Written By: Shannon Healy

Among this year’s many new additions to Providence Academy’s faculty and staff is Sister Amelia, a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia whose loving heart has already impacted the school community.

Sister Amelia was not raised in a family that believed in God, but was eventually given a glimpse into the Catholic Church that “lit her heart on fire,” Sister Amelia said.

 “I received a miraculous medal [in high school] for the first time and I really fell in love with Mary’s beauty…[I wondered] How do I become a truly beautiful woman inside and out? There was something in Mary even though I did not believe in her son. So I wore that medal in college, and I kept the rosary by my bed,” Sister Amelia explained.

While Sister Amelia pondered her life’s vocation and wondered what she was made for, she was given some amazing advice.

“Someone told me to go to adoration and I didn’t know what it was but I went in. I learned how to speak to God, I learned how to hear God, and eventually received my calling, the Dominicans.”

Sister Amelia’s past experiences in life helped her calling to the Dominicans feel like a second nature.

“When I visited our sisters it strangely felt natural to me like my whole life was made for this…I was a Division 1 All-American rower. I trained at the Olympic Training Center. I know it helped prepare me for conversion, actually, because there was a discipline required. You might have a biology test that morning, but you had to put it aside and focus on what you were doing in the moment,” she said.

She solidified her call from God and took her Final Vows in 2013. Her dedication to her vocation has led her to be a cherished member of the Providence Academy Community. 

The Providence Academy community has been blessed with Sister Amelia. Bringing a Dominican Sister to Providence has been an ongoing project for the last 15 years, especially because the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia align with the Providence mission and show the values this institution upholds.

Sister Amelia talks with junior Jacob Olson ’25, while walking in the hallway. PAW Photo Credit: Erin Brown ’24.

Headmaster Dr. Flanders has been thrilled to have Sister Amelia. “I call her a force multiplier–any force for good she sees she seems to multiply it. She is a very graceful, religious sister who shows forth the love of God through Jesus Christ,” Flanders shared.

While reflecting on her first semester, Sister Amelia expressed a love for the students and the joy and freedom they show daily.

“My first semester has been awesome! I truly love it here, every day. I’m excited to come to Providence, and I mean that. I love the students, I love [their] joy, I love the freedom [they] have, and I love the pre-k through 12 experience.”

Sister Amelia also takes time out of her day to eat lunch with students, and visit the lower school classrooms.

“I’m surprised by how much I love going to lunch with students because I don’t like cafeterias,” she joked. “But I love sitting at the tables and just talking with them. Whereas in other schools I’ve been to, I might do that because I should do it, or it’s my lunch duty there. I really do love it.”

Sister Amelia enjoys lunch with kindergarteners. PAW Photo Credit: Erin Brown ’24.

Once a week Sister Ameila visits a lower school classroom and helps add to the religion curriculum. “I feel grateful to be invited into all the areas [of the school], because teaching time is precious so I don’t ever expect that from teachers, especially in the lower school because their days are more structured. I would never see them unless I was invited,” she emphasized.

For the entire Providence Academy Community, Sister Amelia is truly a great new addition! Her presence makes the hallways brighter.

“Sister Amelia’s presence here at school provides a dependable person to ask anything faith related and a smile on your face. She is very open and seeing her randomly in the hallway reminds me of how blessed I am to be at a Catholic school,” explains Penbrooke Wiederholt, ‘26. 

Not only does Sister Amelia impact the students, but the teachers see something special in her too. 

“Sister Amelia is deemed in understanding and wisdom and knowledge. She’s so marvelous. There’s piety, there’s knowledge, there’s understanding, there’s sympathy, there’s compassion, deep devotion and great Christian joy,” Dr. Flanders explained.