Associates

Today there are more than 100 Associates of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception in the Atlantic, Prairie and Pacific regions of Canada.  From diverse backgrounds, they are women and men who bear the Charity charism and express it in their daily lives.

Charism can be described as an original and unique gift of the Holy Spirit -- the deep and abiding story shared by Sisters and Associates.  The charism is expressed in lives and ministry focusing on persons who are afflicted, excluded and living in poverty.  It also includes awareness about and advocacy for the rest of creation, especially where it is fragile or endangered.

SCIC and Associates are committed to prayer; spiritual growth; gatherings; celebration; compassionate presence and service, as well as initiatives for social and ecological justice.

After a period of inquiry, persons seeking to become SCIC Associates may choose to make and renew commitment. For more about SCIC association, please inquire:  Tel. 506-847-2065   E-mail: cpscic@sistersofcharityic.com

 

ASSOCIATE DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT 2018 - 2022

We, Associates of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, are conscious of our call and committed to the Charism of Charity. Through connectedness and collaboration our journey in leadership continues. As we nurture relationships, we are transformed by our individual and communal ministries. We respond with justice and mercy to the urgent needs of the Earth and our diverse global community in the spirit of our Vision, Mission and Values.

 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION

Associates of SCIC hosted a party of all parties on St. Patrick’s Day in the Ruth Ross Community Room. The afternoon began with prayer. There were lots of treats, cake, ice cream, and music. The most talented, 101 year old, Eleanor Bednar led everyone with some traditional Irish singing and Anita Holmes graciously instructed all on line dancing lessons and what a dance it was. With the help of staff, Sr. Grace McSheffrey, who is wheelchair bound, even got up to do a jig! A great time was had by all.

Write-up & Photos: Sharon Jacquard

OUTFLOW MINISTRY

On the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday the menu for our outflow supper was pancakes, of course, accompanied by Sausages, Beans, Hash Brown Potato Patties, Cookies and Bananas for dessert.  Our guests LOVE breakfast for supper. We had many volunteers on hand to cook and serve the pancakes and with all of the donations we received, we were able to provide enough food so that take-outs were available for those who wanted them. We continue to receive strong support from our Associate members and Sisters in our mission as well as support from family, friends and neighbours. Thank you to all who make this ministry possible.

(Submitted by Sharon Jaccquard) (Photo John Doiron)

ASSOCIATE WINTER GATHERING FEBRUARY 2019

Tuesday Feb.19th 2019 Saint Mark’s Chapel

Those in attendance: Beth Lawson, Mary Ann Kneeland, Ellen Robart, Donna Schroeter and Denise Isaacs

The theme centered on the journeys in our lives and discovering our true self.  The following quote was sent in advance of our gathering:

“In order to discover your heart, one needs to take a journey.  Sometimes we have to take a road less traveled. Or sometimes we need to start off in a new direction to be able to truly come alive again – A journey that involves risk, challenges, and that will push you over the edge.  Such a journey can be a pilgrimage; an expedition into the discovery of your heart and unlocking your “real” journey in life. It’s a journey to the forgotten places in the heart and soul.  An adventure of your life that will never leave you the same!  But the adventure doesn’t end on the return….it has only just begun for on a true pilgrimage you will discover that the “way” is as important as the destination.  It is on the way that we discover our true self and thus when we have arrived at our destination, we must continue the journey with new eyes for we are no longer the person who started the pilgrimage.”

The environment included footprints along a seashore lighted by candles which lead to the empty tabernacle where a candle representing Jesus was placed to symbolize Christ presence among us.

We began with the song   ”Follow Me” which was followed by the scripture passage Matthew 4:18-22

Jesus Calls Four Fishermen proclaimed by Beth.

After reading the reflection together we then took a few minutes to ponder our own journeys and began to share with each other some of our own experiences which have shaped and molded us into the persons we are today.

We shared how our present day spiritual journeys have led us to discover where we are being called.

Denise and Donna read two short passages from Henri Nouwen’s “The Inner Voice of Love” A Journey through Anguish to Freedom.  The first passage was entitled Trust the Inner Voice . ……  “Are you willing to be transformed?  …….  You have to trust the inner voice.  You turn to it often. ……..Only by attending to the inner voice can you be converted to a new life of freedom and joy.”

The second passage from the book was entitled Keep Moving Toward Full Incarnation.  ……“Do not discount what you have already accomplished.  ……….You can look at your life as a large cone that becomes narrower the deeper you go.  There are many doors in that cone that give you the chance to leave the journey.  But you have been closing these doors one after another, making yourself go deeper and deeper into your center.  You know that Jesus is waiting for you at the end, just as you know he is guiding you as you move in that direction.  ………..This is a movement (journey) toward full incarnation.  It leads you to become what you already are – a child of God. …….

Closing Prayer was read by MaryAnn and was followed by our closing song Pascador de Hombres  (Lord You Have Come)

Submitted by:Ellen Robart

ASSOCIATE WINTER GATHERING JANUARY 2019

January 15, 2019

Saint John Associates Ellen Robart, Mary Ann Kneeland, Donna Schroeter, Denise Isaacs, and Inquirer Beth Lawson met on January 15, 2019 in the initial Kennebecasis Valley Neighbour Gathering of the year.

As a group, we attended Mass at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Quispamsis, NB followed by a time of reflection and discussion.

With coffee in hand, we discussed the following thoughts of Thomas Merton.

If prayer, meditation and contemplation were once taken for granted as central realities in human life everywhere, they are so no longer. They are regarded, even as believers, as somehow marginal and secondary; what counts is getting things done. 

We shared our reflections on prayer experiences in our younger years and the role models in our lives that led us to a deeper spirituality. They included parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, and others. 

Also, we discussed present-day thoughts on prayer - the importance of living in the moment, awareness of God’s presence in our lives, how we, as individuals, pray differently, and our continuing spiritual journey with God and each other.

We will be meeting again at Saint Mark’s on Tuesday February 19th at 9:30 AM after Mass.

ASSOCIATE COMMITMENT CELEBRATION

On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the annual Associate Commitment celebration took place at Carmel Chapel in Ruth Ross Residence. At that time, one of our inquirers, Myra Murphy, made her commitment. It was wonderful to see so many members of Myra's family, Sisters and Associates in attendance. Re-commitment was also made by the Associates and Sisters on this special feast day. The Associates bestowed a special blessing on the Sisters and inturn, Sisters bestowed a special blessings on the Associates. This wonderful celebration was followed by a reception.

(Submitted by Sharon Jacquard) (Photos: Pat Poole & Sharon Jacquard)

Photo: Myra receiving pin
l-r – Myra Murphy, Donna Schroeter, Pat Poole, SCIC

Photo: Myra receiving candle
l-r – Myra Murphy, Sharon Jacquard, Irene Buechler, SCIC

TWICE BUT NICE–PRAIRIE REGION

SCIC Associate and “Twice But Nice” Board President, Nicole Thorhauer, along with Board Secretary Odette Liedl presented Tyler Bree with the Anne Springman $5,000.00 Scholarship award on Thursday January 25, 2018.  Tyler is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree at the MacEwan University. Twice But Nice Clothing Store is a community-based second-hand store located in downtown Fort Saskatchewan.  A volunteer Board of Directors oversees its operations.  Nicole has been involved with since its inception.  The mandate of Twice But Nice is to return money from sales of donations back into the community through local groups seeking assistance with special projects.  Funding guidelines are:  non-profit groups in Fort Saskatchewan; projects to benefit the community at large; and projects of “social service” and preventative nature; not for capital costs.

Submitted by Nicole Thorhauer
Photo: l-r – Nicole Thorhauer, Tyler Bree, Odette Liedl
Photographer unknown

PRAIRIE ASSOCIATE OCTOBER GATHERING

As it was still very close to Thanksgiving we used as the theme for our gathering - Thankfulness.  Why do we only set aside one day a year to be thankful?

We used a page of descriptive words and phrases of thankfulness to read through slowly and thoughtfully reflecting on what we may not have thought of as the qualities of thankfulness.  Some of the words were immeasurable, expanding, growing through encouragement, sincere in quality, and enhanced with emotion, humility and hope woven together. It is intimately connected with Passion and is active, zealous and blooming. It embraces this thing we call today, the TUMULTUOUS expectancy of good approaching.  The word tumultuous is capitalized because we never do seem to expect merciful, jubilant, exciting things.  We always seem to say "oh no, what next" instead of being hopefully expectant. Thankfulness does not lie sleeping but is awake to wonder, seeing beyond what is.

What does thankfulness mean to you, who in your life best demonstrates it? What can you learn from their attitudes or actions and what rituals of thankfulness do you have?  These were things we pondered and shared with each other.  We had a good turnout of Associates and the discussions on thankful rituals were varied and interesting. The day was a great gathering of thankful "friends".

Submitted by Diane Legris – Regional Coordinator

United Nations NGO Orientation with Teresa Kotturan

On November 14-16, 2018, we had the opportunity to visit the United Nations and meet the Sisters of Charity Federation NGO, Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN. We were joined by John Shively, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Coordinator for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. Our time together was filled with learning about the Operations and Systems of the UN, Role of Religious and NGO’S at the UN, Sustainable Development Goals, Catholic Social Teaching and Human Rights, Understanding Migration, Immigration, and Refugees, Financing for Development and the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. We sat in on an NGO Mining Group meeting and listened to them speaking on Fracking, Gendered Impacts of Mining and Transnational Corporations. Without a doubt, our tour of the UN, standing in the General Assembly Conference Room, seeing the podium that so many political and religious leaders and  activists  spoke from, walking among the sculptures on the grounds that symbolize human journeys and sacrifices, seeing and hearing the varied cultures~these are just a few of the many memories that we will treasure.

“As I reflected on all the information, my awareness heightened…truly a memory dear to my heart… we all need to speak and take a stance… that takes courage.” (Donna) “My experiences at the UN taught me how necessary it is to call countries to accountability and to advocate not only for the world and its vulnerable peoples, but for Mother Earth Herself.”

Submitted by Pat Poole, scic

Photographer unknown 

Photo: l-r – Teresa Kotturan, John Shively, Donna Schroeter, Pat Poole, SCIC

The Katz Family

We were honoured to have Dr. Cheryl Fury as guest speaker for our November Associate gathering which was also open to the public. She presented an engaging, powerful, personal, presentation on The Katz Family. Vera Katz, whom Cheryl had met on tour of Holocaust Educators, was a member of the Katz family. Vera was very involved in Holocaust education as she was a refugee of Nazi Germany during World War II. Cheryl is dedicated to keeping the knowledge of the horrific experiences of the Holocaust alive and she had become a personal friend of Vera's. Cheryl received a standing ovation after her presentation and was sincerely thanked by Donna Schroeter on behalf of all who were present.

(Excerpt from UNB website on Dr. Fury's Accomplishments)

Cheryl wrote "Entering that Darkness" International Perspectives on Holocaust Education (2012). She has also assisted with and edited Holocaust survivor Vera Schiff's article, "Refusing to Give in to Despair: The Children and Teachers of Terezin" in Prism: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust. Cheryl annotated and edited Vera Schiff's book, The Theresienstadt Deception: The Concentration Camp the Nazis Created to Deceive the World as well as revising and expanding two of Schiff's previous works for on-line publication, Hitler's Inferno and her award-winning memoir, Theresienstadt: The Town the Nazis Gave the Jews.

Cheryl has been nominated for a number of teaching awards on both campuses of UNB, winning Departmental Achievement in Teaching Excellence Awards and the Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2010 she was awarded a scholarship to attend the March of the Living Holocaust Tour for Educators. She discusses her experiences as part of the Anglophone South School District Holocaust program for high school students. The Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre of Toronto has named her one of its "Canadian Teachers Making a Difference."

Cheryl received a standing ovation after her presentation and was sincerely thanked by Donna Schroeter on behalf of all who were present.

(Submitted by Sharon Jacquard) (Photo Pat Poole) 

ASSOCIATE SUMMER GATHERING 2018

Associates of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) were invited to the opening banquet of Chapter 2018 which was held on July 5th.  We were also invited to participate in a pre-Chapter retreat facilitated by Sisters Regina Bechtle and Mary McCormick (Sisters of Charity of New York).  This experience was spirit-filled with prayer, fellowship and laughter and set the tone for our Associate gathering.

 

RE-CONNECTING ACROSS THE BAY OF FUNDY

One Sister of Charity, I.C. and four Associates from Greater Saint John, NB braved the cold waters of the Bay of Fundy to visit Associates in Digby, NS on Nov. 12th, 2017. The visitors were Associates Donna Schroeter, Mary Ann Kneeland, Ann Brantnall, Sharon Jacquard and Sr. Emily Lordon.  The ferry crossings were extremely calm for this time of year which made us very happy. We were met on the other side by Marilyn Moore and Betty Cosman and proceeded to St. Patrick’s Church hall where we gathered for prayer and song to begin our day led by Marilyn.

 

RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT & PEACE

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sharon Jacquard and Michael Campbell actively promoted the fall 2017 education and action campaign of Development and Peace among Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and Associates. Here they address a Nov. 25 gathering in Saint John focusing on the campaign with the theme, “Women at the Heart of Peace”.  They also linked the campaign with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  On Oct. 17 – the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – they helped lead prayer, followed by postcard-signing in Carmel Chapel.  The Development and Peace postcard calls on the Canadian government to increase overseas development assistance.  Michael also offered a presentation about the campaign during liturgy at Holy Trinity Parish in Saint John.  In the photo, he displays the D & P postcard as Sharon looks on.  With Associate Linda Pye, they created an engaging display to highlight the campaign.  See  “Advocating with Women at the Heart of Peace” under “What’s New”.  (SCIC photo)

 

ASSOCIATE HONOURED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE

Congratulations to Agathe Joly (photo, centre), who received a Sage Award May
10, 2017 for almost 27 years of hair-cutting service in inner city Edmonton, Alta. Agathe is a longtime Associate of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate
Conception and serves as national coordinator among SCIC Associates in western Canada. The recognition by the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton was presented by Servus Credit Union. Agathe coordinates a team of volunteers at the Bissell Centre with Associate Diane Legris, who is Prairie regional coordinator of Associates. The hair-cutting ministry was begun by Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, who has been SCIC congregational leader since 2010. It was later supported by Sisters Marion Garneau and Margaret MacLean, now of Saint John, N.B.

 

 

ASSOCIATES LIVING THE GOSPEL

Matthew 25:25 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me in.” For some time the Atlantic Associates wanted to commit themselves to a communal ministry in Saint John. Our Directional Statement from Chapter 2014 challenged us to be engaged in communal ministries and answer with justice the urgent needs of the community. We are answering St. Vincent de Paul’s constant questions “What must I do? What must we do? What must be done?” So in May 2015 we began our commitment with the Outflow Ministry to provide and serve a healthy, well balanced meal on a Sunday evening once a month. The number of men, women and children who attend the suppers averages 65-80. As one Associate has observed, “Feeding the homeless is an amazingly uplifting experience.” Associates and Sisters come together on the first Sunday of each month to take part in this mission of charity. This ecumenical experience with Outflow volunteers is a real blessing for everyone involved, those who are serving as well as those who are being served. We truly are following Honoria Conway’s example of reaching out to the most marginalized people in our community. (Photo: Sharon Jacquard)

 

ASSOCIATES COORDINATE INNER CITY HAIR-CUTTING MINISTRY

Two SCIC Associates coordinate a group providing free, weekly hair-cutting ministry at the Bissell Centre in the inner city of Edmonton, Alta.  Almost 25 years ago, Sister Mary Beth McCurdy recognized the need for such a ministry when she was accompanying people in the area.  She invited Sisters, Associates and others to volunteer among women and men living in poverty.  Many are homeless, living on the streets.  Sister Mary Beth became SCIC congregational leader and now lives in Saint John, N.B.  Since 1993, dedicated volunteers have continued the well-received ministry she began.  Today Associates Agathe Joly and Diane Legris coordinate a group of six to eight volunteers who wash and cut hair for 22-25 people weekly.  Agathe and Diane note that by spending time with the people and cutting their hair, they “see them transformed; their self-esteem heightened and a smile on their face.”  (In photo by volunteer Doris Gaudette, Agathe, standing, helps “Ann” admire her new haircut.)

 

ACCOMPANYING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

SCIC Associates Ann Charlton and Faye Parkinson of Langley, B.C. participated in a major gathering of the Faith and Light movement in Washington, D.C. Nov. 8-10, 2014.  In the Vancouver Archdiocese, they are both long-time, active members of Faith and Light’s Canada West province.  Based in France, Faith and Light brings together persons with and without disabilities through community and family gatherings.  Today there are more than 1,500 communities on five continents in 80 countries (www.faithandlight.org).  In August 2014, Ann and Faye welcomed a woman with disabilities into the home they share.  They also offer respite care in their home for another disabled woman one or two weekends a month plus one month in the summer.   The Washington conference marked the North American launch of the book, Never Again Alone! which tells the story of the Christian movement.  In 1971 the author, Marie-Hélène Mathieu of France founded Faith and Light with Jean Vanier – a Canadian-born and internationally known spiritual leader.  In Washington, the author called for prayer for Faith and Light communities.  Ann and Faye also request prayer for persons with disabilities.  (Photo in Washington by Louise Major. Left to right, back:  Faye Parkinson and Ann Charlton.  Front:  Marie-Hélène Mathieu and translator Henri Major)