A wonderful meeting of the Sydney Martha Associates was held on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Hall. It was a cold night with lots of ice around. Eight of our Associates were able to attend.
We spent a little time on our check in as it was the first time in 2018 that we met. During our check in time, Sr. Dorothy Moore shared with us her experience of being present for the secularization ceremony for the Bethany Chapel. Bishop Dunn presided and only the Sisters of St. Martha were present. Sr. Dorothy said it was very beautiful and meaningful, but extremely emotional for the Sisters; sad, yet hopeful.
A lovely gathering of the Sydney Martha Associates was held at HERS on Dec. 6th, 2017. This is the second year that the Sydney group has enjoyed a Christmas Dinner at HERS. The name HERS stands for “Hands Earning Respect for Self”. It is a project of the Every Woman’s Centre. At HERS, women living on a low income are provided with the opportunity to work together in a non-traditional work environment to help: Increase social connections and support, Improve quality of life, Increase employability skills, earn income in the form of goods and services, and work in a community kitchen.
On Thursday, December 14th, 2017, a wonderful gathering was held to celebrate the reception of a new Martha Associate, Sheila Morris. Sheila has been journeying over the past two years, and the Sisters of St. Martha welcome her as an Associate.
Our monthly meeting was held on Wednesday November 1, 2017. There were 15 members present along with a guest speaker Marjorie Serafinus. Colleen introduced our guest speaker. Harry did a prayer reading “Are You Listening.”
The reading gave us some thoughts about how seasons change and how we can change. Following the prayer reading there was a reflection. Several members joined in the discussion.
We began in our usual way with a check-in, and then Mike, with his guitar, lead the opening prayer with the song “How Can I Keep from Singing?”.
Then we moved on to business and, among other things, decided what to do with the social justice fund. As it stood we decided to let it build a little more and then give the funds in December to St. Vincent de Paul.
Then we made plans for our December 6th Christmas dinner at “Hers” in Sydney.
We looked at possible speakers to bring in or ideas, such as movies or documentaries to view and discuss as our year moves ahead. We’re interested in visiting the Muslim mosque on Grand Lake Road in the future for one thing and are making strides toward that end.
Next, Julia gave an interesting and informative report on her trips to Cincinnati, Ohio, and Lethbridge, Alberta where she attended retreats and workshops, and she showed us a slideshow of pictures from her travels.
We finished up with a prayer – a reprise of the song. We couldn’t keep from singing.
And lunch, delicious as always, was provided by Julie and Julia.
A good meeting with good friends and good food.
Amy Brierly. Coordinator Martha Justice Ministry and Sr. Catherine MacFarlane CSM
Nov. 3-5, 2017
Canadian Catholic Student Association Conference
Cape Breton University Chaplaincy Office hosted this wonderful Conference from Nov. 3-5, 2017 at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton. Sr. Catherine MacFarlane CSM, is a member of the Chaplaincy Office and was involved with the planning and organization of the Conference. There were 28 students and Chaplains in attendance from several Atlantic Universities. It was a blessing indeed to see young people interested in their Catholic Faith!!
CHARITY FRIENDSHIPS: DEEPENING our RELATIONSHIPS through CONTEMPLATIVE CONVERSATIONS
From October 15 – 21, 2017, I was blessed to be able to attend the Federation Grassroots Retreat at St. Joseph Motherhouse, Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati, Ohio. The weather was beautiful and provided an incredible backdrop to a wonderful week of sharing, friendship and conversation!
Tuesday evening, October 17 a grass fire started on the coulees in Lethbridge. The winds were 130 kilometers an hour and the fire moved quickly. It came very close to Martha Retreat Centre, even burning part of the lawn. The sisters evacuated and spent the night with friends. The firefighters got the fire out in time. Many people were praying for the Sisters and the Centre.
Fifteen of us attended the meeting Sunday, Oct. 22 which began with Caroline leading a beautiful PRAYER OF ACCEPTANCE and closed singing the hymn Immaculate Mary in gratitude for keeping our three Sisters and their home safe. Tuesday evening, hurricane force winds had fed a rapidly moving grass fire in the coulees right behind the Retreat Center. Too close for comfort, the flames leapt hungrily right up to the grass on their property, licking at its edges! Sisters Theresa, Josephine and Josie each told their own emotionally charged stories of how they fled their home in a matter of minutes. It was a night to praise God for His mercy and His saving power! Continue reading
Sydney Martha Associates
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
A regular meeting of the Sydney Martha Associates was held October 11, 2017. After a check in and a beautiful prayer, we welcomed our special guest for the evening, Sheila O’Handley. Sheila has made a commitment to live within the Diocese of Antigonish as a Hermit.
And what does that mean? Sheila enlightened us greatly!! A Hermit, according to Canon Law, is one who lives an Arametical Life, a person who lives alone, reads, reflects and helps people. A Hermit is not necessarily one who lives out in the desert, wears odd clothing and does not interact with others!! Although in the early 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries, Hermits may have gone to the woods. They went there in search of God, they went there to purify themselves because often they had a very negative image of God. They wanted to understand God, but God is mystery, we cannot understand God.