Submitted by: Sandra Schwinghamer - Associate, Sister of Charity
On October 27, 2012, the Atlantic Religious Congregations Associate Network (ARCAN) met at the MacAulay Conference Centre, Inverary Inn, Baddeck, Nova Scotia. The theme of this 10th anniversary gathering was "Moving Forward Together”. The members of the ARCAN executive who planned the event were: Sister Claudette Gallant CSM, Sister Margie Gillis SC, Peg Madigan CND-A, and Cora Shebib SC-A.
|Carl Madigan, Sr. Christine Beaton, cnd|
A panel was in place and each member came prepared to answer two questions:
What sustains me in this broken world/society/church?
What does the associate relationship do for me?
The response to the questions came from one sister and one associate from each of the attending congregations: Sister Christene Beaton CND, Carl Madigan CND-A, Sister Agnes Burrows SC, Anita Nicholson SC-A, Sister Catherine MacFarlane CSM, Nora Bernard CSM-A. Each member of the panel had a fully developed, carefully formed response. Every talk was enriched by beautiful Scripture passages and quotes from renowned authors. For our part we listened attentively and with great appreciation. Their insightful words were uplifting and encouraging, drawn from years of a lived faith.
The conference delegates were also given some questions to consider:
- What did you hear this morning?
- How did you feel about what you heard?
- How do we move forward together?
|Geraldine Walker, Paula Nearing, Gerry Condon|
In our closing ritual we formed a circle and sang with drum and guitar. We formed a moving circle and slowly walked to the basket to select one of the braids we had braided earlier. Each braid was woven of four cloth streamers, the colours of which represented earth, air, fire and water. In our song each compass direction was assigned an attribute: the east – dawning, the south – growing, the north – wisdom, the west – seeing. While singing I realized that we ourselves had been immersed in a process that day of dawning, growing, wisdom and seeing. We could envision the quote of activist and author Arundhati Roy:
Another world is not only possible,
She is on her way.
On a quiet day
I can hear her breathing.