Our May Meeting opened at the home of David and Paula Nearing. Special guest for the session was Father Ray Huntley. Father Ray opened with a scriptural passage which we contemplated and discussed which then led our discussion on L’Arche and the early works of Jean Vanier.
From left to right; Ken MacAdam, Linda MacNeil, Sr. Claudette Gallant, Joanna Crosby, Sylvia Chiasson, Fr. Ray Huntley, David Nearing.
Father Ray spoke of his upbringing in the Town of Sydney Mines, stating that parents made sure that he and his siblings were aware of people experiencing poverty, disabilities, or culturally differences, highlighting that we are all children of God and share in His love.. Through these differences, they began to see many treasures…
REGULAR MONTHLY GATHERING
A lovely gathering of the Sydney Martha Associates was held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Hall. Everyone was welcomed and we began the night with a round the circle of “How do you come”. All were glad to be together for our evening.
The gathering continued with Associate Co-ordinator, Mike Finigan leading us in the opening prayer. Mike provided the group with a print out of selected verses from Chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel. We each took turns to read various sections. It was beautiful to hear each of our voices proclaim parts of the Resurrection story! Mike then invited us to pray together……The Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to God. Finally, Mike sang a beautiful Hymn: “ Because He Lives”.
Before launching into the summary of our January meeting, allow me to touch on the enjoyable annual year end Christmas gathering held at the Retreat Centre on December 15th. All our Lethbridge group members were graciously welcomed at the door by our beloved Sisters. Conversation and catch up over a glass (or two) of spirits was followed by a variety of festive pot luck dinner dishes and then, moving into the common room, a gift exchange ensued which took at least an hour leaving us with sore sides from the gaiety and laughter. Before we left for home, we joined our hearts and voices in a carol singsong. The joy and goodwill of the entire Yuletide evening was not lost on anyone!
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.
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!
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.