When the changing demographics left no Victory Noll Sisters willing or able to serve in leadership, they began a search for a commissary congregation — another community to provide them with a congregation leader. The Sisters of Providence in Terre Haute were approached, and in turn selected Sr. Jenny Howard to fill the OLVM leadership role.
The transfer of leadership completes a journey dating back to 2016. The Victory Noll Sisters, who recently celebrated their 100th anniversary, faced a reality their aging community would not have members who were willing or able to serve in elected leadership. Most of the Sisters are over the age of 80 and there have been no new members in the past 25 years. They began the process toward petitioning for a commissary.
In 2020, OLVM Sisters held conversations with three communities about their willingness to become a commissary congregation. In 2021, OLVM voted to suspend their current governance structure and petition Rome for a commissary.
In January 2022, OLVM Sisters recommended the Sisters of Providence to provide leadership. Subsequently, the general superior of the Sisters of Providence delegated Sr. Jenny Howard to become the OLVM congregation leader starting in August 2022.
Sr. Jenny Howard, SP
Sister Jenny Howard has ministered as a Sister of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, for 39 years. She holds Master’s degrees in Biology and Secondary Education Counseling. From 1974-1996, she taught students junior high and high school science, biology, and served as guidance counselor. From 1996-2001 she served on the General Council of the Sisters of Providence. From 2001-2011, Sr. Jenny ministered in the role of Vocation Director for the congregation. Sr. Jenny has just completed two, five-year terms of elected leadership as general counselor, 2011-2016, and 2016-2022. Holding always a strong passion for justice, Sr. Jenny presently serves in part time ministry at Providence Housing Corporation in West Terre Haute, Indiana.