Thursday, October 23, 2014

Newfoundland Congregations "Widen the Embrace" at October Conference

By:  Maureen O'Keefe, rsm

On October 3-4, 2014, approximately one hundred associates and religious of the Presentation, Redemptorist and Mercy congregations gathered at The Lantern in St. John's Newfoundland for a conference entitled “Called to Relationship - Widening the Embrace.”

Anne Walsh, conference presenter.
Keynote presenter, Anne M. Walsh led the group in the exploration of “Charism – A Diamond With Many Facets.”

Through the lens of Scripture, she explained how the one charism of Jesus Christ is lived out in different ways by the religious and associates of each particular religious congregation.  Participants gained new insights into the richness of the meaning and effectiveness of their own specific facet of the charism of Jesus as they live it for the mission of Christ in the church and in the world.  

The conference offered an excellent opportunity for members of the various congregations to interact, learn from one another and strengthen bonds of friendship and cooperation in ministry.

A few examples of comments made by participants capture the spirit and flavour of the event:

Mercy and Presentation associates share ideas.
The keynote presenter, Anne Walsh was excellent – dynamic, spirit-filled, gospel woman,spoke from her lived experience, beautiful singer, funny, practical and challenging …

The conference was a “breath of fresh air.

It was an opportunity to think about where we are in God’s plan, the evolving world and our role in it, what we as Associates can offer to fulfilling the mandate of our Religious Congregations.

Redemptorist associates during conference proceedings.
The conference was wonderful.  I appreciated the pairing and group interaction.  One can always benefit from the different points of view on the various discussion questions.

It was another call to look deeply at how I am living the charism of our founder. 

I really appreciated looking at our charism in light of the gospel – Emmaus Story – most enlightening.

It was great to have so many together taking time to take a long, loving look at our reality and where we can go from here.

A valuable contribution to the conference was made by Mary Tee-rsm and Dorothy Corrigan-pbvm who spoke to us on congregational initiatives in Ecology, Justice and the Universe Story.
Carmelita  Pittman (left)  and friends raising funds for
Gathering Place. 
Maureen O'Keefe-rsm, polishing "the Diamond".

Ever mindful of outreach to the poor and marginalized, associates from the three congregations created and sold arts and crafts to the tune of $650.00 which they donated to The Gathering Place – centre of hospitality for the needy in the heart of our city.   

The Lantern provided an ideal setting and super hospitality.  That, together with the content and lively interaction of participants, made the conference a great success.

The call for another such conference within the next two years, is a sign of the desire to keep “widening the embrace.”   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ARCAN Committee's September Meeting

It just gets stronger !

A spectacular Fall weekend in September accompanied the first meeting of the ARCAN Committee since the very successful conference event in June at Mount Saint Vincent University.

The committee meeting was held September 12 & 13 in the common room of Peggy Gorman's apartment on Novalea Drive in Halifax.  (We're creative when it comes to meeting spaces!)

Front row floor:  Maureen O'Keefe,rsm,  Marjorie Allison-Ross,A-cnd
Seated:  Lorna Burbine A-csm, Margie Gillis sc, Claudette Gallant, csm,
Peg Madigan A-cnd.
Standing:  Regina Shapter A-rsm, Phyllis Gallant cnd, Frances Johnston csm,
Peggy Gorman A-rscj,  Cora Shebib A-sc,  Winnie Odo A-cnd,  
Lauretta White csm, Aline Reid A-csm
Back Row: standing  Janet Irvine (guest), Norma Heffernan, rscj
Missing from Photo:  Liz Murnaghan A-csm, Ruth O'Reilly pvbm, 
Carmelita Pittman A-pbvm.
The 15 committee members in attendance for this meeting reviewed the June conference, welcomed new members to the committee, said good bye to other members, continued work on the strategic plan, and made arrangements for the next meeting in June 2015.  That was the agenda !

There was a recognition that the committee is making great strides and doing this in an atmosphere of deepening mutuality, recognizing both the differences and similarities between sisters and associates while forging a strong commitment for the work of building an Atlantic network of sisters and associates.

The committee said good bye to Frances Johnston, Liz Murnaghan, Peg Madigan, and Phyllis Gallant.

And the committee welcomed Marjorie Allison-Ross, and Aline Reid.  Eileen Clow from PEI will join the committee in June 2015.