Divine Providence from Sr. Ernestine Havlovic

By Sr. Ernestine Havlovic, ND

Trust in Divine Providence always meant a lot to me and still is a source of comfort to me. I have a story from my younger years I will share with you.

In my earlier years as a religious, we Sisters got our yearly ministry assignments at the end of our annual retreat in early August. Rev. Mother would read off the places and the names of the Sisters assigned. That was always an anxious morning. I was hoping to go to Porcupine, SD. No such luck! I was assigned to Clarkson, NE with two other Sisters. Not only that, we were all primary teachers and never taught any of the upper grades.

So, after the assignments were read, the three of us went to Sr. Loyola, the Rev. Mother, and told her our dilemma. Sister looked at us with her “big loving eyes” and listened to us as we listed more challenging concerns. None of us were experienced as a principal or a superior of the house. We were concerned how the school would actually function and to top it off we knew none of the people living in Clarkson. When we finished sharing all these anxieties with her, she very gently and simply said, “You are adults. Just work it out among yourselves. I trust you. And don’t forget Divine Providence!” And believe you me, I thought, God would certainly have to help us a lot!!

After a restless, sleepless night, the next morning we were on our way with the pastor to Clarkson anxiously wondering and praying about what was waiting for us and what would come of this year. It was a blessing the pastor was very kind and patient with us throughout the year. This enabled us to face the challenges, enjoy the youngsters and get to know the people in the parish. In those years classrooms were self-contained, loaded with many students and a single teacher facilitating it all. I truly learned how to rely and trust on God’s gracious providence in my life.

Oh yes, we survived that year with the support of the pastor, the generosity of the parents and Sr. Loyola’s attentive, caring phone calls. But above all, I must not fail to mention the strength I felt from my trust in Divine Providence. The end of the story is I loved every minute of it and ministered in Clarkson for twenty years. Thanks to Divine Providence.