I have been an associate with the Lalemant Group in Orillia since 1999. The reason I keep coming back is the spirit of friendship and sharing that is in the group.
My first meeting with the Sisters of St Joseph was at Invermara during the 1950's, when I was one of the school children in our area receiving catechism summer school classes taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. From 1963 to 1966, 1 attended St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Toronto. Our class was the last three-year course taught by the Sisters. Some of the Sisters were close relatives of our family.
Eleanor Mulvihill and Elizabeth Colin asked me if I was interested in coming to a CSJ Associate meeting. My first impression of the associate group was one of amazement at what they accomplish individually, and as a group, for the "dear neighbour". It was an opportunity for me to grow spiritually, as well. I have been coming ever since.
I have been an associate with the Lalemant Group since 1999. The reason I keep coming back is the spirit of friendship and sharing that is in the group. We are also very fortunate to take part in the retreats that are offered by the Sisters. The speakers are wonderful. My prayer life continues to improve. For this I thank God.
Our Get Togethers
The Lalemant Associates meet monthly at the rectory at St. Columbkille Church, Uptergrove, or occasionally at a member's home. Sister Mary Michael is our Honorary Coordinator. Some of our 10 members have been in the CSJ Associates since it started. Because of the age of our members and their distance from the meeting place, sickness occasionally prevents some from attending a function. But each person participates to the best of their ability.
Some of the activities we participate in are: Eucharistic Adoration, being a Eucharistic minister, knitting socks, mitts, etc, for Manitoba Missions and visiting with the sick. We also help with Catholic Women's League projects, by sending gifts and cards to the shut-ins, and looking after the religious articles at the church. A crocheted afghan, made by Edna Bellanger, is raffled off and the proceeds go to the children in Haiti. We also enjoy good eats, especially at a potluck picnic at Midland every year, St. Joseph's Day and Christmas meetings.
Why I remain an associate
Being an associate is a very important to me. Through the daily readings and prayers, I am more aware of God's presence in my life. I am very thankful to Sister Mary Michael and the group who have been so supportive during recent changes in my life. Being an Associate means continuing to grow in prayer, supporting the projects of the Sister of St. Joseph, by helping the "dear neighbour" and sharing the good and bad things in our daily lives.
The most important aspect of the associates movement is the love for God shown by the Sisters and associates through actions performed because they see Christ in their neighbour.