our February evening meeting, a huge harvest-like moon hanging low in the sky
served to direct us as we made our way to the Retreat Center situated on that
Gillis used her book SACRED SPACE thoughtfully leading us in chapel prayer.
Caroline followed to shepherd discussion on the third chapter of Pope Francis’
document, GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE (Rejoice and Be Glad.) This one dealt with the
Beatitudes, and in the Pope’s own words, is a “Christian’s identity
card.” To quote further from the document, Pope Francis writes,
“Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he
gave us the Beatitudes.” I think we all agreed that within that chapter’s
nineteen pages, there was much to ponder and pray over, to guide and challenge
everyone of us.
our March meeting, we will be graced by the visit of Julia Townsend from
Antigonish. We are all looking forward to her message of inspiration as well as
her generous happy spirit. Romano will be our leader of prayer while Sharon and
Caroline have volunteered to provide snacks. Our April meeting will be moved a
week ahead to the 11th.
Mary Kennedy, Yvonne Donahue, Barb Learmont, Calgary, Feb., 2018
Calgary Ladies with Sr. Claudette and Julia, Feb. 2018
Sr. Claudette and Julia were in Calgary on Monday, Feb. 26th, 2018 to meet and visit with three of the Ladies who were active members of the Calgary Associates. Due to the challenges of an Associate group meeting together in such a large city, the Calgary group has had to disband. However, a small group of 4 Ladies remain connected to the Martha Associates. They continue to be invited to the Western Retreat weekend each year, and they still receive a visit from the Martha Associate Director which helps to keep them connected! It was a lovely visit with these wonderful Ladies!!
Sr. Claudette Gallant and myself made our second trip together to Western Canada to visit the Sisters and Associates in Lethbridge! Needless to say…..we left Spring and found Winter!!! There was lots of snow and ice in Lethbridge, and it was cold!!! Thank goodness for my Canada Goose jacket!!
Julia, Sr. Josie, Sr. Claudette, and Sr. Theresa
We were greeted warmly by the Sisters who live in Lethbridge, Sr. Josie, Sr. Theresa, Sr. Josephine and Sr. Madeline!! We also had a warm welcome from the Associates who were able to make it to the meeting!
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!
A meeting was held at St. Clare’s Convent Monday, April 24th, 2017. Coordinators were present from Sydney Mines, Glace Bay, Eskasoni, Glace Bay and Sydney. Regrets were sent from the Trenton Coordinator / Co- coordinator. After a warm welcome from Sr. Claudette, Julia lead us in the opening prayer. Then each group gave an update on their respective groups. Updates were also given on the progress at Bethany, the 2017 Associate Retreat, Sycamore deadlines, update on the Directory, the upcoming ARCAN Conference, and Mass for Shut Ins. Some discussion was held on concerns, ideas and visions for the future! Our day ended with the praying of our Associate prayer! Details of the meeting will be brought to each respective Associate group by the Coordinators!
I am in the process of visiting the various Associate groups and using the Directional Statement for the evening presentation. It has been a wonderful experience with the Glace Bay group and the Sydney group in the East and Martha Centre, St. Monica and Calgary in the West. St. Claire, Eskasoni, and Trenton Associates are scheduled. I hope to do a short write up of the sharing once I visit all the Associate groups.
While I was in Lethbridge, Harry Mueller and Irene Tosczak were received as Associates. Notice Harry’s attire. That was on a dare, so he arrived with a tux. I think he looks good in it.
While visiting the Calgary group I found out that Deborah Bennett’s job is taking her to Ottawa. All the best Deborah. For this gathering, Yvonne Donahue, took this opportunity to make Deborah’s favorite butterscotch pie as a treat for the lunch. Wow!
I’m happy to inform you that we have a number of Journeyers to be received this coming year. We have Myrna Horak, in Calgary; George and Niki Crisfield in Lethbridge; Harry and Norma Blinkhorn, and Jean Brennick in Sydney Mines; Sheila Morris and Elizabeth Stevens in Eskasoni; in Sydney we have Jean Peinsznaki. This speaks well for the individual groups for their welcoming spirit and Martha hospitality. As Marthas and Associates, we have something good here and want to share it.
There will be an Eastern Martha Associate Gathering on March 28 from 9-12. at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Sydney off George Street. It’s not far from the Park. The topic is: The Shadow: The Other Me. Sheila O’Handley is the presenter.
When someone is unable to attend the Sydney group, Michael Finigan, has agreed to do a write up of the evening and send it to those absent. They checked ahead of time to see if the group was interested. What a wonderful idea. It is also a commitment for someone. Maybe other groups would like to do the same.
Sister Claudette Gallant