News

The Sisters of Charity I.C. and Associates seek to offer their assistance wherever the “Spirit of Charity” unfolds. If you’d like to be the first to learn “What’s New,” please be sure to check back often.

 

ADVOCATING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOMS

Sisters of Charity, I.C. and staff participated in Amnesty International’s 2023 Write for Rights campaign in early December in Saint John, N.B.  Annually, Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day and the 2023 observance marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sisters, Associates and staff beyond the area were encouraged to sign Amnesty letters online.  The initiative was organized by Yolande Whalen (Justice Coordinator) with assistance from Sister Roma De Robertis and staff.  In photo:  Sister Rosemary Costley signs Amnesty letters at St. Vincent Residence calling for justice for persons in many countries who are treated unfairly, detained and even killed. (SCIC photo)

Sister Celene Marie Hurley

Sister Celene Marie Hurley (Sister Elaine Marie) peacefully went Home to her Loving God on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John, NB.

Born in Killoween, NB on March 31, 1938, she was the daughter of the late John Patrick and Flora (Gallagher) Hurley.

Sister Celene received her Commercial Certificate from the Carleton County Vocational School and worked as a secretary for eight years in New Brunswick and Ottawa.  She was the first personal secretary to Wallace and Harrison McCain when they began their business in Florenceville, NB.  Sister Celene entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception on September 13, 1964. Read more...

CHOOSING NEW PATHS FOR COMMUNITY LIFE & MISSION

Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) participated in their Chapter Oct. 23-28 in Saint John, N.B. with the theme, “Gathering the Wisdom ~ Blessing the Future”.  Preparation included a 15-month process of communal discernment focusing on personal and congregational transformation.

Facilitators were Sr. Bonnie MacLellan, CSJ – a canon lawyer and General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie – and Dr. Ted Dunn of Florida, a clinical psychologist who works with religious communities internationally.

During Chapter, SCIC elected a five-member leadership circle to begin Jan. 4, 2024 – feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  Elected for the next four years are Sr. Roma  De Robertis, Congregational Leader with Srs. Alice Keegan, Patricia Poole, Laura Hughes and Mary Ann Maxwell.

The Sisters thanked outgoing leaders whose terms included an extra year during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Sr. Mary Beth McCurdy received special thanks for serving as congregational leader since 2010.

(Photo by Patty Marshall.  Left to right:  Srs. Laura Hughes, Mary Ann Maxwell, Roma De Robertis, Patricia Poole and Alice Keegan)

CELEBRATING SEASON OF CREATION 2023

Sisters of Charity, I.C. celebrated the culmination of the Season of Creation Oct. 4 with an original prayer ritual in Carmel Chapel in Saint John, N.B.  The celebration highlighted the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on the final day of the ecumenical season.  It also focused on the opening of the church synod gathering in Rome and release of “Laudate Deum”, the new teaching on ecology by Pope Francis.

Facilitators were Sisters Irene Buechler and Roma De Robertis, SCIC with justice coordinator Yolande Whalen.  In her reflection, Sr. Irene highlighted wisdom of Pope Francis from his Sept. 1 message for the opening of the Season of Creation.  Worldwide, this year’s theme was, “Let Justice and Peace Flow” (Amos 5:24).

Throughout the season, Sisters at St. Vincent Residence in Saint John offered weekly prayer and created displays to raise awareness and invite response to strengthen ecological sustainability.  Yolande prepared informative columns with highlights for contemplation in the weekly newsletter sent to Sisters and Associates in various parts of Canada.

The Oct. 4 chapel display at Ruth Ross Residence showcased a vibrant tapestry of life.  Nestled among an array of flowers, boughs, fruit and vines were Sisters’ stuffed animals, birds and other creatures.  The display highlighted the Christian tradition of blessing live animals on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology who was known to befriend God’s creatures.

Sister Isabella Geddes Fyvie

Sister Isabella Geddes Fyvie (Sister Mary William) peacefully went Home to her Loving God on Monday, October 2, 2023, at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John, NB.

Born on May 18, 1923, in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, she was the only daughter of the late William Fyvie and Margaret (Tosh) Fyvie.

Sr.  Isabell obtained a Saskatchewan Teacher’s Certificate and taught for five and a half years before she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception in 1948. Read More...

Trees Inspire Gratitude & Awareness

Yolande Whalen (Justice Coordinator) facilitated a gathering Sept. 26, 2023 in Carmel Chapel among Sisters of Charity IC and Associates from Greater Saint John, N.B.  Together, they celebrated the Creation theme, “Let justice and peace flow.”

With a PowerPoint presentation and conversation in small circles, they explored a focus on trees as guardians of waterways.  They also considered their vital role in filtering and preserving water for all living beings.

Trees were underscored not only for their beauty but also for the responsibility they represent in ensuring justice and peace permeate our interactions with the world.

The significance of five regional trees – willow, cedar, birch, maple, and oak – was highlighted, emphasizing their attributes and how they symbolically represented influential people in participants’ lives.

The event concluded with prayer, individual blessings, and words of appreciation for the tall elm tree at Ruth Ross Residence, which some visited from the front yard and patio. This was followed by social time indoors, with refreshments provided by staff.

(Photo left to right)  Sisters Monica Guest, Roma De Robertis, Irene Buechler; Justice Coordinator: Yolande Whalen; Sisters Louise Arsenault, Audette Richard, Anita Holmes, Sandra Barrett; SCIC Associates: Myra Murphy, Barb Fennell, Denise Isaacs; Sisters Margaret MacLean and Pat Poole (bottom front). Photo by Andrea Butler 

ANNIVERSARIES HIGHLIGHT GRACE & FAITHFULNESS

Sister Laura Hughes celebrated her 50th anniversary of religious life Sept. 8, 2023 at Ruth Ross and St. Vincent Residences in Saint John, N.B.  Originally from a farming family on Prince Edward Island, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) in 1973 on Sept. 8 – feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sister Laura ministered in eastern and western Canada in human resources in both public health care facilities and hospitals operated by SCIC.  For six years, she was administrator of the former St. Vincent’s motherhouse in Saint John.  Today she offers education in health care ethics and is Coordinator of Community Service at SCIC city residences.

For her recent celebration, Sister Laura was joined by Sisters and guests during Mass in Carmel Chapel at Ruth Ross followed by a festive meal at St. Vincent.  Other SCIC also celebrated significant anniversaries of religious life, including four who entered 65 years ago:  Sisters Muriel Buckley, Rosemary Costley, Margaret Coyle and Margaret MacLean.  SCIC also honoured Sister Rose Mulholland who entered 60 years ago.

Sister Mary Beth McCurdy -- SCIC Congregational Leader -- said like Mary, Sister Laura has been guided by the Spirit to live into many “yeses” through the years.  Offering words of welcome before Mass, she highlighted Sister Laura’s “faith, trust and loving hope” rooted in the gospel.  She also noted her commitment to ensuring the community’s Charity charism is “made real in our world”.

Father Tom Fowler – presider and homilist – paid tribute to the faithfulness, outreach and prophetic stance of the Sisters who were celebrating, noting their combined service and witness of more than 370 years.  (Photo of Laura Hughes, SCIC by Pat Poole, SCIC)

Sister Katherine Theresa Young

Sister Katherine Theresa Young (Sister Mary Lois) peacefully went Home to her God on Sunday, August 27, 2023 at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John, NB.  Born in Whitney, NB, on April 18, 1929, she was the daughter of William Joseph Young and Mary Reba (McKenzie) Young.

Sr. Katerine was a graduate from the School of Nursing of the Hotel Dieu Hospital (Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph) in Chatham, NB.  She nursed for three years in Moncton and Saint John until 1953, when she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.

Sister Katherine received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Ottawa in 1962 and her Masters in Nursing in London, ON in 1970.  During her many years of Administration, she was the Director of Nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Rocmaura Nursing Home in Saint John, NB as well as  Read More...

INDIGENOUS CEREMONY CALLS FOR GOOD NEW PATHS

Seven Sisters of Charity, I.C. with justice coordinator Yolande Whalen joined members of Indigenous communities, students, faculty and staff for an outdoor ceremony June 15, 2023 at the University of New Brunswick Saint John.

The Indigenous ceremony included a sacred fire, drumming and a round dance inviting everyone’s participation.  Remarks from Indigenous elders as well as university and city officials highlighted the desire for respectful and inclusive relationships.

Mi’kmaq Elder Jean Bartibogue offered prayer and wisdom as Knowledge Carrier-in-Residence from UNB Fredericton.  She prayed for a good new beginning for neighbouring land where the former Ward Chipman building was recently demolished.  In its place, a new Health and Social Innovation Centre is planned.  An Indigenous healing garden is also planned on the land behind Ganong Hall where the ceremony took place.

The event was emceed by Todd Ross, Indigenous advisor at UNB Saint John.  Guidance was offered by Wolastoqi Elder Imelda Perley.  Before outdoor closing prayer, participants appreciated viewing Indigenous art during a reception in Hazen Hall.

In photo, Yolande and Sisters are shown with Indigenous artwork.  Left to right:  Sisters Roma De Robertis, Irene Buechler, Muriel Buckley and Audette Richard; Yolande Whalen; Sisters Margaret MacLean, Mary Ann Maxwell and Sandra Barrett. (Photo by Marion Williams)   

Atlantic Sisters of Charity Attend Canadian Religious Conference

The Canadian Religious Conference held its first in-person gathering in 5 years in Montreal on May 25th-28th. Sister MaryBeth McCurdy and Sister Pat Poole attended the meeting which brought together over 200 Canadian sisters, priests, brothers, and lay collaborators. The theme was the Emmaus Journey~ ”the unexpected and life-changing encounter between the Risen Christ and the two disciples on the road, which reveals to us the One who walks with us on our uncertain roads and offers us His presence in difficult parts of the journey.”

The Religious in Atlantic Canada (RAC) and the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Atlantic (JPIC-A) sponsored a weekend on May 18-21 at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, NS. Their  presenter was Sr. Ilia Delio,OSF. She is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC and a theologian specializing in the areas of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics, and neuroscience. Her reflections were on “Relational Holism”, “Hunger for Wholeness” and “Sisters and Scientists: A Conversation With Ilia Delio and Libby Osgood, CND.”

(photo~ L to R: Muriel Buckley, Yolande Whalen (Justice Coordinator), MaryBeth McCurdy, Pat Poole, Ilia Delio, Irene Buechler and Roma DeRobertis.)

Sister Margaret Rose Nickerson (Sister Marion)

Sister Margaret Rose Nickerson (Sister Marion) peacefully went Home to her loving God on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at the Loch Lomond Village in Saint John, NB. Born on March 8, 1942, she was the daughter of the late Arthur Edward and Frances Marion (Burns) Nickerson.

She was a graduate of St. Vincent’s High School and entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception on August 15, 1961.  In her education ministry, she generously shared her gifts with the children at St. Peter’s School and Holy Trinity School in Saint John from 1965-1981.  She was Pastoral Assistant at Holy Trinity Parish (1982-1986) and later at Holy Rosary Parish, St. Stephen, NB, (1986-1993). Read More...

Living With Christ

For the second consecutive year, an SCIC creative design is featured on the cover of the Living with Christ (LWC) missalette for the beginning of Lent. Irene Buechler, SCIC created the design for Ash Wednesday 2021 at St. Vincent Residence in Saint John. It was chosen for the February 2023 English-language missalette cover, as shown below.

We are thankful to partner with LWC and Novalis publishers to help portray God’s generous mercy, love, and justice. When the time arrives, blessings for a peaceful, fruitful Lenten season. ~ Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC – Congregational Leader

Photo ~ Roma DeRobertis, SCIC

 

SCIC Leader Receives Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

FREDERICTON -- Sister Mary Beth McCurdy (left) received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal from New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy (right) at Government House in the provincial capital on Oct. 21, 2022. Based in Saint John, N.B., Sr. Mary Beth has been congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) since 2010. The honour recognizes her
“exceptional commitment to the cause of social justice and her efforts to improve living conditions for those living in extreme poverty.” She received it on the 168th anniversary of her congregation’s founding in Saint John in 1854. Sr. Mary Beth said she was humbled and grateful to receive the honour on behalf of all the Sisters. She was accompanied by her sister, Jane Arseneau of Quispamsis, N.B. and by Sr. Margaret MacLean, SCIC of Saint John. (Photo: Steve MacGillivray)