Martha Associate Day
September 16, 2017
The Eastern Associates held their annual gathering on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at Bethany. It marked the last time that the Eastern Group would meet at Bethany. As well, it marked a new beginning to the face of the annual gathering: a day as opposed to a full weekend retreat. The topic of the day was; therefore, very appropriate, “The Art Of Grieving”.
Sr. Franklyn Ferguson, CSM, lead us through a beautiful presentation, reflecting on a more complete understanding of what it means to grieve. Sr. Franklyn opened her presentation with a lovely song: “There is a Season”, reminding us that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven!
Sr. Franklyn explained that grieving is a process of how we perceive loss: psychologically, socially, behaviorally, physically and spiritually. Naming our loss and our feelings helps us to bring an understanding to it, and allows us to move forward and to do something about it. When we do not allow ourselves to deal with our grief, it can become a pathology and makes us sick!
It is important to remember that we all grieve in different ways and in different periods of time. It is also noteworthy that grief does not only occur with death, but with the loss of many things ie: Hearing, eyesight, mobility, etc. Any change can constitute loss. Awareness of these changes, and naming them allows us to move forward.
Mourning is a part of grieving and it is something we must do. It too is a process and must be done in each person’s time.
Sr. Franklyn described grieving in this way: Grief is like a cut, acute and numb, followed by bleeding, eventual healing and finally a scar. The scar may shrink, but it is always there. But the cut has travelled through a process of change and has been transformed, and the healing allows us to continue forward as all life must.
Our day ended with a prayer and song of Thanksgiving to God.
September 8 & 9, 2017
Halifax, Nova Scotia
A recent meeting of the ARCAN Steering Committee was held at Barat residence in Halifax, September 8 and 9th, 2017. Sr. Claudette Gallant, Director of Associates, Julia Townsend, Co-Director, as well as Linda Longmire, Associate, Trenton Group, joined with Sisters and Associates of other Atlantic Congregations for the annual meeting. Topics discussed included a review of the ARCAN Conference which was held in June “Greening Our Hearts” with special guest speaker, Dolores Hall. Overall, the Conference was enjoyed by all who attended. As well, the group discussed whether ARCAN should continue into the future. This lead to much reflection among the group, ending with a resounding ‘YES”. It was acknowledged that ARCAN provides a wonderful networking among Atlantic Congregations, Sisters and Associates. This followed with proposing ways to make ARCAN a better resource for us all. We also decided to continue with the Conference every three years. This time period was needed as booking speakers and making preparations requires an enormous amount of planning and work!! The group also discussed how to keep the Congregation Charisms alive over time within the hearts of the Associates. There will be much more discussion on this topic in the coming year!! It was a wonderful weekend and a great way to connect and network!!