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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SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) gratefully received a certificate of honour from Development and Peace – Caritas Canada Nov. 29 in Carmel Chapel here.  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader (photo, centre) received the certificate on behalf of the Sisters for “exceptional commitment to the cause of social justice” and efforts to improve living conditions for those living in extreme poverty in the Global South.  The certificate was presented by Donna LeBlanc of Fredericton (left), Saint John diocesan chair of Development and Peace and Mary Hanson (right) of Northampton, who is the anglophone representative for New Brunswick on the national council of Development and Peace.  They also presented Development and Peace certificates of honour to Sisters Angie Martz and Roma De Robertis.  Earlier, they offered one for the late SCIC Associate David Lewis.  Sister Mary Beth and SCIC Associate Donna Schroeter invited Sisters, Associates and staff to join in blessing the visitors and their ministry.  The recent recognitions came at the conclusion of the organization’s 50th anniversary year.  (Photo:  Sister Mary Ann Maxwell, SCIC)

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sister Cecile Dionne celebrated her 80th anniversary of religious life on her congregation’s feast day Dec. 8, 2017 in Carmel Chapel here.  She entered the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) on that date in 1937, taking the name Sister Mary Rosanna.  Father Don Breen presided at the eucharistic liturgy on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is also the patronal feast of the Diocese of Saint John.  

Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SCIC congregational leader, offered thanks and congratulations.  Addressing Sister Cecile she said, “You came with an open heart and open hands – a woman steeped in the land and her Acadian culture.  These gifts blossomed in all your missions and still do today!”

Originally from Saint-André, N.B., Sister Cecile served as a homemaker for 32 years at SCIC houses and missions in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta.  From 1972-81, she ministered as a ward and medical records clerk at Rocmaura Nursing Home in Saint John.  She then volunteered there for years as a receptionist.  She was also an active member of the Rocmaura Auxiliary.  Sister Laura Dionne, her late sister, was also a member of the SCIC.  Sister Cecile resides at Ruth Ross Residence.  (SCIC photo)

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and Associates organized and participated in Amnesty International letter-writing initiatives in honour of Human Rights Day here.  The first “Write for Rights” gathering took place at St. Vincent Residence on Dec. 11, 2017 -- the day after the United Nations observance.  The second event was held at Ruth Ross Residence Dec. 15.  Participants chose one or more case outlines offered by Amnesty International to advocate for prisoners of conscience and other human rights defenders who are unjustly treated.  Other Sisters and Associates responded online at writeathon.ca  Participants in the first gathering included Sister Margaret MacLean (photo, left) and SCIC Associate Mary Matheson (right). The event was one of many in Canada and around the world.  Organizers paid tribute to the late John Peters Humphrey of Hampton, N.B.  The international lawyer drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while working at the UN.  It was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948.  (SCIC photo)

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and staff celebrated St. Elizabeth Ann Seton here on her Jan. 4th feast day.  Staff member Bernadette Mantin (left) played the saint during a skit at Ruth Ross Residence.  She was “interviewed” by Sister Mary Ann Maxwell, SCIC (right) about her remarkable life, mission and canonization.  SCIC and staff from two residences gathered to enjoy the conversation and receive a blessing with a relic of the saint offered by Sister Mary Beth McCurdy.  The SCIC congregational leader also read an inspirational message she composed for the feast day and had sent earlier that day to SCIC and Associates.  Sisters each received and proclaimed a saying by St. Elizabeth Ann.  All enjoyed treats as part of the celebration.  The Sisters of Charity Federation feast day prayer was also shared earlier with Sisters and Associates.  (Photo by Judy Glennie)

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On the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations, new relationships are coming to birth!  Since September 2017, the students and staff of Saint Patrick Regional Secondary School have engaged in the KAIROS Blanket Exercise: a learning experience opening possibilities for mutual and just relationships between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians.  Musqueam, Coast Salish author and artist, Melaney Gleeson-Lyall (photo, right) welcomed all participants with sacred song; sharing how the 500 years of colonization has affected her life, her families and her communities, and inviting us forward together in hope and reconciliation.  Co-facilitators in photo, left to right:  (Standing, back)  Anne Wicks, Janette McIntosh, Jodi Spargur and Melaney Gleeson-Lyall.  (Seated, front) Maureen Fowler, scic and Stephanie Kim.  (Photo by Dave Wicks)  Maureen is Pacific coordinator for justice, peace and integrity of creation with Sisters of Charity, I.C.


SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters and Associates gathered in Carmel Chapel here March 7 for a Share Lent solidarity ritual with symbols honouring the Development and Peace 2018 campaign theme, “Together for Peace”.  In response to the campaign, Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates also distributed Share Lent educational materials and offered donations for D & P partners in the Global South.  For more about the campaign and work of D & P, see www.devp.org  Photo L to R:  Sisters Rose Mulholland, Irene Buechler and Muriel Buckley;  Associate Sharon Jacquard; Sister Anne Wanner and Associate Mike Campbell.  Artwork by Sister Muriel. (SCIC photo)

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VICTORIA, B.C. – Longtime northern Canadian missionary Sister Fay Trombley received the prestigious Polar Medal from Governor General Julie Payette at Government House here March 21, 2018.  The Sister of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) has ministered in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. since late 2005 among mainly Inuvialuit Indigenous people.  Governor General Julie Payette, left, with Sister Fay Trombley, SCIC wearing her Polar Medal on a garment made by Indigenous women in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.  (Photo by Master Cpl. Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, Ottawa) Read More

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates participated in the KAIROS Blanket Exercise here April 14, 2018 guided by regional facilitators from the United Church of Canada.  The popular participatory exercise explores historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous and other peoples in Canada.  Photo of facilitators, left to right:  Ida MacPherson, Sheila Croteau, Bette Ashley and David MacPherson.  Sheila is an Indigenous elder and drummer from Saint John and a member of KAIROS Saint John and Area.  Ida, Bette and David are with Two Rivers Pastoral Charge of the United Church in Westfield and on the Kingston Peninsula at Summerville and Long Reach, N.B.  As members of a committee called Church in the World, they facilitate the Blanket Exercise in the area as part of their commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada relating to education.  After participants engage in the Blanket Exercise, they are invited to share feelings and insights in a talking circle.  They may also express earlier experiences relating to Indigenous awareness. For more, see www.kairosblanketexercise.org  (SCIC photo)


SAINT JOHN, N.B. – For World AIDS Day 2017, Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and animator Andrea Butler were busy knitting red scarves in response to a request from AIDS Saint John. The annual red scarf campaign represents those lost to and still affected by HIV-AIDS. The local AIDS organization ties donated red scarves on lampposts and benches in uptown Saint John for the United Nations observance on Dec. 1. Members of the public are free to take the scarves for warmth and also for awareness. Sisters and Associates are also active participants in the annual AIDS Walk, sponsored by AIDS Saint John to raise money and awareness. Annually, Sisters and Associates also participate in a candlelight memorial prepared by Sister Margaret Rose Nickerson and colleagues at AIDS Saint John and held in the nearby Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. In photo, left to right, standing: Sister Margaret Toner and Andrea Butler. Seated: Sisters Therese Kergoat and Ruth Monahan (Photo by Sister Mary Ann Maxwell, SCIC)

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Ending plastic pollution was the focus of an Earth Day liturgy in Carmel Chapel here April 24, 2018 among Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC).  The theme was adopted from the global 2018 observance on April 22 which this year coincided with the Fourth Sunday of Easter.  Sister Irene Buechler presided during a liturgy of the word with communion which included an Earth Day prayer, time for reflection and both small and large group conversation.  Earlier, Sisters and staff were invited to consider ways to reduce their use of plastic.  SCIC and Associates are committed to awareness and advocacy for environmental sustainability and the integrity of creation. (SCIC photo)

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BURNABY MOUNTAIN, B.C. -- Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Unitarian, Christian and interfaith groups stood with the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation here April 28, 2018 in calling for protection of their traditional, ancestral and unceded territory.  United in prayer and song, many fixed signs of their faith to a work site gate of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. Seven people were arrested.  Photo, L to R:  Cecilia Hudec, Sister of Charity of Halifax; Maureen Fowler, Sister of Charity, I.C. and Jennifer Henry, executive director of KAIROS:  Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.  They united with KAIROS members from BC-Yukon while Jennifer publicly expressed the ecumenical justice movement’s solidarity with the Tsleil-Waututh people. (Photo: Glenn Davis)


NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – Two Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and two colleagues from Greater Saint John, N.B. were among participants here in the 2018 annual conference of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada.  In photo (left to right) are Sister Mae Arsenault, Sister Anita Holmes, Michelle MacNeill and Kim MacIsaac.  Sister Mae is mission coordinator at Rocmaura Nursing Home in Saint John while Sister Anita chairs the board of Catholic Health International.  Sister Anita is also a former administrator of Rocmaura.  Michelle is head nurse at Ruth Ross, the SCIC retirement residence in Saint John where Kim serves as a resident attendant.  The conference was held May 9-11 with the theme, “Towards Formation:  Creating the path to strong lay leadership of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ in Canada.”  For more, please see www.chac.ca  (Photo:  Larry Gullickson)


HALIFAX, N.S. – Three Sisters of Charity, I.C. from Saint John, N.B. were among 46 participants at the Religious in Atlantic Canada gathering May 18-20, 2018 at Mount Saint Vincent University here.  The theme was, “Dancing in the Darkness” with Franciscan Sister Nancy Schreck as presenter and facilitator.  In photo (left to right):  Sisters Pat Poole, SCIC, Nancy Schreck, OSF, Muriel Buckley, SCIC and Irene Buechler, SCIC.  Sister Pat was a member of the 2018 organizing committee.  Sister Nancy is executive director of Excel Inc., a community service organization in Okolona, Miss.  She is also a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States.  The annual gathering brings together Atlantic religious with different guest presenters for mutual enrichment, growth and support. (Artwork by Sister Muriel.  Photo by Sister Eileen Penny, RSM)

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