Sister Mary Providence Kriley has been a living example of what it means to be a woman of Providence to the world. She entered religious life from the town of Herman, Pa. From a devout Catholic family of 11 children, she is one of three daughters who became Sisters of Divine Providence (Sister Sylvester Kriley† and Sister Mary Kriley).
A graduate of Divine Providence Academy, Sister Mary Providence earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Emmanuel College in Boston and a master’s degree in biology with a minor in mathematics from Villanova University. She began her ministry as an educator, teaching high school students. After 10 years in the classroom, she answered the call to missionary work and traveled to Puerto Rico in 1957. She embraced her ministry there, teaching high school in Arecibo and Utuado, as well as teaching at Catholic University in Arecibo.
Sister Mary Providence devoted her life to being Providence to the people in Santo Domingo, which meant actively participating in parish life and, most importantly, spending time with the people and listening. She ministered at the St. Martin de Porres Center, doing whatever was needed. She dedicated her time to the elderly people who visited the Center daily, the blind, ill, mentally handicapped, and lonely. She ate and prayed with the people, and visited the homebound sick, bringing both kind words and the Eucharist to them. She recalls of her time there, “Daily, when I see ladies carrying water, men trying to sell hot buns, fruit, vegetables, and eggs, children on the way to school, other little ones without shoes and a few without any clothes at all, I am reminded of a perpetual Exodus on the way to the Promised Land. In the meantime, I continue to try to be a presence to them as each dear person is one for me.”
Sister Mary Providence currently resides at the Providence Heights motherhouse in Pittsburgh, where she is in prayer and general service ministry. About our Providence God she says, “I believe that whatever I do for or receive from others, is for God or from God. Notice my name? I’m blessed by God!”