Sharing a Journey of Faith: Associate Orientation Day
The Associate Leadership Team organized an Orientation Day on November 16, 2013 at the Sisters’ Residence, 2 O’Connor Drive. The primary objective of this event was to present the basic historical background and information regarding the CSJ Associate Program. It was held mainly for new associates, candidates and those who would like to “come and see,” but all associates were welcome and 30 people attended.
Linda Wicks, CSJ Archivist, presented the history and ministries of the Sisters of St. Joseph, from the first founding in Le Puy, France, to arrival in Canada. We were all touched by the courage, perseverance, love and service for the ‘Dear Neighbour’ that the Sisters of St. Joseph have carried on through the centuries. The hospitals, schools, and homes (for the aged, the sick, the orphans, the widows and the homeless) were established as the need arose. We stand in awe at what the Sisters have accomplished in the name of love of God and love of the ‘Dear Neighbour.’
Ursula Matthews, co-director of the associates, presented the history of the CSJ Associates is three segments, as written by Sisters Virginia Varley, Grace Sauvé and Roberta Freeman. Indeed, it has been a journey of faith. After many discussions, studies and discernment, the CSJ Associate Program was formally initiated in 1982. The program has evolved from having a Sister as the Director for over two decades, the development of the Leadership Training Program, the training of associates, to the formation of the Associate Leadership Team.
Other topics of the CSJ Associate Program presented were: meetings and events, organizational structure, the associate directory, the associate community agreement and criteria for first commitment.
Lastly, everyone was moved by the personal faith-sharing of three associates – Brian Farrell, Mary Huan and Weena Lejarde — on how they became CSJ Associates and what being an associate means for each of them.
By Mary Huan
Pictures by Debbie Scott