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.
Digital Climate Strike
This September 20th, millions of people will join young climate strikers in a Global #ClimateStrike on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Anyone with an online presence has an opportunity to join in and “go green” with a digital strike. Show your support for millions of people walking out of their homes and workplaces. No more business as usual. CLICK HERE for details
On June 13-16, 550 Sisters of Charity in the Federation gathered in Chicago for the first ever Assembly of the Whole. The theme was Weaving Together Unstoppable Charity.
The federation consists of 14 congregations with some 2,650 sisters serving in 26 countries. There are also 1,900 associates and affiliates to the communities. The gathering drew attendees from seven countries. Speakers, panels and workshops addressed issues of social and ecological justice, particularly for those living in poverty and on the margins.
(left to right ~Front~ Anita Holmes and Mae Arsenault, Middle~ Gertrude Mulholland and Muriel Buckley, Back~ Mary Ann Maxwell, Mary Beth McCurdy and Pat Poole)
On June 20th, with joy and gratitude, Sisters, Associates and friends welcomed Elder Imelda Perley to share her sacred teachings of the Mi”Kmaq, in anticipation of National Indigenous Peoples Day, June on 21st.
“Imelda Perley (Opolahsomuwehs) is Wolastoqew (Maliseet) from Tobique First Nation, St. Mary’s First Nation and Houlton Band of Maliseets (United States). She was appointed as Elder-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick and retired in April,2019. Her traditional roles within the community include Sweatlodge Keeper, Medicine Wheel Teacher, Sacred Pipe Carrier and Keeper of the Women’s Ceremonies.
She is founder and coordinator of the Wolastoq Language and Culture Centers Inc., situated at Tobique and St. Mary’s First Nations.” Imelda taught Maliseet language and Wabanaki Worldview courses at University of New Brunswick and University of Maine. Along with her husband David, they have contributed many years advancing and promoting their culture and traditions.” (University of New Brunswick)
The day included a sharing on Our Lady of Guadalupe with Graydon and Beth Nicholas. It was a day to celebrate and experience the richness of many Mi’kmaq traditions.
(Photo~ David and Imelda Perley, with Beth and Graydon Nicholas)
On May 17-19, members from the Atlantic congregations gathered for the annual RAC Conference at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS. This year’s theme was “Planting the Future” and was facilitated by Maureen Wilde,SC.The weekend offered time to reflect and share on the wonder of creation and the Universe story. It is also a time of connection and support for those living in Atlantic Canada.
(Left to right~Pat Poole,scic Maureen Wilde,SC, Celine Beliveau, NDSC, and Helene Allain, NDSC)
For several years, a group of Sisters and Associates has gathered at Saint Vincent Residence to reflect on Pope Francis’ Encyclical “ Laudato Si” (Care for our Common Home). The group was begun by Muriel Buckley, scic and Associate, the late David Lewis. In April, a group welcomed a local Saint John activist, Gordon Dalzell.
(Lt.to rt. Audette Richard, scic, Associate Myra Murphy, Gordon Dalzell, Muriel Buckley, scic and Margaret MacLean, scic)
Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, scic, attended the International Union Superiors General gathering in Rome from May 6-10th. This year’s theme was Sowers of Prophetic Hope. With 850 Congregational Leaders from around the world, the Sisters reflected on several issues and topics in the Church and Religious Life today. These included: advocating for women, interculturality, environmental action, clergy abuse and interreligious dialogue. The keynote address, given by Sister Teresa Maya, a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word, spoke of the future of religious life and its current challenges. She explored the theme of how women religious can be “women of vision, seers of hope”. The gathering included a dialogue with Pope Francis on the role of women in the Church.
On Sunday, April 28th, Carmel Chapel at Ruth Ross Residence was filled with joy and excitement as Sisters, family and friends gathered to celebrate Sister Pat Riley’s 100th birthday. Known for her humor and quick wit, Sister Pat enjoyed every good wish, hug and smile during the Mass and the special meal in honour of her many years of faithful service to God and with the Sisters of Charity.
The annual conference of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada was held in Banff, AB on May 15-17. The theme was “Towards a Leadership Role in Mental Health and Addictions~Serving Vulnerable Populations”.Three Sisters of Charity and members of the staffs of Ruth Ross Residence, Rocmaura Nursing Home, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Catholic Health International attended.
Photo (left to right: Michelle McNeil, Kathy Hurley, Sheana Mohra, Anita Holmes, scic, Mae Arsenault, scic, Jeanne Marie Dionne, Louise Arsenault, scic, David Levangie)
On the Feast of St. Louise de Marillac, Sisters and Associates gathered in Carmel Chapel at Ruth Ross to view “Tapestry in Time Part Two”, a PowerPoint presentation created by Lex Stephenson. She highlighted the Sisters’ ministry in Venosta, Quebec, Johnville, NB and Coburg Street in Saint John. Not only was it informative, but it gave many of the Sisters a chance to reminisce about their time in these missions and the people they met along the way.
New Brunswick Medical Education Foundation
The New Brunswick Medical Education Foundation announced that their first scholarship to be granted in August from an endowment made to the Foundation by the Sisters of Charity will be in memory of Sister Margaret Vickers. They wish to recognize her many years of visionary creativity and ministry in Health Administration in the province. The ceremony was held at the Saint John Regional Hospital on May 9th with Sisters and family attending. It is a fitting tribute to Sr. Margaret’s lasting contributions to Health Care in New Brunswick in particular.
Photo Kevin Googan (left to right: Dr. Donald Craig, Anita Naves,scic,Anita Holmes,scic, Charlotte Vickers, scic, Pat Poole, scic and nieces Anne Connelly and Mary Park)
Development and Peace
Sisters of Charity Associates and Sisters gathered in Carmel Chapel on April 10th to recognize this year’s Development and Peace “Share the Journey” theme with the “Symbols of Solidarity” ritual.
The symbols emphasize the migrant crisis in our world today. The United Nations estimates that 68.5 million of our brothers and sisters were forced to leave their homeland as a result of war, civil unrest and climate change. Associates Sharon Jacquard, Mary Matheson, Mike Campbell, Linda Pye and Sister Irene Buechler led the ritual.
A pair of old shoes symbolized the road traveled by forced migrants, a backpack for their precarious situation, a life jacket for the dangers and difficulties during their journey and a dish of food to be shared symbolizing the culture of encounter and the connections between the forced migrants and members of their host community.
Photo ( Left to rt. Mary Matheson, Irene Buechler, scic, Linda Pye, Sharon Jacquard and Mike Campbell)
The Price of Free
On Saturday, March 2, many Sisters and Associates gathered in Carmel Chapel
to watch the award-winning film “The Price of Free”. The documentary follows the Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi , in his mission to end child labor. It tells the story of countless children who are forced into slave labor due to rising global demands for cheap goods. He founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan(Save the Childhood Movement) to rescue children from the shackles of slavery. In the decades since, he has rescued more than 87,000 children and built a global movement including one of the largest civil society movements, the Global March Against Child Labor that demanded an international law on the worst forms of child labor, and the 100 Million Campaign, a youth-driven call to action ensuring every child in the world is free, safe and educated.
Following the film, a petition was signed to the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and LaFrancophonie),encouraging her to continue the discussion in Parliament concerning legislation for companies doing business in Canada to be transparent in their chain of goods supply.
I call on everyone to watch this film and work with us in creating a world where all children are free, healthy, safe and educated — a world where every child is free to be a child. For if any child is not free then none of us are free.” - KAILASH SATYARTHI
Bottom Photo: (Left to right-MaryAnn Kneeland,Pat Poole,scic, Sharon Jacquard, Irene Buechler,scic,Audette Richard, Back~MaryLou Reid)
Saint John Muslim Community
On Sunday, March 24th, the Saint John Muslim Community held a time of prayer, welcome and blessing in memory of all the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15th. It was a symbol of profound solidarity as over 250 people gathered in the small Islamic Centre Mosque on the Old Rothesay Road.Representatives from federal, provincial, municipal government, law enforcement and first responders, as well as from every faith tradition, expressed their support for the community as they mourn the loss of their brothers and sisters.
( Pictured left to right: Pat Poole, scic, Rasha Alhamwi, Saint John City Police Inspector Tanya LeBlanc, Reham Alnatour, Muriel Buckley,scic)
Write for Rights campaign
Many Sisters and Associates gathered on December 3rd at Ruth Ross Residence to take part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign. This year’s campaign ran from November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day until December 20th, International Human Solidarity Day. The ten highlighted cases were all women who have been imprisoned or killed for defending basic dignity and human rights. Many letters were written to the country’s leader and the Ambassador in Ottawa. In addition, postcards were sent to our Minister of International Development and La Francophonie to continue funding Uganda which has welcomed over 900,000 refugees from South Sudan fleeing serious human rights abuses.
Peace Medallion Breakfast
YMCA Peace Medallion Breakfast November 21st. (Left~Sisters Anita Holmes, Muriel Buckley, MaryBeth McCurdy,Anita Naves, Associate Mary Ann Kneeland, Pat Poole and Margaret MacLean) Photo: Shelly Rinehart
The weaving “The Healing Heart” was gifted to Hestia House in Saint John at the H.E.R Dinner on November 29th. ( Photo: Sisters Margaret Toner,Monica Plante, Mae Arsenault, MaryBeth McCurdy, Laura Hughes, Anita Holmes, Pat Poole)
The Healing Heart
“The Healing Heart “Weavers~Sr. Therese Kergoat and Sr. Ruth Monahan Back~ Sr. Margaret Toner and Andrea Butler(designer)