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SP PROFILE: Senga’s story

Sister Senga Fulton’s vocation story didn’t begin with a feeling that God was calling her but with the realization she didn’t want to marry! She recalls it was somewhere “around 1976 or 1977” that she became aware “something” was pulling her away from the way of life expected for most women her age.

Sister Senga“I didn’t know I had a vocation to religious life,” she says in retrospect. “I just came to the realization—somewhere deep within myself—that I didn’t want to marry. It was like a strong pull. Something or someone was leading me some place else.”

Not many would have pictured the Senga of some 30 years ago as a Sister of Providence in Holyoke, Massachusetts. After all, she was a Scot, not an American, and a Presbyterian, not a Catholic. She credits growing up in a Protestant-Catholic home and being educated in a Protestant school for her openness to people of all faiths and walks of life.

The two people she credits most for her ministry as an advocate for homeless persons, particularly women, are her mother and her “Granny.”

“My mother was well-known and respected where I grew up,” says Sister Senga. “She was a union organizer. She challenged the system to respect the rights of working women and improved working conditions in the thread mills. My Granny made herself available to people and when someone was sick or dying she would go wherever she was needed.”

Always reaching out
While working with children in one of the Sisters of Providence ministries, Senga came to know a number of Sisters quite well. “They showed an interest in me. They were always reaching out to me,” she remembers. When she needed a new place to live she was invited to live in a rented house with six Sisters. “Their community life was vibrant. They really cared for each other. Although everyone was working, we prayed together several times a week. We also attended Congregational events and read about Mother Mary of Providence, the Community’s foundress, and about God’s loving Providence. We did fun things, too.”

After two years of living there, Senga knew she had a vocation to religious life. “No one can ever tell you that you have a vocation,” she said. “It’s a feeling you have,” she explained. “You know in your heart that it’s right for you.”

Interested in other personal stories?
If you are interested in reading more personal vocation stories, you are invited to download a copy of the following two-page pdf files. (They can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader.) If you are unable to view these files and would prefer a printed copy be mailed to you, please contact the Sisters of Providence Communications Office and indicate what materials you would like to receive.

Sister Mary Martin Sister Margaret
Sister Mary Martin de Porres, SP Sister Margaret McCleary, SP


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