What’s New

The Sisters of Charity I.C. and Associates seek to offer their assistance wherever the “Spirit of Charity” unfolds.  
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MOVING WITH GRACE INTO THE FUTURE

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Dominican Sister Mary Hughes met with Sisters here April 22, 2017 to facilitate their Atlantic spring gathering with the theme, “Moving with Grace into Our Future.”  The gathering at Ruth Ross Residence included prayer celebrating International Mother Earth Day.  Sister Mary is a staff member and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) based in Silver Spring, Md.  As the LCWR’s director of transition services, she assists women’s religious communities in times of transition.  Sister Mary was a college educator and former prioress (leader) of her religious community which is based in Amityville, N.Y.  She was invited and introduced by Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.  (Photo courtesy of LCWR)  

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ROTARY CLUB HONOURS SISTERS OF CHARITY, COMMUNITY LEADERS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception joined Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader (third from right) to accept an award for community commitment and service from the Rotary Club of Saint John during a fundraising gala here May 3, 2017.  Other recipients of the Paul Harris Fellowship were retired Senator Erminie Cohen for community leadership and social entrepreneur Barry Ogden.  The guest speaker was entrepreneur and innovator Gerry Pond.  Read More

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.  Read More


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SISTER RECOGNIZED FOR HEALTHFUL LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS

Congratulations to Sister Mae Arsenault who received the 2017 Terry MacNeill Wellness Award May 10 in Fredericton during the annual general meeting of the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes Inc.  This year Sister Mae is celebrating 20 years as mission coordinator at Rocmaura Nursing Home in Saint John.  The award honours a nursing home employee who demonstrates leadership in the workplace and serves as an example of the importance of healthful living.  Continuing to hike and stay fit, Sister Mae walked the Camino de Santiago on pilgrimage in Spain in 2015.  The award is named for the late Terry MacNeill who was an athlete and executive director of the Church of St. John and St. Stephen Home Inc. in Saint John.  (Photo courtesy of the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes Inc.  Left to right ~ Mélanie Martin of the association with five representatives from Rocmaura:  Holly Jones; Kim Roberts; Theresa Mercer, Sister Mae and Michael Gauthier.

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE EXPLORES DIVERSITY & DISPARITY

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) were among more than 20 people from three facilities in Saint John, N.B. to participate in the 2017 annual conference of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada held here May 10-12.  Together, they volunteer and work at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Rocmaura Nursing Home and Ruth Ross Residence.  The conference theme was “Diversity and Disparity:  In the people we serve and the people who serve”.  Theologian and activist Mary Jo Leddy and Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Sask. were among seven thought-provoking presenters and panelists.  SCIC have a long history of health care ministry in various parts of Canada and Peru.  Today they continue to provide spiritual and religious care among those who are elderly, sick and suffering.  Participating on boards and committees, they also offer support and education in health care ethics and mission awareness.  For more about the national conference, see www.chac.ca

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YWCA HONOURS SISTERS AMONG WOMEN OF DISTINCTION

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) were among those honoured by the YWCA as Women of Distinction May 25, 2017 during a gala evening at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal here.  The Sisters received the Marianna Stack Honorary Recognition Award, named for the late co-founder and pioneering leader of the Saint John Elizabeth Fry Society.  The society helps improve the lives of marginalized and criminalized women in New Brunswick.  Offering thanks, Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC congregational leader, accepted the award on behalf of all the Sisters.  “Let us continue to be women weaving solidarity for the love and care of our world,” she said.  She also called women leaders to entrust their “vision of empowerment for the greatest good to the coming generations of young women whose voices will sing and carry the message of justice, integrity, healing and resilience so needed at this time.”  Seven other Saint John area women were honoured individually in distinct categories.  The event also served as a fundraiser for the YWCA in Saint John.  (In photo, Sister Mary Beth displays the hand-carved statuette at St. Vincent Residence. SCIC photo.)


SISTERS OF CHARITY FEDERATION EXPLORES SHARED FUTURE

Three members of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) leadership circle participated in the annual gathering of the Sisters of Charity Federation June 1-5, 2017 in Tarrytown, N.Y.  The 2017 meeting was hosted by Sisters of Charity of New York during their 200thanniversary year.  Participants also celebrated the Federation’s 70thanniversary.  In photo left to right:  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC congregational leader and Sisters Alice Keegan and Roma De Robertis, all of Saint John, N.B.  (Photo by Sister Carol Wentworth, OLM) Read More

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HONOURING WATER AS SACRED GIFT & HUMAN RIGHT

TORONTO, Ont. – “Sacred Water” was the theme of a national gathering here in which two Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and two SCIC Associates participated June 6-8, 2017.  The gathering was organized by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) service of the Canadian Religious Conference.  Presenters were Elder Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe grandmother and water walker, and Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians citizens’ organization advocating for social and ecological justice.  Sister Priscilla Solomon facilitated traditional opening ceremonies as an Ojibwe woman and Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie.  The JPIC gathering of 65 participants rejected privatization of water, while upholding water as a sacred gift and human right for all.  Panelists included members of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada; KAIROS (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) and Ecologos environmental network.  Photo by Ann McGowan.  Left to right:  Sharon Jacquard of Saint John, N.B.; Sister Maureen Fowler of Richmond, B.C.; Sister Muriel Buckley of Saint John and Faith Brace of Cochrane, Alta.  For more, please see www.canadians.org; www.motherearthwaterwalk.com and www.crc-canada.org

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SISTER CELEBRATES 103rd BIRTHDAY

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Eva Bonokoski celebrated her 103rd birthday June 29, 2017 at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.  Father Michael LeBlanc presided at the eucharistic liturgy in Carmel Chapel.  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy thanked Sister Eva for her long years of hospitality and love of God and people.  “You have shared all of your heart with us and with the world,” added the congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC).  Sisters and guests later enjoyed a festive dinner celebrating Sister Eva’s birthday and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.  On her birthday, Sister Eva received encouragement from Sister Irene Buechler to sing in German, recalling a carol from her youth.  Here is a link to a video of them singing “Stille Nacht”, or Silent Night together:  Read More

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GIVING THANKS FOR 80 YEARS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Ludovin Gallivan celebrated her 80th anniversary of religious life Sept. 17, 2017 during a eucharistic liturgy at Carmel Chapel here.  She was surrounded by other Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), staff, friends and family members from Woodstock and Deerville, N.B.  Father Aaron Knox presided and offered the homily.  Celebrations continued at Ruth Ross Residence where Sr. Ludovin resides.  Read More

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SHARING LIFE FOR 50 YEARS WITH PEOPLE OF PERU

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), Associates, guests and parishioners celebrated 50 years of SCIC life shared with people of Peru on Sept. 10, 2017. The original six SCIC arrived in Peru in 1967, with the last Sister returning to Canada in June 2017. Those giving thanks during the eucharistic liturgy at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Saint John included guests from Peru and Ireland, as well as western, central and eastern Canada. Parishioners were joined by others from area parishes. Read More

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WALKING IN SUPPORT OF PERSONS WITH HIV-AIDS
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Congratulations to team Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates for participating in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk Sept. 24, 2017 in Rockwood Park here.  The team earned the prize for highest team donations, while Sister Muriel Buckley, team convener, was also honoured for highest donations from an individual walker.  The walk was part of similar initiatives across Canada.  Funds from generous sponsors were donated to AIDS Saint John in support of persons with HIV-AIDS.  Photo left to right:  Associates Judith Meinert-Thomas and Ellen Robart with Sisters Irene Buechler, Pat Poole, Audette Richard, Mary Beth McCurdy, Doreen McCarthy, Arleen Brawley and Muriel.  Sister Mary Beth, congregational leader, and Sister Arleen offered support and encouragement while the others completed the walk in sunshine under clear skies.

PARTICIPATING IN A COMMUNITY OF CARING
SAINT JOHN, N.B.  -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) were among those honoured during the gala fundraising dinner, auction and dance held here Sept. 16, 2017 for Rocmaura Nursing Home.  Nine Sisters participated in the 19th annual gala held at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre.  Together with the Diocese of Saint John and many other groups and individuals, SCIC received the Community of Caring Award 2017.  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader, received the award on behalf of the SCIC congregation.  Since their founding 163 years ago, Sisters of Charity have ministered among those who were sick and elderly.  SCIC have also long been associated with Rocmaura, where they continue to provide spiritual and religious care.  For two decades, one SCIC has served as mission coordinator there, while another offers education in ethics.  Photo, left to right:  Stephen Beatteay, Sally Cummings (Rocmaura Foundation), Sr. Mary Beth, Shirley McAlary and Saint John Bishop Robert Harris.  (Photo:  Paula Breen)

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REMEMBERING INDIGENOUS WOMEN & GIRLS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Mary Beth McCurdy raised awareness in Carmel Chapel here about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Oct. 4, 2017.  Before a eucharistic liturgy on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, among Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and Associates, she highlighted the meaning of such Sisters in Spirit vigils in many parts of the country.  A singer and drummer, Sister Mary Beth is SCIC congregational leader.   She prepared this symbolic centre (shown in photo) which includes an art card print by Maxine Noel entitled, “Not Forgotten.”  The artist is donating part of the proceeds from the sale of her creation to the Native Women’s Association of Canada which initiated the Sisters in Spirit Project.  During the liturgy, Rev. Don Breen called for “a better deal” for Canada’s Indigenous peoples and prayed especially for Indigenous women.  On Oct. 3, Sisters Mary Beth and Roma De Robertis also participated in a Sisters in Spirit vigil at New Brunswick Community College, Saint John campus.  For more, see www.nwac.ca  KAIROS Canada (ecumenical justice movement) also offers an information hub at www.kairoscanada.org/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-girls   (SCIC photo)

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LIVING IN DARKNESS, GROWING TOWARD LIGHT

MONTREAL, Que. -- Seeds of the future of religious life are nurtured in today’s darkness and uncertainties, Franciscan Sister Nancy Schreck said during the 30th anniversary conference of the Association of Treasurers of Religious Institutes held here Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2017.  Present diminishment and darkness allow wisdom to emerge, inviting us to “let go of what no longer assists us in mission” and become spiritual leaders in our time, added the biblical scholar who works with persons in poverty in Mississippi.  

The other plenary presenter was Rev. Frank Morrisey, an Oblate priest, Canadian canon lawyer and internationally known adviser to religious institutes.  The conference theme was, “Reaching for the Stars.”  Participants from Saint John, N.B. included (photo, left to right), Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity, I.C.; Debbie Montgomery, director of finance and Sister Roma De Robertis, SCIC.  (Photo: Sister Darleane Pelechaty, SSMI)                                                                    


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SISTER CELEBRATES 100TH BIRTHDAY

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Eleanor Bednar celebrated her 100th birthday at Ruth Ross Residence Oct. 8, 2017 among other Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), Associates, staff and family members from Nova Scotia.  Father Michael LeBlanc presided and offered the homily during the eucharistic liturgy in Carmel Chapel.  Celebrations continued with a festive dinner on Thanksgiving weekend.  Enjoying the party, Sr. Bednar played a medley of songs on piano. Read More

STANDING UP TO OVERCOME POVERTY

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – On a day both cold and clear, three Sisters of Charity, I.C. and one Associate joined the public gathered here in King’s Square Oct. 17, 2017 -- the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  The annual gathering was part of similar initiatives in many parts of the world marking the United Nations observance.  Here it was sponsored by KAIROS Saint John and Area which focuses on ecumenical initiatives for social and ecological justice.  Through song and brief presentations, those gathered heard about harmful effects of poverty locally and globally.  All pledged to stand up and take action against poverty and inequality, and to hold elected leaders to their promises to overcome it.  (In photo, left to right:  Sister Margaret Rose Nickerson, Sharon Jacquard, Associate and Sister Muriel Buckley.   Photo by Sister Roma De Robertis)

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ADVOCATING WITH WOMEN AT THE HEART OF PEACE

Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates are participating in the 2017 fall education and action campaign of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada.  It focuses on “Women at the Heart of Peace” with the phrase, “May Peace Be With Her.”  The campaign is underway as Development and Peace celebrates its 50th anniversary as Canada’s official Catholic development aid organization in partnership with grassroots organizations in the Global South.  In Saint John, N.B., Sisters and Associates gathered in Carmel Chapel Oct. 17, 2017 on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to pray for peace with justice.  Engaging fall campaign resources, they focused on women’s role as weavers of peace in countries such as Colombia, Afghanistan and Lebanon.  They also signed action postcards calling on the Canadian prime minister and federal government to increase overseas development assistance.  Sisters, Associates and friends in western Canada are also responding to the fall campaign resources and initiatives.  (Photo in Carmel Chapel by Sister Monica Plante.  Left to right:  Sister Roma De Robertis and Associates Mike Campbell and Sharon Jacquard)

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