The website serving the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods has a new look, thanks to the work of staffers in the group’s mission advancement department. The redesign is the first for the site in five years. (Special to The Prairie Press)

New website, same heart

Update makes the Sisters more accessible

Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods are utilizing technology specifically the Internet to educate the public and introduce their congregation, ministries and activities to more people.

The first phase of the newly designed website, https://spsmw.org/, was unveiled by the Sisters earlier this month. 

Jason Moon, media relations manager, said the project began more than a year ago when staff of the Sisters’ Mission Advancement Department saw a need for a more user friendly and visually appealing website.

“The redesigned website helps provide community members and prospective religious people a view of what goes on here at Saint Mary’s of the Woods,” said Moon. “The public can surf the website and see photos of the various activities or view the alpacas and the many different services offered by the Sisters.” In general, the website educates and familiarizes people with Saint Mary’s explained Moon.

A news release claims the new design was created with a core strategy to, “provide a welcoming, enjoyable, inspiring space for the Providence community to connect, collaborate and grow in order to be Providence wherever they are.”

The website redesign offers much of the same information as the former website, but new information was added with an emphasis on the visual appeal of the site. The last website redesign was approximately five years ago.

“I think they will find in our new website the same breadth of information but presented in a way that is more visual, more accessible and perhaps as a result, more interesting and engaging,” said General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski. “People have always told us they love our website. They have appreciated the information provided about us, our ministries and activities and our history and foundress.”

The redesigned website includes several categories detailing the ministries and history of the congregation. It also offers catalogs of information to engage people for joining the Sisters in their mission of love, mercy and justice among God’s people, said Moon. 

New tabs include a section about visiting the Woods and a find-a-sister search tab along with inspirational quotes.

“When I first looked at our new site, what came to my mind was the line from the Robert Frost poem, ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep.’ The new colors and images are deep and rich and really reflect our woodland roots,” Tomaszewski explained. 

The Internet, new website redesign and social media provide the Sisters with a new platform to minister and reach the public.

“This is changing the way the Sisters connect with people especially those interested in Saint Mary’s of the Woods College and those particularly interested in their activities,” said Moon, noting many of the sisters have their own social media accounts which they update regularly.

“They recognized that this is an entire new avenue to get their message out,” Moon said. 

He added the new find-a-sister feature provides a short biography of the sisters that will eventually link to other web pages, blogs or various topics important to the individual sisters.

“This is extremely important because many of the sisters have impacted people’s lives or taught all over the nation and those people still have interest in knowing what the sisters are doing. It keeps the sister connected,” Moon said. 

A form in the archive section of the website facilitates communication with the Sisters.

The new website design was a very important to the Sisters. Moon said designers and the Sisters poured over hundreds of photos and information requiring numerous hours of work to reach the end result. 

“It took a lot of effort looking through hundreds of documents. The updated version of the site is stunning and helps quite a bit to convey the Sisters’ message,” said Tomaszewski.

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