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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
This poem came into being with the help from the Holy Spirit and praying to Mother Theresa. I promised the Holy Spirit if he would help me that I would give him the credit for the poem.
Mercy The Path
The life of Christ is a journey
that presents to each of us an action
of laying down our life –
casting off cares and worries
to embrace our brothers and sisters
of this present world!
Our world is torn and bombarded with a shiftless
disregard for life!
A slow deliberate attempt to devalue humanity and remove
God’s loving Presence from the core of Life!
It is imperative that we answer Yes
to the challenge of action in love and mercy
to every human being
the Gospel of Christ is our mantra!
Christ’s mercy is life giving
constantly moving, shifting, molding, melting
and bringing together!
Christ is aware of all the changes – the silent ones
and the ones that clap with Thunder!
In our present Society we need to stand up for God
This action is a daring one
living out The Way, The Truth and The Life
will cost you dearly
This present world will reject you
and insult you because of me
keep going…keep extending mercy…keep
welcoming strangers…keep sharing and building up!
Help them to know me – love them as I love you!
My arms are always open…
By: Cathy MacAdam
Reserve Mines, Cape Breton
September 16, 2016