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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PARTNERING WITH AFRICAN GRANDMOTHERS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Six Sisters of Charity here are raising funds for a regional partnership with African grandmothers caring for grandchildren whose parents died of AIDS.  Based in nearby Hampton, N.B., the Grandmother Partnership works with and offers support to Gogos, or grandmothers in Piggs Peak, Swaziland in southern Africa.  In the photo, grandmothers display produce from the partnership’s Garden Project.  In 2015, Sisters of Charity welcomed two active partnership members to learn about the initiative.  The Sisters then formed a committee and members set out collection jars where they live at both St. Vincent and Ruth Ross Residences.  The donated funds help provide food for the children and seedlings for the garden, while contributing to birthday parties for hard-working grandmothers.  The Sisters’ committee, chaired by Sister Emily Lordon, also includes Sisters Angie Martz, Theresa Hucul, Patricia McDonald, Audette Richard and Celene Hurley.  Their ministry invites prayer for the partnership, grandmothers and grandchildren.  For more, see www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca (Photo:  Karen Mandy)

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SISTERS CELEBRATE MILESTONE ANNIVERSARIES

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Four Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) celebrated milestone anniversaries of religious life together on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 in Carmel Chapel here.  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader (photo, standing left) expressed thanks for their generous ministries and commitment to prayer and religious life.  Rev. Ken Weir presided at Mass and offered each Sister a blessing.  In photo, seated left to right:  Three siblings originally from rural Alberta – Sisters Angie, Margaret and Theresa Martz – celebrated their 75th anniversaries since entering the SCIC on Epiphany in 1942.  Sister Anne Wanner (standing on right), originally from rural Saskatchewan, celebrated her 75th anniversary.  She entered on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Feb. 2, 1947.  Sister Anne lives at St. Vincent Residence, while the Martz sisters live at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John.   (Photo:  Pat Poole, SCIC)  

PRAYING TOGETHER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Aboriginal elder Sheila Croteau lights a candle during an ecumenical liturgy Jan. 25, 2017 in Carmel Chapel in Saint John as Rev. Philip Lee of the Presbyterian tradition looks on.  Hosted by the Sisters of Charity, the liturgy commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Other guests included Lutheran pastor Rev. Thomas Graham, representatives of the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion, as well as Associates and staff of the Sisters of Charity.  Rev. Graham presided with Sister Irene Buechler.  The liturgy included an adapted version of the international Lutheran-Catholic prayer for the anniversary year titled, “From Conflict to Communion.”   Rev. Graham told the engaging story of the German Catholic monk and theologian Martin Luther who originally sought church reform in the 16th century.  Sisters, Associates and guests also shared with one another about their ecumenical experiences.  (SCIC photo)

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ACCOMPANYING NEWCOMERS

Sister Muriel Buckley (left) and Rashad Alhamwi participated Feb. 18, 2017 in a fundraising event at the Crescent Valley Resource Centre.  Sister Muriel accompanies Syrian newcomers in the Saint John neighbourhood of Crescent Valley.  Mrs. Alhamwi served at the event offering Syrian food and crafts to raise money for sewing machines for Syrian women in Jordan.  Many were widowed during brutal war in their homeland.  The women will receive training on the sewing machines, leading to employment opportunities to support their families.  (SCIC photo)

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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN PERU

PERU, South America – Sister Mary Beth McCurdy of Saint John, N.B. (second from left) made a historic journey here Feb. 7-18, 2017 as congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC).  She visited five of the eight mission sites where 20 SCIC ministered during the past 50 years.  Here she is pictured in Chincha Baja with Maria Figerora (left), Sister Rita Coumont, SCIC and Alicia Arena de Keogh (right).  Read More…

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HONOURING WOMEN AT THE HEART OF CHANGE

Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates are exploring the 2017 Share Lent campaign with the theme, “Women at the Heart of Change.”  The education and fundraising campaign is underway in Canada during the 50th anniversary year of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.  The focus is on women Development and Peace partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.  Sisters and Associates distributed Share Lent resource materials and participated in a gathering in Carmel Chapel in Saint John, N.B. March 8 on International Women’s Day.  Reflection and discussion followed viewing of three Share Lent videos.  On March 14, Sisters facilitated and participated in the Share Lent solidarity ritual in Carmel Chapel.  Displaying solidarity symbols in the photo are (left to right), Sisters Celene Hurley, Audette Richard, Irene Buechler and Sandra Barrett.  For more about the campaign, see www.devp.org  (SCIC photo)

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CELEBRATING HOSPITAL’S FAITHFUL HISTORY   

Sisters from Saint John, N.B. and area joined in celebrating the History Wall unveiling March 24, 2017 in the bustling lobby of St. Joseph’s Hospital.  The wall features historical and recent photos from the hospital’s 103-year history and includes an engaging slide show.  It was made possible through a generous gift from Catholic Health International (CHI) to commemorate more than 100 years of service.  

In 1914, Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) founded St. Joseph’s Infirmary which became St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1932.  Today the hospital is operated by Horizon Health Network and owned by Catholic Health Partners Inc. (also called CHI).

Sisters enjoyed the ceremony and reception among hospital staff, volunteers and members of Horizon Health and CHI.  Organizers expressed gratitude for the Sisters’ legacy and mission which they seek to continue.  Before participating in the unveiling, Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC congregational leader, addressed those gathered in the name of the Sisters.  She noted that “Catholic Health International and St. Joseph’s are partners in mission, committed to the welcoming, compassionate, healing mission of the Gospel in today’s world.”  (Photo:  Kevin Goggan ~ Horizon Health Network)  


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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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CHERISHING EARTH & CREATION

Sister Audette Richard displays a Peruvian figure of Pachamama April 22, 2017 on International Mother Earth Day.  Pachamama or Mother Earth is honoured by Indigenous peoples of the Andes Mountains among whom Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception have lived and ministered.  Earth symbols and prayer were part of the Sisters’ 2017 Atlantic spring gathering in Saint John, N.B.  Earlier, Sisters and Associates received online information and inspiration to engage in Earth Day initiatives.  (SCIC photo & artwork)

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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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CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF LIFE & MISSION IN PERU

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Giving thanks as they complete 50 years of presence and mission in Peru, Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) celebrated June 11, 2017 on Holy Trinity Sunday at Carmel Chapel here among Associates, staff and guests.   Father Don Breen presided at the eucharistic liturgy.  He is pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in Quispamsis, N.B. which is twinned with St. Luke’s Parish in Otuzco, Peru.  Read More

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