Sydney Martha Associates

Greetings from the Sydney group!  We just ended another good year and again we wonder where the time went.  It seems like we just got started.  But it was a good year that began with the retreat in September and sped right by October into November where we met and listened to our coordinator Julia Townsend tell us (and show us) of her travels to workshops in the US (Cincinnati, Ohio), and to the Martha Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta.  And then we were enjoying our Christmas supper in December at HERS in Sydney.  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.  The setting is homey and the food delish!  We had a fine meal for the second Christmas in a row there.

January left many our members icebound at home for the meeting.  Those of us who could make it heard Sr. Dorothy Moore share 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.

Believe it or not we had no meeting in February and March, due to storms of nature and storms of life, but we carried on in April where Mike conducted the meeting and brought his guitar along and the meeting turned into a gospel hour with lots of spiritual music and stories.  And, as always – with good food!

In May, along with our sister groups in Cape Breton (and Trenton!), we represented the Martha Associates on Mass for Shut-Ins on TV.  And later back at Bethel (our place of meeting) we met again to make plans for the retreat in September and to listen to stories of St. Bernadette of Lourds.  We also got to dip our fingers in the holy, healing waters from Lourds, made available by Julia.

Et voila!  It’s June already and we’ve just had our end of year potluck with more good stories and music.  The food was scrumptious!  We ate and prayed and told stories and made plans for September 15th for the retreat will Sister Jovita MacPherson will be the host speaker; the theme being “Embraced in Love: the many faces of hospitality.”

We Sydney members wish everyone a safe and happy summer of 2018!