Sydney Martha Associates meeting, January 11, 2017

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!

Michael Finigan

A note from the Sydney Associates

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!

Martha Associates November 27th Meeting, Lethbridge, AB

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.

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Sydney Associates meeting of November 9

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

Michael Finigan

Orientation Meeting in Sydney Mines

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
together.

Gerogie Edwards

Martha Associates October 30th Meeting, Lethbridge, AB

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.

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Associate Retreat in Lethbridge, Alberta (September 23-25, 2016)

At the end of September, our Lethbridge Associate members linked together with those from Calgary for our annual retreat. Sisters Theresa, Josie and Josephine took charge of the Friday evening session with their usual warmth of welcome,  prayer, song and reflection. How fortunate we were to have Sister Marion Sheridan as our retreat presenter! Having faithfully served as the NGO liaison representative at the UN for the past thirteen years, she shared some of her vast knowledge and anecdotal experiences in a number of very interesting lectures and made us more aware of that vast organization’s inner workings, its goals, targets, successes, failures and the ongoing multiple and complex challenges therein. Following are some Associates comments flowing from the weekend:

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Sydney Martha Associates

Notes from the Sydney Associate group’s recent October meeting:

Lovely opening Prayer: The Spirit Hovers over Creation . Review of our annual retreat. Encouragement to add to our website so the Associates will use it. Planning projects to be “Pockets of Hope” in our community beginning with a monthly food and clothing drive for Loaves and Fishes.  Cathy Macadam’s Poem on Mercy is on the Associate website!