woman of Providence and in the career that has been pure gift.  I grow daily in appreciation of God’s providential care in every facet of life.    

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