Commitment Day 2012
We celebrated Commitment Day on April 22nd at Morrow Park. This was a special day because the CSJ Associates are celebrating their 30th anniversary. Over 70 Associates and Sisters were on hand to learn about the founding of the Sisters of St. Joseph in France in 1650 and their arrival in Canada in 1851. The Galilee Associates Community organized this year’s retreat, which started off with fellowship, prayer and song.
We had five people in attendance for the first time and four candidates making their first commitment: Linda Greszczyszyn from Holy Family; Theresa Franco from Galilee; Susan Ward from Lalemant; and Kim Gottfried-Piché from St. Michael. There were 14 who have been Associates for more than 25 years, including two since the founding 30 years ago.
We listened to the story of Clauda Chastel which was magnificently read by Carol Lombard. After reflecting and journaling on what we heard with our ears and our hearts, we shared our thoughts: “God will show the way if you listen;” “A journey of faith.”
The Sisters arrived in Canada to help with the many Irish immigrants who had arrived in Toronto. Ursula Matthews told the story of Sister Theresa Brennan so naturally – as if it were her own. The Sisters ministered to the sick, starving, impoverished people who had been arriving from Ireland by the boatload. Again we were inspired by the Sisters’ love for ‘the dear neighbour’ and the bravery, commitment, faith, tenacity of the Sisters as they responded to the call of God.
Our journey continued with the viewing of the film Las Peregrinas about a group of women pilgrims walking the El Camino in Spain. At times the pilgrims wanted to quit as they didn’t know if they could go on. This reminded us of the Sisters who must have felt the same way at times but they didn’t quit.
We ended our retreat day with a Mass and recommitted ourselves to live united with the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph. A lovely dinner followed with a celebration cake. Masses will be offered for the living and deceased Associates in honour of the 30th Anniversary.
By Shelley Knapp
Pictures by Ibrahim Ng, Cheri Noordman and Mary Huan