Associates in Leadership Gather in North Bay
This year, the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada Associate/Companion Leadership Committee gathered at the St. Joseph’s Motherhouse in North Bay from June 1-3, 2014. Mary Duffy, Barbara Baptista and Mary Huan represented the CSJ Associates of Toronto.
The Federation now consists of three congregations: CSJ Toronto, CSJ Saulte Ste Marie and CSJ in Canada (Hamilton Neighbourhood, London Neighbourhood, Peterborough Neighbourhood and Pembroke Neigbourhood).
Our warm welcome by the members of the Federation and Sister Margie Vezina of North Bay melted the fatigue of the five-hour trip. The peaceful, heavenly view of Nipissing Lake from the chapel completed this process.
Dara Hartman and Vicky Braeme of the London Neighbourhood led us in the prayers for each day of our gathering. The prayer of blessing and thanksgiving for the Earth, the prayer for “Just to be,” and the sage smudging ritual were both inspiring and moving.
Our guest speaker, Sister Priscilla Solomon, CSJ of Sault Ste Marie, presented The Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding abuses to our First Nations brothers and sisters and how these are being brought out into the open for healing and reconciliation after suffering for a long time. It was very emotional watching the videos. We are hopeful knowing that through increasing our awareness of the plight of the indigenous people, we can extend assistance in every possible way.
The Associate/Companion Leadership representative from each congregation presented their report for the past year. The exchange and sharing of ideas were very helpful. Even though many of us were meeting for the first time, we could feel the atmosphere of oneness in sharing the same CSJ charism. We all left with a deep sense of gratitude.