Our monthly meeting on Feb.1st was bitter sweet. We were saddened to learn that Sister Claudette’s sister had died suddenly the day before, having just lost her husband to death just three weeks prior. We continue to hold Sister Claudette in our prayers and invite you to do the same. On the same day we invited Sister Clarine O’Leary to our meeting so we could say a proper farewell to her, since moving to Sydney after spending 24 years at St Clare Convent. It was so nice to have her back. We miss her but wish her well at her new residence in Sydney.
A nasty virus kept a few Associates home but the rest of us braved freezing fog/mist to attend the first meeting in the New Year.
We began in Chapel singing TAKE MY HANDS to compliment Sister Josephine’s beautiful “Hand Prayer.” Thanks to Annella and guest friend Stephani who gave a presentation with numerous accompanying pictures and stories of their trip to south eastern India this past autumn. This gave us all a good glimpse of that part of this far away country, its friendly faith-filled inhabitants and beautiful vegetation. We were all grateful no incidents marred their eighteen hour flights and holiday with their attentive and generous host, Father Alphonse, the hospital priest here in Lethbridge. And yes, we’ve grown accustomed to the henna that remains still in Annella’s hair!
For our February meeting, both Lethbridge Associate groups will welcome our Eastern guests, Sister Claudette and co-coordinator Julia Townsend. James Spiess from Catholic Central High will be present to thank the Associates for our communal donation and inform us of that school’s Christmas project to help feed and gift needy area families. If there is time, Mary Schimd will share the story of Canada’s own beloved Saint Andre.
As always, table conversation along with an array of nibblies and dainties with tea, coffee and juice brought the evening to a pleasant close.
Ina (Catarina) Boyden, Associate Scribe
Our group of four, Barb, Mary, Sheila, Yvonne, met for lunch on January 17th. It was great to “catch up”. We do not meet regularly since the Sisters left. Geographically it is difficult. However we do stay in touch.
We feel gratitude knowing the new building is well on the way at Bethany. Our prayer is for a peaceful transition in this new beginning. All the Sisters who have gone through many changes since the founding of the congregation are watching over, and rejoicing with you.
We remembered SIster Yvonne Vigneault who was my classmate. I remember very well the day we met at Bethany, and remained friends through the years. Her gentle, pleasant personality, sense of humour and deep spirituality endeared her to all who knew her. Heaven has been enriched. May she rest in the presence of God with all the other Marthas who have served so well.
We enjoy our get togethers with the Martha Associates in Lethbridge. We were with them in September 2016. However we were unable to join them for their Christmas party due to winter driving conditions.
May 2017 bring good health, peace, and many blessings to us all. We will continue to pray for each other and our loved ones.
We had a good turnout for our first meeting of the new calendar year and according to our monthly check-in, we are all in good health and spirits. Julia led us in a meditative prayer / poem from Joyce Rupp and we continued on into business matters from there. We look ahead to May when we will host Mass for Shut-Ins for Sunday the 21st. We look forward to our journeyer Jean having her orientation in April and her reception with the associates in May. We continue too with our monetary donations to our Social Justice box and with contributions of food items and clothing for Loaves and Fishes and St. Vincent De Paul. We looked at bringing new and returning guest speakers in and bringing visitors in who might be interested in journeying with the Martha Associates. And as the meeting went on we watched Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Address for 2016 which focused on ordinary people doing extraordinary thing. Following the words of Mother Theresa (St. Theresa of Calcutta) that though not all of us a not capable of being great, we can do small things with great love. We followed the speech with a thoughtful discussion. And finished up with a fine lunch of sandwiches, sweets and homemade fortune cookies. Best wishes from Sydney!
Saturday, December 19th, we came together at the Retreat Center, thirty of us in all, to fill up the gathering space for our Christmas celebration and though the weather was cold and frosty, the mood inside was anything but as the three Sisters warmly welcomed each and every one of us to their home.
We met on December 7 for our Christmas Dinner gathering, this year, and probably for the foreseeable future at HERS on Bentick Street in Sydney, a quaint little place with one table that seats one group for one meal. The staff had the room decorated elegantly for Christmas and made us all feel at home. We had a delicious meal beginning with a salad with maple dressing, a main dish of stuffed chicken breast and a dessert of molasses cake. All topped off with tea and a night of great stories and conversation. A fine beginning to the season!
We wish a Merry Christmas to one and all!
Thirteen were present on this rather chilly Lethbridge evening. Our meeting began in chapel as usual but this night we took turns praying the Glorious decades of the rosary. To begin we sang the beautiful well known hymn Immaculate Mary and since this was the first Sunday in Advent, ended with O Come, Divine Messiah. Our meeting then continued in the large gathering space.
We began our meeting with our customary check-in, where we can take the opportunity to say how things are going in our lives. Then Julia read a beautiful poem “The Watered Lilies” and led a reflection that drew a stimulating response from the group. Some quick business matters followed, including our plans to meet for our annual Christmas supper in town on December 5. Sr. Dorothy Moore gave a talk on her recent trip to Lejac, British Columbia, where she visited the shrine of Rose Prince. Her presentation included an interesting video on the life, influence and mystery of Rose Prince entitled “Uncorrupted: The Story of Rose Prince.” You can find out more about Rose Prince online in various links like this one: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rose-prince-pilgrimage-to-draw-hundreds-to-lejac-b-c-1.3134343
November 1st found the sisters and associates from St Clare Convent enjoying each other’s
company while attending our monthly meeting. After welcome and prayer, Sister
Claudette gave a detailed and interesting presentation on the history of the
Sisters of St Martha and also of the Associates. Although this was
primarily for the benefit of our three new journeyers, who will be received
in December, it was a much appreciated review for the “old timers” too. After
that Georgie Edwards gave a few words on what it means to her, personally,
to be a Martha Associate. Some plans for the future followed, we closed with prayer
and then enjoyed a pleasant time of tea and chat. So ended our time
With nineteen of us present, we began with prayer; Pope Francis’ Help me, O Lord followed by the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. We then viewed Cleveland Clinic’s powerful and perceptive four minute video – a brief peek into the ordinary lives of various individuals in hospital experiencing the inexorable challenges of daily life. Momentarily we placed ourselves in each of their shoes feeling a deep sense of compassion and sympathy and respect as they struggle through the full range of emotions like joy and sorrow, fear and anxiety, bad news and pain.