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  • 1. The Eagle Michaelmas 2010Dear Friends, On June 1st, we celebrated Sr. Margaret Mary’s 25thAutumn is upon us and already Profession Anniversary. Wethe days are growing shorter. were keeping the feast ofEarly in June we began the Visitation of the Blessedworking on landscaping the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth.Guest House courtyard. The The Rt. Rev. Linda Nichollsweather co-operated during was our presiding celebrantthe installation, interspersing and preacher. Followingdays of glorious sunshine when the Eucharist, we had athe plants were put in and the celebratory dinner. In thesod laid, with days of rain to evening the Sisters paidhelp set the plants. God is tribute to Sr. Margaret Mary with a family party.so good! Groups and individual guests have commentedon the beauty of the gardens and how they are enhancing Five Sisters attended the Anglican Church’s General Synodtheir time spent at the Convent. We’ve been delighted which met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in June. We were ableourselves to watch the trees, shrubs, and plants take root to meet with many Anglicans from across Canada and takeand begin to show their glory in flower and leaf. Soon we part in the discussions to help move the mission of the wholewill watch the cooler autumn weather begin to colour the church forward. The Diocese of Nova Scotia and Princeleaves and will put the garden to bed for the winter (See Edward Island was celebrating their 300th Anniversaryp. 14). as a Diocese. We were so grateful to be there as part of the celebrations, remembering the hospital we ran, for a time, in Springhill, NS. Following General Synod, Sr. Sue visited Associates in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland. (see p. 11)During Chapter a Sister commented that we have beenin the Convent for five years, so we are settled. Anotherremarked that the gardens and grounds are a symbolof how we, like the trees, have taken root and are nowbeginning a new season of growth after a period of relativestability. Now is the time, kairos time, to be looking atwhere the Spirit has been leading us and continues to drawus further into the life of prayer and mission.(Middle right) The Rev. Don Anderson sharing our handoutswith a visitor at the CAROA booth at General Synod in Summer brought nine women together to attend the WomenHalifax. (Bottom right) Women at a Crossroads, 2010: Sian at a Crossroads program. Many Sisters were involved inPhillibert, Debra Johnston, Joyce Lambert, Lorraine Street, the program this year as mentors and teachers. We taughtSonya Dykstra, Jen McColl, Laurie Omstead, Jane Christmas classes on prayer; facilitated discussions on discernment;and Kathy Walford holding candles which they had decorated. 1
  • 2. and were mentors to opportunity to strengthen our partnership with SJRH. Wethe women while they left Chapter grateful to God for all the work that we havelived, worked and been able to do for the sake of God’s reign on earth.prayed alongside us.The women this year A number of our Oblates joined thehelped us clear out Sisters for their Long Retreat at theour furniture storage beginning of September, conductedroom and host a by Fr. David Bryan Hoopes,garage sale. It was OHC. His retreat addresses werea great help to us in on the Rule of St. Benedict and thedisposing of unused furniture and opening up space in the SSJD Rule. Most of our Oblatesstorage room. An annual spring-clean or fall clean-up is were able to take part in the Oblatealso a good exercise for the soul. We enjoyed the presence Triennial Gathering which followedof these women among us through most of July. They in the Long Retreat. We value ourturn went home with new resources on discernment to help relationship with these women.them throughout their lives. We hope that they will sharewhat they have learned with others. There are many changes in the Sisterhood this fall. The Sisters identified some issues that are critical for the viabilityTowards the end of August the Sisters gathered for our and well-being of the Sisterhood. We need a broader baseAnnual General Chapter. We try to pace ourselves at of leadership in the Sisterhood and more opportunities forthese meetings, alternating business sessions with time to Sisters to gain leadership skills. In this regard:grow together as Community; balancing work and rest,prayer and leisure. Our theme this year was from theGospel according to St. John, “See how they love one Sr. Brenda hasanother.” As women who have heeded the call from God moved to Victoria, BCto live lives of voluntary poverty, chastity and obedience, to becomewe endeavour always to be open to the leading of the Holy Head of House;Spirit so that our lives may bear witness to the love of Godin our service to others. In my opening address to Chapter,I talked about how I think of the Sisterhood as being Adventpeople, especially when we are all in our blue habits. Weare a Community of women full of hope and expectancy, Sr. Sarah Jean hascommitted to growth in union with God through the life of joined Sr. Brenda in Victoria asprayer and the undivided service of Jesus Christ. the Director of Associates;At Chapter we heard and discussed the reports of the manydepartments, committees, and work of the Sisterhood.The Sisterhood has chosen this year to focus on vocationand vocations and to ensure that every decision we makereflects the Sisterhood’s vision and values. We made a Sr. Doreen haschange in our Statutes so that we can be inclusive to those returned to the Convent towomen who have a call to the Religious Life from churches work alongside Sr. Elizabethwith which we are in full communion and decided to move and me in administration;forward with exploring alternative ways that women maylive alongside our Community. We hope that being an“Alongsider” might allow a woman to deepen her life ofprayer in a monastic community while continuing her lifeat work or school. We also talked about how our Oblates Sr. Amy has taken on theenrich our life by their lives of prayer and service. position of spiritual careWe completed the Natural Church Development Survey Coordinator at SJRH;just before Chapter and had a mini-workshop on theNCD’s approach to Passionate Spirituality. We hopethat an understanding of both our own and others’ stylesof spirituality will help us grow in union with God andenable us to help parishes grow in passionate spirituality.Malcolm Moffat, the CEO of St. John’s Rehab Hospital,did a presentation for the Sisters on the new strategic plan Sr. Louise has also returned tofor the hospital and the new building. We appreciated this the convent to work at SJRH in spiritual care; 2
  • 3. A Meditation on Visiting Associates and Sr. Jessica now has general Unfamiliar faces oversight of the Infirmary and of smiling the Chapel at the Convent. friendly welcome; Clouded skies magnificent in glory; Rain and intermittentThis has meant lots of changes, but good opportunities tobroaden our base of leadership and raise up future leaders sun withof the community, a sign of the good health and vitality of strolling conversations;the Sisterhood. Pray for these Sisters as they move intotheir new roles and responsibilities. The Citadel and Signal Hill,There have also been a number of changes in staffing Gros Morne, Trout River;over the summer months. The Rev. Daniel Brereton leftthe Guest House at the end of June to return to studies The land, the skies, the coolat the University of Toronto. We hired Frisca Ozoria as fresh air,the new Guest House Administrator. Those of you whocall the Guest House will now hear her cheery voice and more than all, the people;answering your questions. We hired an interim Director ofDevelopment, Murray McCarthy, who is helping us keep Listening with firmthe Sisterhood on track with our fund-raising goals. At the intent;end of September Mary Balicka retired as the Development speaking from the heart;Office Assistant, and Lorraine Bell took on her role in theDevelopment Office. Catherine Thomas, who has worked Revealing wounds andin the Infirmary for many years, has retired. We expect to courage,announce her replacement shortly. We wish Daniel, Mary love, despair, surrender, faith and trust;and Catherine all the best in the years ahead.This spring Sr. Doreen found a prayer written by Sister Souls opened to a stranger’sWinnifred for use on St. John’s Day, Dec 27, 1928, which glance, ashe has updated to include Oblates: Sister’s quiet ear; I pray that God will grant to every member In Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, of the Sisterhood of St John the Divine, I found and to all who are associated with it, a world of Christian hope. our Associates and Oblates, such a strong spirit of family-love, Thanks be to God that the Community and all the centres of Associate and Oblate life for this, may be glowing circles of radiant love — and to our fine Associates love which binds all in one, first in worship, then in active service. Who made a stranger welcome.I would encourage our Associates, Oblates and friends touse this prayer during your personal prayer time. Sr. Sue, SSJDFall is often a time for new beginnings. As the Sisterhood iscommitted to continual growth in union with God throughour life of prayer and service, we pray that you too will berenewed in your life in Christ. Sr. Elizabeth Ann, SSJD 3
  • 4. St. John’s House, BCThe main focus of the Sisters’ ministry in BC is to be a attended an Order of St. Luke’s Conference in Kelownapraying presence in the Diocese of British Columbia out of in June. Sisters Jocelyn and Louise went to the Conventwhich flows our many activities. for the election of a Reverend Mother and for our pre- Chapter Community Day and Corporation meetings inSrs. Jocelyn, Louise and I together with Doreen Davidson, April. Unfortunately I was unable to travel at that time dueour Oblate in to illness.residence, havehad a busy year Our volunteer outreach has been active throughout theof retreats, year: Sr. Jocelyn went to St Peter’s Abbeyfield and was aworkshops and steward at the Cathedral; Sr. Louise served at the Rainbowquiet days both Kitchen and attended the First Nations Elders lunches;at the House Doreen Davidson worked at Our Place and made cookiesand in various for the CARTS ministry, as well as doing volunteer workparishes and retreat centres. We have begun to have more at the Synod office. Sr. Doreen has been active with herof our quiet days and retreats here at home, and this has spiritual direction ministry.been good for everyone. It blesses us with times of quietwith friends and Associates and creates a thin place and On November 8, 2009 our chapel celebrated the firstholy ground here in this House. It has been wonderful to anniversary of its consecration for which we had a fullhave several friends, Associates and Oblates join us in the House! The altar now has frontals for every colour ofpresentation of some of our programs. As a household we the church season thanks to my sister Bev who made thehave worked together in leading some of our workshops green, white, and red ones.and quiet days, something we have thoroughly enjoyed. Our gardensOur guest rooms, chapel, and gardens are well used. around theHospitality has always been an important part of our ministry House are ahere, with people coming for retreats and quiet time. This delight this year.year there has been an added element: we became the At the time ofwestern division of St. John’s Rehab Hospital as one of writing, we have our Oblates, Julie Poskitt, already harvested stayed with us for several asparagus, weeks while recovering rhubarb, zucchini, from an accident! hot peppers and tomatoes— and there’s more to come. Since mid-June we’ve been eating our meals (which we We have several volunteers often share with the wasps) out on the driveway whenever doing various jobs around possible. We had our first Quiet Garden Day in June and the House or garden, and plan to have several more in the coming year. It was a are grateful for their help. peaceful, warm and sunny day much enjoyed by all those who attended.This year Synod voted to close (disestablish) parishesthroughout the Diocese, especially in the Victoria area. At The coming year is bringing changes for the householdthe time of writing this, we will have been to five church here. Sr. Louise and I are returning to the Conventclosures to date: St. Alban’s, St. Saviour’s, Brentwood in Toronto. Sr. BrendaChapel, All Saints View Royal, and St. Andrew’s, Cowichan will be the new HeadStation. These are difficult times—people are working of House and Sr. Sarahhard to see through the sadness towards the hope for the Jean will be in charge offuture. The parishes that saw ‘separation’—St. Mary’s the Western Associates.Metchosan, St. Mary’s Nanoose Bay, St. Matthias—are all I know they will both beslowly recovering and growing. We continue visiting these warmly welcomed by theparishes more frequently than our usual schedule. Diocese.Sr. Jocelyn returned to the Convent just before Christmasfor a couple of months to help her brother Keith. She also Sr. Doreen, SSJDjoined the healing ministry group at the Cathedral and 4
  • 5. An Exciting Year at St. John’s Rehab HospitalThe past year has been one of exciting changes for St. meet the criteria for the STAR Programme (Short TermJohn’s Rehab Hospital (SJRH) from repairing the sidewalk Activation Rehab) which seeks to meet the needs of thoseon Cummer Avenue and a new traffic light at the end of who have become deconditioned due to injury or illness andthe driveway into the Hospital to the most exciting event: a long hospital stay.receiving the green light to start building The Horsfall- Another of my responsibilities during the past year was toEaton Centre for Ambulatory Care. We had the Hard Hat sit on the Central LHIN Chaplaincy Collaborative whichCeremony on June 7th with David Zimmer, MPP, Sally and focuses on all hospital chaplains working together to provideJohn Horsfall-Eaton, Sisters, Foundation members, staff training for pastoral care visitors and to support each other.and donors all present to celebrate. The spiritual care aspect, in hospitals and nursing homes, struggles to stay alive as money gets tighter and culture changes. Religious care causes a twitter amongst managers; it has been argued that it is the person’s faith leader who should be providing the care. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the rights of a person to receive spiritual care, and the need for trained spiritual care providers The archives have been another of my responsibilities. I now have the help of two students recently graduated in library science and archives who are going to organize and scan all the photographs so they will be accessible on the computer. Newspaper clippings from the early yearsCutting the cake are Sally and John Horsfall-Eaton, David are beginning to disintegrate and will also be scanned andZimmer, Joyce Bailey, and Sr. Brenda with Bill Arvanitis and preserved to prevent further deterioration.Art Eglinton behind. We are so grateful for our volunteers who porter patientsThese external changes have been matched by changes in to the Sunday and Wednesday chapel services, work in thethe spiritual care provided by the Sisters. The Community library or do other jobs as requested. At the moment wedecided not to have a Sister as the Director of Mission, but are collecting milk bags which are cut up and crochetedinstead to have four Sisters whose work and ministry would into sleeping mats for children. They are wrapped aroundbe dedicated to SJRH, rather than six Sisters working partly medical supplies and then distributed to families. Josephine,at the Hospital and partly at the Convent. one of the volunteers, boxes over a hundred bags a week.During the past year Srs. Anne, Anitra, Sue, Sarah Jean, It has been a joy to have Srs. Anitra and Sarah Jean coveringand Wilma worked part-time at SJRH. The following Sisters the floors when more than one Sister has been away. I havebecame full-time—one for each floor in the Agnew Wing also appreciated having Sisters join the worship service onwith additional responsibilities: Sundays. This creates a feeling of solidarity while providingSr. Dorothy on A1 (cardiac, amputee, and transplant extra choir voices and help in returning patients to theirpatients), sacristan for the chapel at SJRH and a member rooms.of the Ethics Committee;Sr. Brenda on A2 (trauma and burn patients), the This past year money from the Hospital enabled us toCoordinator for Spiritual Care, and a member of Professional receive some additional education. Srs. Beryl, Jessica and IAdvisory, Patient Programs and Operations Committees; attended a course on the Muslim Patient in the Health CareSr. Beryl on A3 (stroke, neurological including diseases System. We all found it beneficial for providing care but theand oncology patients), coordinator of the Bigwood Library greatest blessing was dialoguing with our Muslim classmatesfor patients and a member of the Health Equity Advisory on the topics being discussed. Christians were in a minorityCommittee (which included the Senior Friendly Committee, and those who were Islamic came from various practicesthe French Language Committee and the Disability of Islam.Committee); While I look forward to taking up new responsibilities at BCSr. Jessica on A4 (complex muscular-skeletal and long-term House in Victoria, it is difficult to leave SJRH after eightpatients), in charge of the Angel Cupboard (which provides years there.free clothing for patients), and a member of the Quality ofWork Life Committee. A4 is also the home for patients who Sr. Brenda, SSJD 5
  • 6. The Guest HouseA Home for the Heart“Let all guests be received as Christ.” (Rule of Benedict)More and more people are finding the Convent Guest House“A Home for the Heart”. During the past year we haveseen an increase in individuals coming for times of retreat,and in groups coming for quiet, prayer, and reflection. Thisis an encouraging response to our intentional shift to usethe Guest House more for retreats and less for meetings.We warmly welcome meeting groups, especially those whoappreciate being in the context of a praying community.There seems to be a greater interest, however, in quiettimes of spiritual renewal and formation—both throughthe retreats and programs we offer and through individualspiritual direction.Two exciting developments this past year have helped us the centre panel, St. John the Divine on the left, and St.to achieve that goal. First, the landscaping of the Guest Margaret of Scotland on the right.House Courtyard this summer has met with tremendousenthusiasm from guests, and is a major enhancement of The “new” Retreat Chapel will soon have new, comfortableour capacity to provide quiet, peaceful places for prayer furniture, generously donated by De Boer’s Furniture Ltd.and reflection and just “being.” (See p. 14) Our generous We are deeply grateful to John De Boer and John Barr,donors made it possible for us to transform a barren who helped with the decorating. We are now lookingcourtyard into a garden of beauty and peace, with places for other donors to contribute to the overall cost of theto sit and enjoy the perennial plants, listen to the soft water renovations. If you can help, please phone Sr. Constancefalling in the pond, and enjoy the beautiful play of sun and Joanna in the Guest House (ext. 305) or Murray McCarthycloud that has been such a fascinating part of our summer in the Development Office (ext. 340).weather. Second, we have renovated our Retreat Chapel to The Sisters havebe a more inviting place of prayer for individuals, as well as stepped out in faith toa place for smaller groups having a retreat. First came the do these renovations,conversion of the old wood-burning fireplace to gas: because we felt so strongly that they were important for our retreat ministry. We have temporarily borrowed from our Endowment Fund to pay for the renovations, but we are confident that donors will come forward. Soul Food O taste and see how gracious the Lord is! (Ps. 34.8) Our guests come for many reasons: to be rejuvenated from the stressful lives they lead, to sleep, to pray, to read, toThen the historic stained glass window—the focal point of learn and to be inspired. During this past year our “Foodthe new chapel was installed. It was a gift to the Sisterhood for the Soul” program included John Bell of the Ionaby St. John’s Anglican Church in The Carrying Place, Community who led retreatants in an inspiring series ofOntario. The window was originally dedicated to the reflections on who Jesus is for us today—as well as sharingmemory of John Grier and Rose Margaret Grier, father his creative joy of music.and niece to Hannah Grier Coome, foundress of the Last season came to a close and a climax with the visit ofSisterhood. It was created by Yvonne Williams, the same Phyllis Tickle, the author of many books on the spiritualartist who designed the windows in the chapel at St. John’s life, the Divine Office, and the “emergent church”. SheRehabilitation Hospital, and depicts the risen Christ in led a weekend retreat and gave several talks and lectures, 6
  • 7. helping us get a better in the winter when the new courtyard is buried under understanding of where several feet of snow! “fresh expressions” of Hospitality to Angels church fit into the much “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for broader, world-wide by doing that some have entertained angels without phenomenon called the knowing it” (Hebrews 13.2) “Great Emergence”. It takes many dedicated and generous people to open their In the new edition of hearts to all these angels, and we are blessed with many: Food for the Soul, distributed with the May Two employees are dedicated to the Guest House: aEagle, you will find an array of wonderful opportunities to housekeeper, Ellen Stangolis, has been with us for manyfeed your soul. Kathleen Norris, the author of The Cloister years and keeps the Guest House clean and attractive. SheWalk, Amazing Grace, and Acedia, will be with us for is a quiet, welcoming and helpful presence, loved by ourseveral events in May. John Bell will be back in June with a guests and deeply appreciated by the Sisters and othersprogram for all who love to sing. Our Primate, Archbishop with whom she works.Fred Hiltz, will lead an Advent Quiet Day on “The tender We also have a full-time office administrator. For two andcompassion of our God,” and many other Sisters and a half years, Daniel Brereton held this position, until he leftfriends, lay and clergy, will offer retreats and quiet days at the end of June to return to graduate school. We areto help you know the deep joy of tasting and seeing how grateful for his time with us, and because he was the firstgracious the Lord is. employee to hold this position, he helped to shape it andMore Changes make us all wonder “how did we (Sisters) do it” without“From morning to evening conditions change; all things him?! We wish him well as he continues his academicmove swiftly before the Lord.” (Sirach 18.26) work and his ministry in the church. On September 21 we welcomed Francisca (Frisca) Ozorio, who is the newChange is our way of life, and finding stability and peace friendly voice you are likely to hear when you phone thewithin that change is something every guest is seeking. We Guest House.who serve in the Guest House have our challenges withchange too. There are many other staff who assist with our ministry of hospitality: kitchen, maintenance and grounds, laundry, andIn June, we installed a computerized booking system for the other housekeeping staff who assist as needed. And whereGuest House. This has been a huge learning curve for all of would we be without our volunteers? Because we had aus, but the more we learn, the more helpful the system is for three-month gap between Daniel’s leaving and our newus. It will never allow us to double-book—that’s assuming we Administrator arriving, the Sisters had extra work to do, butput the information into the computer properly! It has also we have been helped immensely by Lynne Samways-Hiltz,meant an overhaul of all the processes we use in the office who volunteered her time twice a week. She has helpedand even of the physical appearance of the office. The us learn the new computer program and kept us cheerfulnext time you come when we were stressed.to the Guest Houseyou will be greeted We are also deeply grateful to Elaine Cassell, who hasby a very classy relieved the Sisters on Mondays for many years, so thathalf-door counter, we can have a Grace Day. Like Lynne she is a warm andand you’ll be given welcoming presence to our guests. We are so grateful fora registration form. those many others who volunteer on the Reception DeskThis is to help us as well as in the Guest House office. Too many to namekeep our data base individually here, they donate to us the assistance andup-to-date and make expertise of two full-time-equivalent positions.sure that we have your name and contact information for Sr. Anne, soon-to-be-Sister Rhonda and I work with thisfuture bookings. We also hope to develop an e-mail list team of employees and volunteers, together with all theby which we can advertise the various events in the Guest other Sisters—those who pray for our guests, who sit withHouse. them in the Refectory, who process their cheques, whoAnother delightful change in the Guest House—or rather an greet them when they arrive, and who offer hospitableaddition to it—is the garden-like atmosphere as you come smiles and a welcoming presence. Together we are athrough the Link. Thanks to Oblate Carolyn Madeley, we team of more than 50 people who open our home and ourhave many beautiful new plants, both green and flowering, hearts to you, our guests!which bring the outside in and will be especially appreciated Sr. Constance Joanna, SSJD 7
  • 8. John 15:12 - “Love One Another 1st Row: Sr. Sarah Jean; Srs. Louise & Dorothy in their new t-shirts; 2nd Row: Sr. Margaret Ruth & Sian Phillibert (D). Srs. Doreen & Merle; 3rd Row: Sr. Constance Joanna & Sonya Dykstra (D), Joyce Lambert (D) & Rhonda Cross (Postulant);4th Row: Srs. Anitra & Patricia playing a game with Laurie Omstead (D - centre), Srs. Jean & Patricia. (D = Woman on our summer discernment program, Women at a Crossroads) 8
  • 9. As I Have Loved You!” 1st Row: Sr. Thelma-Anne and Jane Christmas (D), Sr. Anne teaching the violin; 2nd Row: Srs. Dorothy, Sarah Jean, Brenda & Amy playing an exciting game of Phase 10, Sr. Elizabeth looking after the cash at the Garage Sale; 3rd Row: Abp Colin Johnson re-installing Sr. Elizabeth Ann as the Rev. Mother (Sr. Elizabeth on the R), Srs. Jean, Beryl and Wilma at the Hard Hat Ceremony at SJRH; 4th Row: Fr. Freeland & Sr. Margaret Mary at her 25th Profession Anniversary; Sr. Anitra & Debra Johnston (D). 9
  • 10. Our Associates from Coast to Coast and OverseasWestern: The Western Associates have been very active Prairie and Overseas Associates: Greetings to all theduring the past year in their various Friendship Zones. The Associates and those in discernment. In the latter halfIsland Associates are now in three sections—the Lower of October I hope to visit those in Saskatchewan. OnIsland (Victoria), the Nanaimo area, and the Campbell November 6th Sister Elizabeth Ann will meet with theRiver area. We have had meetings in all three places, Associates in Winnipeg when we hope to admit Joanneadmitting Associates in both Victoria and Campbell River Johnson, Ross Steer, Sheila Gunderson and Shirleyand are looking forward to admitting another Associate in Godfrey. God bless you with happiness, joy and peace thisPort McNeill at the north end of the Island in December. fall.The Victoria area Associates have had many opportunitiesto join us for events at the House: the anniversary of the Sr. Patricia, SSJDconsecration of the chapel, St John’s in Christmastideand in Eastertide, and the Feast day of Mother Hannah Central: I continue to be amazed by the number ofwhich are specially marked with get-togethers. I met with Anglicans who know nothing about SSJD or the existencethe Nanaimo Associates at St Paul’s Church over lunch of Anglican religious orders! We have an excellent website,followed by an afternoon meeting. There are five people shared a booth with other religious orders at Generalin discernment on Vancouver Island. Synod, and have Associates in practically every province. Despite this, many still don’t know about us. I encourageThe Vancouver Associates have two meetings a year—one all Associates to wear their crosses and to talk about thein the fall and one in the spring with quiet days in between. Sisterhood whenever they get the opportunity. You are ourI have been to one of their meetings this year. There are ambassadors in the parishes, so don’t be shy about lettingthree women in discernment in Vancouver. The Interior others know about us and how the relationship with theAssociates (a very spread-out group) have quiet days and Sisterhood has helped you in your spiritual journey.try to keep in touch in other ways as well. This year someof them attended the quiet day that Nancy Scott, one of our Robert Wicks in his book, Crossing the Desert, remindsOblates, led for me in May. The Edmonton and Calgary us that “there is no ‘spiritual graduation’ for a Christian.Associates were blessed to have Sr. Beryl visit them. The Accomplishment is not the goal of the spiritual life;Edmonton Associates keep in touch with each other and faithfulness is.” We will never know how many lives wealso have quiet days together. have touched, but we are not in a competition to try to accumulate points or perform mighty deeds. We are askedSince September 2009 we have been building on Sr. only to remember our baptismal covenant and to try andJessica’s information and visits with the Western Associates. live our lives accordingly. The Associate Rule of Life is theUnder Associate Milestones you will notice a number of way you have chosen to fulfil this obligation.withdrawals, some of whom are Associates we have beenunable to get in touch with. If you know anything about Sr. Amy worked with me for a few months this year.someone on that list, please email or write St John’s She brought order to the office and now my filing andHouse, BC. other administrative tasks are up-to-date, thanks to her assistance.In September Sr. Sarah Jean will be the new Directorof Western Associates as I am returning to the Convent. If you are an Associate with email who would like to receiveShe worked with the Western Associates while living at St our regular email Newsnotes, please contact me at hc@John’s Priory in Edmonton, so some of you may already ssjd.ca. Also, if you have changed your email address,know her. advise us of the new one so you can continue to receive the Newsnotes.It has been hard for me to leave this House and Dioceseand I will miss being among you as the Associate Director. It is a privilege to share in the lives of our Associates,On the other hand, I love my Community and the Convent their joys as well as their sorrows. We give thanks forin Toronto is our home. Thank you for all that you have our Associates, especially those who are no longer ableshared with me, for all your support of us here at St. John’s to attend events due to distance or poor health but whoHouse and our Community, and most of all, thank you for support us by their prayer. In this partnership, Sisters alsobeing who you are and for your life and ministry. pray for each Associate by name on a monthly basis as well as on their Associate anniversary. May each one of you Sr. Doreen, SSJD continue to know God’s love and care. Sr. Helen Claire, SSJD 10
  • 11. June in Atlantic CanadaI was fortunate to be able to meet either individually or Finally, I flew to Deer Lake, NL, where I was met byin groups almost all of our Associates in Nova Scotia our Associate, the Rev. Karen Laldin, and her husband,and Newfoundland. The Rev. Davena Davis of Halifax, a the Rev. Edmund Laldin (an Associate of OHC). Whilelong-time Associate and friend of SSJD, looked after me there, I participated in a Mentors’ Training Session forthroughout my stay (and Pat Leader took me on walks and EfM, as a guest of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland,hosted me at her cottage). gave several talks to various groups and preached at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Corner Brook. The clergy morning ended with an “Agape Meal” with Bishop Percy Coffin presiding. We passed the bread and wine around the table, each person communicating the next. It was a lovely occasion. During my time in Western Newfoundland, I was hosted by the Laldins and our Associate Mary Ann Graham.Rosemary Boutilier, Sr. Sue, Judy Beaver, Rev. Davena Davisand Rev. Katie Tate in Harrigan Cove, NSOne of my first meetings was with a small group offriends and Associates at Katie Tate’s to share what washappening in SSJD. Other events included preaching atSt. Philip’s, Halifax, an evening with Associates at DavenaDavis’ home, and an Open House on the Religious Lifeat St. Alban’s in Dartmouth, organized and hosted by theRev. Frances Drolet-Smith, an Oblate of SSJD. My lastday in Nova Scotia, I met with Associates in Wolfville (seebelow). Sr. Sue addressing a Quiet Day in the Diocese of Western Newfoundland.Lynn Uzans, Michelle Bull, Russell Elliott, Sr. Sue andLorraine Street. The visits, the friendship, the climate, the dinners, made the time marvelous, and I give thanks to God for ourOn June 17th I flew to St. John’s, NF, where I stayed with faithful and welcoming Associates and friends in Atlanticour Associate Stella Evans and her husband. I led a Quiet Canada.Afternoon on “Growing in God’s Garden” at St. Mark’sand preached there the next day. Sr. Sue, SSJDI was fortunate to be able to meeteither individually or in groupsalmost all of our Associates inEastern Newfoundland, includingHilda Slade, (see right) and enjoyedseveral delightful evenings andmeals with our Associates. 11
  • 12. Associate Milestones 2009 - 2010Admissions since September 2009: 66 years: Ven. William Wright.Newfoundland: Rev. Karen Laldin of Pasadena. 67 years: Rt. Rev. David Somerville.Quebec: Rev. Dorothy Mackenzie of St. Lambert. 69 years: Pamela Christie.Ontario: Julie Peter and Janet Kaminsky of Ajax; Davidand Patricia Dunnill and Ellen Dean of Toronto; Karen Deaths reported since August 1, 2009Benson of Thunder Bay; Evan Agnew of London; Candy (Admission Dates in brackets)Shelley of Oshawa; George Sanders of Orillia; Phoebe 2009Williams of Richmond Hill. Jun 20 Rev. Gregg Armstrong, Edmonton, AB (NovBritish Columbia: Pauline Lukey, Patricia Gerrand, 4/63)Barbara Forsyth and David Sinclair of Victoria; Margaret Aug 28 Jean Cook, Saskatoon, SK (June 24/63)Shea of Campbell River. Sep 22 Kathleen Donaldson, Toronto, ON (Oct 3/81)U.S.A.: Judy Eltringham of Grosse Pointe, MI. Sep 22 Lillian Fowle, Toronto, ON (Jun 5/92) Oct Annette Simmons, Arcade, NY (Mar 25/73)Special Anniversaries: Nov 5 Rev. Robert Coote, Mahone Bay, NS (Jun 6/88)25 years: Rev. Brenda McKnight, Carol Brown, Rev. Nov 20 Rev. Robert Conway, Toronto, ON (Aug 26/82)Odette Perron, Johnnie Brandford, Cora Richards, Rev. Nov 26 Rev. Jeno Kohner, Montreal, QC (June 5/61)Noel Paterson, Anne Pugh, Linda Weatherston, Keith Dec 18 Adelaide Ash, Sask, SK (Nov 3/66)and Violet Grazier, Alice Bowie, Mary Coleman, Ven. Dec 25 Truda Jones, Jordan Station, ON (Apr 25/51)Andrew Irving, Anne Buckland, Elizabeth Hilton, AnnieSmith, Evelyn Moore, 201030 years: Vicki Milnes, Rev. Ann Griffin, Rev. James Jan 12 Jean DeLorme, Onoway, AB (Dec 11/99)Decker, Rev. Lynne Calhoun, Barbara White, Barbara Jan 11 Katherine Fox, Moonbeam, ON (May 2/98)Dowie, Rev. Terry Dunn. Jan 13 Sheila Middleton, Pitt Meadows, BC (Apr 25/91)35 years: Donna Bowdridge, Joan Harrison-Edge, Eileen Jan 18 Dan Noonan, Sidney, BC (May 9/87)Taylor, Ven. Allen Box, Edward Berryhill, Fran Noonan, Feb 1 Ven. Keith McKean, Toronto, ON (Nov 27/72)Betty Mitchell. Feb 3 Helen Horne, Trenton, ON (Jan 3/51)40 years: Elizabeth Loweth, Eleanor Miller, Rev. John Feb 7 Nancy Baptie, Indian River, ON (Sept. 7/02)Whittall, Lois-Ann Evans, Vera Gowans, Very Rev. Mar 17 Alice Kent, Regina, SK (Sep 9/86)Fabian Hugh, Rev. Tom McKnight, Diane Frayne. May 2 Linda Beadle, London, ON (Feb 23/78)45 years: Rev. Peter Meggs, Rosanne Kratts, Jean Allen, May 8 Rev. Michael Dunnill, Thunder Bay, ONMae Britton, Jean O’Flynn, Linda Olmsted, Jeannie Vant, (Mar 3/07)Rev. William Duff. May 9 Alison Royle, Hudson Heights, QC (Oct 18/70)50 years: Canon Fred Roberts, Canon Fred Cross, Abp. Jun 24 Mercia Church, North Hatley, QC (Dec 11/99)Michael Peers, Rev. Ian Bockus, Rev. Bruce Gifford, Lois Jun 26 Joyce Bouchard, Victoria, BC (Jun 26/55)Powell. July 28 Mary Cole, Waterloo, ON (Jun 15/87)55 years: Nancy Bettesworth, Edith Hutchinson, Rev.Duncan Abraham, Joyce Bouchard (RIP June 26, 2010) Withdrawals (through request or no contact):61 years: Dorothy Johns. Rev. Max Woolaver (Feb 24/96); Jennifer Campion (May62 years: Muriel Newton-White, Margaret Wackett. 29/99); Murray Cowan (Dec 4/82); Margaret Derrick63 years: Ada Potter. (Nov 15/69); Darryle Eaton (Apr 24/67); Carolyn Foard-64 years: Joan Trowles, Dorothea Howell. McPhail (Dec. 28/94); Elizabeth Anne Hoag (Jan 27/98);65 years: Muriel Browne, Rev. C. Russell Elliott, Catherine Dunklee-Donnell (Apr 29/88); Helen HunterMuriel Longstaff. (Mar 30/75); Janice Hulbert (Mar 25/88); Shirley Juech (Nov 1/91); Lynnette Kent (Nov 29/75); Sheila Anne Mansfield (Aug 10/95); Carell Mayes (Apr 6/95); Joanne McKay (Nov 2/95); Margot McMechan (Nov 27/98); Rev. Victor Morse (Nov 16/75); Cheryl Nattress (Mar 23/98); Caitlin Odlozinski (May 7/94); Martha Root (Jun 11/06); Rev. Edward Schmitt (Oct 28/86); Sheila Waller (Nov 14/76) 12
  • 13. OblatesIt is a joy and privilege to serve as Director of Oblates for by a Rule of Life, and share in a partnership of prayer. Itthe Sisterhood. In the 20 months since I inherited that was the Associates themselves who recommended, at therole, I have gotten to know the Oblates better, and I have Associate Assembly of 1995, that the Sisterhood shouldbeen deeply moved by the depth of their commitment also have Oblates, in the Benedictine tradition from whichto give their whole selves to God in partnership with the our Sisterhood draws its inspiration and values.Sisterhood, and to live the monastic life “in the world.” OurOblate program is an important extension of our monastic Oblates make a total “oblation” or offering of themselveslife and will help to strengthen us as a Community in many and their entire lives to God in partnership with theways in the years ahead. The Oblates are a power-house of Sisterhood. They are women called to live the monasticprayer, they are deeply committed to the monastic vision, life “in the world”.and they are of tremendous practical help to the Sisters. Sr. Thelma-Anne described the meaning of Oblates to theDuring the past year, we admitted two new women to the Sisters in the following words (at the admission of our firstdiscernment process—Chris Hooker of Detroit and Lynne Oblate, Caroline Hamilton, on May 15, 2000):Van der Hiel of Parry Sound. On September 14, on Holy “Oblate means one offered to God—a life livedCross Day, two Oblates—Bunny Stewart and Sandy Austin not only in partnership, but in a real sense on—made their life promises. behalf of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine. The life and ministry of the Sisterhood and ofAltogether we have 21 Oblates and discerners, of whom ten each member of it will be central in the Oblate’sjoined us for the Sisters’ annual long retreat during the first concern, her love, her prayer.week of September, led by Brother David Bryan Hoopesof the Order of the Holy Corss. He talked on the Rule of For us who are Sisters of St. John the Divine,St. Benedict and its relationship both to the Sisterhood’s such a life-oblation is a precious gift fromRule of Life and Oblates’ rules, and that turned out to be an God:inspiring background for our discussions at the first Oblate a trust to be honoured a sacrament to be received,Triennial Conference which followed the retreat. Although a privilege and a responsibility,a few of our Oblates were not in good enough health to a call to be supported and nourishedcome, fifteen were here for a time of getting to know in love, spiritual companionship and prayer.”each other better, deepening their understanding of theSisterhood’s Benedictine heritage, sharing understandings We thank God for the women who are being called toof what the Oblate vocation is, learning of resources be Oblates, and we continue to pray for a strong bond ofavailable to support ongoing formation in that vocation, companionship and prayer among Sisters, Associates, andand visioning with each other for the future of the Oblate Oblates.program. Sr. Constance Joanna, SSJDMany people ask me (and the Oblates) “What is an Oblate?”Like Associates, Oblates are affiliates of the Sisterhood, liveBack Row (L to R): Front Row (L or R):Carolyn Madeley, Shirley Wigmore,Nancy Scott, Susan Keddie,Chris Hooker, Bunny Stewart,Lynne van der Hiel, Sandy Austin,Sr. Constance Joanna, Jean Gandon,Sue House, Virginia Finlay,Frances Drolet-Smith, Phyllis Beauchamp.Nora Bottomley,Doreen Davidson, Janice Barnes. 13
  • 14. The Guest House Courtyard - from Barren to Beautiful In the Christmas Eagle, 2009, we shared our hopes and dreams for the landscaping of the Guest House Courtyard and were excited to receive a response from potential donors who were delighted to be able to sponsor the whole project.If you have not been to the Convent for a while, you mayremember the Guest House courtyard looked like this:hard clay pan — very difficult to walk on without twistingan ankle— with a water feature in the SW corner to whichmany of our guests were drawn.In 2009 we hired a landscape architect, Skai Leja to draw The landscapers moved in on June 7th and within days ourup plans for the landscaping of the whole property. We barren land was transformed into a place of beauty - trulythen decided to begin with the Guest House courtyard an oasis for prayer and meditation.and front entrance, symbolic of our desire to be an oasisof prayer and hospitality for our guests in the midst of the What makes a garden a delight?city. The gentle sound of water; trees to provide shade; a variety of colourful shrubs, perennials, and annuals, First came the with an eye to a colour palette enlarging of the and year-round interest. pond . . . and the addition of a Although it will take a few years stream to grow into all its fullness, the and foundation of a beautiful garden small has been laid. waterfall. Then came the tractors to dig out large beds around the perimeter of the area leaving room for a circular path with lawn, trees and ground-cover in the centre. Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD 14
  • 15. The Sisters of St. John the DivineAt St. John’s Convent Sr. Jean Sr. SueSr. Elizabeth Ann Sr. Beryl Sr. Louise (Reverend Mother) Sr. Merle Sr. DorothySr. Elizabeth Sr. Patricia Sr. Amy (Novitiate Director) Sr. Madeleine Mary Rhonda Cross (Postulant)Sr. Doreen Sr. Margaret Ruth (Administrative Assistant) Sr. Anitra St. John’s House, B.C.Sr. Constance Sr. Margaret Mary Sr. BrendaSr. Joyce Sr. Jessica Sr. JocelynSr. Helena Sr. Constance Joanna Sr. Sarah JeanSr. Wilma Sr. Anne Doreen Davidson (Oblate)Sr. Thelma-Anne Sr. Helen Claire Back Row: Sisters Sue, Wilma, Anitra, Sarah Jean, Elizabeth, Jocelyn, Elizabeth Ann, Amy, Dorothy, Constance Joanna, Jessica, Doreen, Brenda, and Jean. Middle Row: Sisters Margaret Mary, Beryl, Joyce, Constance, Helena, Merle, and Patricia Front Row: Sisters Margaret Ruth, Louise, Rhonda Cross, Sisters Helen Claire and Anne Unavailable for the photograph: Srs. Madeleine Mary and Thelma-Anne 15
  • 16. Women from the 2010 Are You at a Crossroads in Your Life?Women at a Crossroads Program Are you considering a career change? Are you looking for “something more” in your life? Do you have a thirst for God? A hunger for prayer? Do you desire to serve God in a new way? Would you like to experience life in Community? Then you may be interested in attending a free four-week program (July 5 - 31, 2011) to discern where God is calling you. At the same time you will have the opportunity to experience the life of love, prayer and service in an Anglican religious community of women. Women who are interested should contact Kelly Clark, The Sisterhood of Saint John the Divine, St. John’s Convent, 233 Cummer Ave, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 Phone: 416-226-2201, Ext. 301. Fax: 416-222-4442 email: convent@ssjd.ca. website: www.ssjd.ca Applications for Women at a Crossroads, 2011 must be in by March 31, 2011. Altar Linens Altar linens may be purchased from Sr. Jocelyn, SSJD, at St. John’s Convent. All linens are hand-sewn and made from Irish Linen. Items which may be purchased include Fair Linens, Credence Cloths, Purificators, Lavabo Towels, Baptismal Towels, Fair Veils, Palls on Plexi Glass, Corporals and Sick Communion Sets. For details, please contact Sr. Jocelyn: jocelyn@ssjd.ca St. John’s House, B.C. Bishop Linda Nicholls with Sr. Margaret Mary Telephone: 250-920-7787 Fax: 250-920-7709 on her 25th Profession Anniversary. The Houses of the Sisterhood www.ssjd.ca St. John’s Convent, St. John’s House, B.C., 233 Cummer Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 3937 St. Peters Road, Victoria, BC V8P 2J9 416-226-2201; Fax: 416-226-2131 250-920-7787; Fax: 250-920-7709 email: convent@ssjd.ca email: bchouse@ssjd.ca The Eagle is published several times a year by the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, St. John’s Convent, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8. An annual donation of $10 to help cover the cost would be greatly appreciated. Please let us know promptly of any changes of address. The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine is a registered charity. Our charitable donation number is BN 11925 4266 RR0001. 16