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SSJD The Eagle - Michaelmas 2016


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The October 2016 issue of the newsletter of the Sisterhood of St John the Divine monastic community newsletter

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SSJD The Eagle - Michaelmas 2016

  1. 1. The Eagle Michaelmas 2016The Eagle Dear Associates, Oblates and Friends, We have had such an active summer this year with so much to share with you. In the late spring the Mandarin Fellowship from St. George on Yonge and St. James’ Cathedral under the leadership of James Liu and Morning Wang gave us a wonderful gift of 12 Chinese Bibles for the use of Chinese guests who may be visiting us or on retreat here. They also gave us a hand-painted scroll to hang in our chapel. June and July brought several deaths to family members. Sr. Dorothy’s mother died at the age of 100. I had the joy of two weeks with my brother and sister-in-law in Vancouver which prepared me for my brother David’s death on July 4th . He was one of those larger-than-life people, active in so many areas, still working almost until his 84th birthday. While I was in Vancouver later that month for his Memorial Service, we learned that Sr. Constance Joanna’s brother Carl had died unexpectedly in Cleveland on July 28th . On a much happier note, at the beginning of June, Sr. Amy Joy began an intensive eight- week course in English at Global Village in Toronto and met other students from around the world. And July began with the reception of Sr. Dorothy Grace as a Novice of our community. Then July 4 - 7 we hosted the 2nd Consultation on the Religious Life; two traditional communities and eight newer communities, several of which were dispersed communities. We worshipped together, shared our stories, our hopes and our challenges and we agreed to walk together as The Anglican Conference of Religious Communities in Canada. This event was immediately followed by General Synod, July 7 - 12, which was a very exciting, dramatic, and emotional time for all those attending as well as those following along Continued on page 2 Sr. Elizabeth Mandarin Fellowship Consultation on the Religious Life Sr. Dorothy Grace, N/SSJD
  2. 2. through live-streaming. Each of the 35 tables at General Synod was covered with a unique canvas painting by fibre artist Elizabeth Adams on which delegates added names and phrases during the morning prayer times. These paintings interpreted the theme “You Are My Witnesses”(Isa 43) which was also illustrated by a video showing Anglicans proclaiming the gospel in many practical ways. Sunday, July 10th , was dedicated to reports related to our Indigenous peoples, including a report on the goals, objectives and features of a fully Indigenous province within the Anglican Church of Canada. It ended with a Gospel Jamboree led by Bp. Mark MacDonald. Later in August we were thrilled to receive the hand-painted table covering from Table 12, an unexpected gift. Three days after the end of General Synod, we had our annual Women at a Crossroads program with 11 women who came from BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. They were a wonderfully diverse group of women who brought their energy and their desire to learn about prayer and discernment into our midst. August began with the news that Sr. Debra had decided to return to full-time ministry as a Lutheran Pastor. We were sad to see her leave but wish her well as she returns to her first love. We began our Annual General Chapter on August 11th . This is a time for all the Sisters to come together, hear reports of our many ministries, discuss a variety of topics and simply enjoy one another’s company. One of our topics for discussion was our Benedictine heritage. A few of us had the opportunity to read Mother Aquila’s instructions on our Rule of Life which she gave to the members of the Novitiate in the late1940's. It was a way of delving into our history. One of the highlights at this year’s Chapter was the visit of Dr. Liyakat Takim, an Imam and Professor who holds the Sharjah Chair in Global Islam at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. He came to share with us the spirituality of Islam. We hear so much about the horrors committed by radical Muslim fundamentalists and seldom have the opportunity to learn about the majority of Muslims who desire to live in peace. From Dr. Takim we learned some important truths from the Koran: that no one has the right to come between any individual and God or to force anyone to change their faith; that the true meaning of Jihad is “struggle” which includes: the struggle for education or for inner discipline or to acquire any particular virtue; and that God is immanent and with us wherever we go. He also arranged for us to visit the mosque and Jaffari Community Centre in Thornhill, just north of Toronto. A delightful young woman gave us a complete tour. Another highlight was the visit of Archbishop Terry Finlay and Suzanne Rumsey from the PWRDF who led us through a mapping exercise originally prepared by Ginny Doctor to help us understand the Doctrine of Discovery. This doctrine drove colonial expansion which regarded “discovered lands” as “empty lands” as if no one existed here prior to the arrival of the Europeans who treated the First Peoples of the land as savages to be conquered, civilized, and Christianized.Dr. Takim Sisters at mosque Continued on page 3 2
  3. 3. 3 In between these two highlights, the Sisters had a very relaxed dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant, a gift from an anonymous donor. It was lovely to just enjoy one another’s company. Chapter was followed by our Long Retreat which was led by Bp. Chilton Knudsen, Assistant Bishop of Maryland, formerly bishop of Maine. She has a very relaxed style and shared with us true stories from her own life to explain her theme of God’s longing for us and God’s deep desire to bring us back into relationship with God through forgiveness and through the Incarnation of Jesus. Now to look ahead into September. By the time you receive this Eagle, we will have embarked on a new adventure, the reception of five Companions, ages 21 - 37 who will join us for the next eleven months to share in our life, our worship, and our ministry. We will also receive two women into our novitiate which makes a total of five, and two women who will join us as Alongsiders. All of them will have the opportunity to take Sr. Constance Joanna’s classes on prayer and the history of monasticism at Wycliffe College. Because of all these people joining us for the coming year and possibly beyond, we were able to once again send four Sisters to St. John’s House in Victoria: Sisters Brenda, Sue, Louise and Susanne. In late September or early October a Sister from the ecumenical community, Chemin Neuf, will be joining us for ten months while she continues post-doctoral studies in Toronto. She is from the Mennonite tradition. And a few days later we will have a Sister from the Order of the Holy Paraclete staying with us for a month as part of our exchange program which began in 1991. So the convent will be bursting with new energy. In Isaiah (43.19) it is written “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” We ask for your prayers as we try to make each of these women feel welcome in our community. We believe that we have something special to share with others but especially with women who spend a longer period of time with us: • our life of prayer and hospitality • our witness to the unconditional love of God • our acceptance of people where they are irrespective of race, faith background, or sexual orientation • our teaching about prayer and discernment • our witness to the vitality and practices of the monastic way of life including a Rule of Life, balance of life, silence and solitude, and the many different ways we can open ourselves to God in our daily life • our expression of Micah 6.8: “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." We hope many of you will visit us in the coming year to join us in worship, to take part of one of our many retreat offerings in “Food for the Soul” which includes a quiet day led by Dr. Takim, or simply to take time for some rest and refreshment. May God bless each one of you. With love and prayers, Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD Reverend Mother Sisters on map of Canada Bp. Chilton Knudsen
  4. 4. 4 Greetings from St. John’s House, BC. Thank you for your support of us that enables us to live here and be a praying presence in this Diocese. This year there were two sisters in the BC House which was different for us. On the whole, the experience was good but we did need to learn that we had to be more intentional in not stretching ourselves too thin so that we were doing nothing well and getting exhausted. Sr. Debra completed her Branch House time in December 2015 when Sr. Sue arrived. Sr. Brenda continued to work on the Relationships Matter Committee for the Diocese. Sr. Debra celebrated the Eucharist at Christ Church Cathedral until she returned to Toronto. Sr. Sue is on the Diocesan Liturgical Committee. We all shared the Associate work, spiritual direction, daily living tasks and conducting Quiet Days. Sr. Brenda also presented the Novices of the Emmaus Community (a New Monastic Community) to the bishop to become “covenanted” members or life professed members. A highlight for Sr. Brenda and Sr. Debra was attending the Roman Catholic Religious Life Conference in Victoria. It was so good to spend time with all the religious on the Island. The speakers and frank conversation about the Religious Life left many of us encouraged, hopeful and willing to plant the seeds for the monastic life and be open to encouraging new expressions of monasticism. Another highlight for Sr. Brenda and Sr. Sue was helping out with writing and editing meditations and “Spirit moments” for Bp. Logan McMenamie’s walk of Repentance and Reconciliation from Alert Bay to Victoria during Lent. The meditations, written by various clergy and lay people, focussed on: what is reconciliation, Benedict’s ladder of humility, issues related to colonialism and values we share as Settlers and First Peoples. The ladder of humility meditations were written by members of SSJD, St. Aidan’s of Lindisfarne (a dispersed Benedictine Community) and the Emmaus Community, all here in Victoria. Some of the people also wrote in anecdotes of how the Holy Spirit was working in their hearts regarding understanding or relationships with the First Peoples or what reconciliation between Settlers and First Peoples looked like to them. We also followed the Bishop’s walk as best we could by participating in services along the way and meeting with the tribes whose lands the journey went through. It was a joyous, despite cold, Easter morning when the Bishop completed his walk. We continue to be enriched by the diversity of the different parishes we worship with on Sunday. Occasionally we will preach at a service. Various guests continue to stay at the house. We had one guest staying with us who challenged me personally. We were talking about Settler- First People relationships. Being First Nation herself, she commented on her frustration with the Settlers’ attitude of knowing best and challenged us as Settlers to answer the question “Are we really willing to listen and learn from the First Peoples?” It is a good question that challenges us in all our relationships. Blessings, from us, as you live your Christian faith. Sr. Brenda, SSJD Head of House Rev. Richard Stetson, Sr. Brenda, Nancy Wigen, Associate, Doreen Davidson, Oblate, and Sr. Debra after our yearly visit to All Saints, Salt Spring Island News from St. John’s House, BC
  5. 5. 5 “The Sisters were kind, patient, helpful, and gracious, making my stay a deep joy.” This sentiment is commonly shared by those entering the Guest House of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine. Some come for the quiet, others to connect with their God, others to simply rest in this peaceful monastic setting. The world demands so much of our attention. The juggling of schedules, the care of our aging family members, social media inundation...the list of what interrupts our daily lives is endless. Being constantly busy is the new norm. Noise and chaos pervade our lives ceaselessly. “In a world where listening has become a lost art, you help us to hear God and our hungry souls. Personally, I was blessed to be here.” Come and be still. This is the invitation of the Sisters to those who need to shut out that cacophony. The labyrinth offers a place of centering prayer. The courtyard garden a place of serenity. Sit by the trickling water of the fountain and feel at peace. A home away from home. The Guest House offers a caring, comfortable, cozy atmosphere where souls are nurtured. Whether it is for a day or two or longer, each person feels embraced by the rich spirituality provided by the daily rhythm of prayers and warm hospitality of the Sisters. Personal retreats are a gift we give ourselves. The Sisters offer different ways to enjoy this gift. The “Food for the Soul” programs are planned so that the theme and the message bring us back to a place of listening and reflection. Visit our website for more information. This past year saw not just Anglican diocesan and parish retreats, but the return of a number of groups such as Dharma Silent Meditation for the fourth year in a row, Mindfulness Stress Reduction Meditation, Timothy Eaton’s United Church Men’s Group. Other groups for 2016 included ARCIC (Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission), World Community for Christian Meditation, Canadian Baptist Ministries, Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toronto Chinese Methodist Church, Consultation on the Religious Life with Traditional and New Monastics, a fundraiser for Sorrento Centre, and the list goes on and grows. These groups bring a rich and varied sharing of religious practices and spiritual awakenings. They continually express their gratitude for the acceptance and openness of the Sisters. The Guest House has been a haven for many a tired soul. This does come at a cost. A Board- approved increase to help defray expenses will take effect September 1, 2016. These slight price increases should not be a deterrent to anyone desiring a personal retreat as we continue to offer bursary assistance supported by donations. Call the Guest House to learn more. “There is so much caring in this house. A place of prayer which supports me and leaves me free to listen.” Blessings to all from the Guest House Team. Joy be with you while you stay Sr. Elizabeth Ann, Frisca Ozorio, Sr. Dorothy and Gloria Echeverria
  6. 6. Since the last annual report, more than 15 discerners have begun the journey towards becoming Associates in the Central and Eastern region. These discerners come from Newfoundland in the east, to Beamsville, near Niagara, in the west, with seven from the Toronto area. I’m grateful for the movement of the Spirit evident in this influx. These discerners have a spiritual hunger as well as a desire for community, and a spiritual home. Actually, one woman says she has been meaning to contact SSJD for many, many years but somehow never got around to it. I’m extremely grateful to the many Sisters who have met with Associates in conjunction with their visits outside Toronto. Sr. Beryl was in Newfoundland in the fall and was pleased to conduct a Quiet Day and meet with several of the Associates, in person and by phone. She knew most of them from her years of being the Director of Eastern Associates. Before she went west, Sr. Sue had a Quiet Day in the Kingston area. Sr. Anne accompanied her on this trip. In February a few of the Associates in the Ward of St. Michael and All Angels in Ottawa met over dinner with Sr. Debra, and attended a Lenten Quiet Day she gave for the parish of St. Barnabas. While in Thunder Bay to lead a Lenten clergy retreat, Sr. Elizabeth Ann was able to meet with Associates in the area. While in the Halifax area promoting the Companions Program, Sr. Constance Joanna met with and was hosted by some of the Associates. The Rev. Frances Drolet-Smith, an Oblate, also earlier had a Quiet Day for Associates who live around Halifax. The Montreal Associates continue to meet faithfully twice a year, thanks to the efforts of Gayna Knowles and the Rev. Shirley Smith. Generally there is a pre-Lenten Quiet Day at St. Barnabas in St. Lambert, with the Advent gathering in Lachine, where the Rev. Shirley Smith holds the Quiet Day at her parish. The London group is coming alive again with the recent arrival of two Associates into the area and the admission of two discerners. Elizabeth King, convenor, had a dinner at her home in June to welcome all. The Annual General Meeting for the Toronto area Associates had to be cancelled because of clashes in scheduling. In recent years attendance at the AGM has fallen off, so the Executive decided to do a survey of the GTA Associates to see how they can better serve the members. Stay tuned for the results of this survey. Although Sue Ann Elite became an Oblate this May she is happy to remain as convenor of the GTA Associates. The Advent Quiet Day was led by the Very Rev. Peter Wall and the Rev. Samantha Caravan conducted the Lenten Quiet Day. The latter drew a large News of Central & Eastern Associates London Associates Esperanza Coote Galarza 6
  7. 7. News of Western, Prairies and Overseas Associates 7 number of newcomers to the convent. The Epiphany Tea was well attended, and Esperanza Coote Galarza was admitted as an Associate. We rely on Associates and friends to give us books for the Books for Jamaica Project and request only books of a theological and spiritual nature that are in good condition. While we received a large number of books this year, many were not suitable. I’ve been very pleased to have postulant Kathryn Tulip as an assistant in the Associate Office since mid-April. Her arrival freed me up to tackle correspondence that was neglected when I had no help. I am grateful to the many Associates who continue to support us in various ways. Their witness and dedication to the Sisterhood and a Rule of Life are invaluable. Sr. Helen Claire, SSJD Associate Director Central & Eastern Greetings from St. John’s House, BC. We would like to thank you for your prayers over the last year. We are all now in better health. We continue to enjoy our visits with Associates and Oblates. We ask if you have moved or changed your phone number, do let us know. We want to keep in touch with you and it is getting more difficult to find you. This year, the Vancouver Island and Vancouver Associates had the opportunity to meet Sr. Elizabeth when she visited St. John’s House in January. During Lent, a Quiet Day was held in Vancouver and a Lenten series in Victoria. A Quiet Day was also conducted in Victoria. We especially want to thank all the Associates and Oblates in the Diocese of BC who wrote their thoughts of what reconciliation with the First People looks like to them, or an experience of the Holy Spirit affecting their heart or attitude in their understanding or relationship with the First Peoples. Sr. Brenda conducted a Quiet Day and met with Associates in Winnipeg. We had a good time together. We look forward to visiting the Associates in the BC Interior in October. Although Sr. Elizabeth and Sr. Susanne did not go out to Edmonton to intentionally visit Associates, they did get an opportunity to visit with the Associates which they enjoyed. We look forward to our visit in 2017 to Edmonton and Calgary. Thank you for your support of us. Sr. Brenda, SSJD Associate Director, Western, Prairies and Overseas Winnipeg Associates
  8. 8. Associate Milestones 2015 – 2016 8 Admissions: British Columbia: Joan Lukow of Kamloops Manitoba: Diane Coppen of Winnipeg Ontario: Joan Barnum of London; Esperanza Coote Galarza of Toronto; Rev. Rita Harrison of London; Susan Victoria Major of Toronto Special Anniversaries (for calendar year 2016): 25 years: Frances Publicover, Rev. Canon Prudence Chambers, Joan Lawrence, Rev. Derrick Smith, Mary Royer, Rev. Ken Davis, Pamela Williams 30 years: Margaret Attwell, Rev. Sharron Tate, Marlyn Salo, Dr. Sarah Saunders, Dorothy Yanick, Lois Brennan, Margaret (Peg) Wheeler, Ven. Neil Carver, Beth-Anne Exham, Malcolm French, Morag Telfer, Rev. Pat Hill, Karen Capelazo 35 years: Enid Hutchinson, Rev. Ronald Scott, Valerie Hiscocks, Rev. Canon Matthew Borden, Dr. Constance Middleton-Hope, Rev. J. Allan Kirk, Ven. Thomas Greene, Holly Warden- Swift, Betty Blower, Christine Goodman, Burga Black 40 years: Marilyn Box, Margaret Ann (Peggy) Ormrod, Joyce MacKeen, Most Rev. Bruce Stavert, Rev. Canon Harold Roberts, Gwendolyn Utton, Rev. Davena Davis, Rev. Margaret Johnston, Gwen Hoare 45 years: Gwendolyn Hetler, Jane Bell, Maylanne Maybee, Lawrence Mitchell 50 years: F.W. (Jackie) Trow, Joan Johnson, Dr. Vicki de Kleer, Rev. Canon B. Jean Mitchell, June Myyry, Rev. Phyllis Taylor, Dr. Patricia Bays 55 years: Most Rev. Kent Clarke, William Hutton 60 years: Rev. Roy H. Nixon, Rev. Canon Brian Freeland, Doris Saunders, Mary Louise Kellman 61 years: Very Rev. Duncan Abraham, Nancy Bettesworth 62 years: Reta Smith 63 years: Rev. Sidney Horne, Mary Scovil, Margaret Reid, Bernice Pilling 64 years: Rev. Canon James O’Neil, Evelyn Rubie 65 years: Mary Ann Graham 67 years: Dorothy Johns 71 years: Rev. C. Russell Elliott Deaths (admission dates in brackets): Patricia Goodman, Calgary, AB (Jun 11, 1973) Natalie Wheatstone, Collingwood, ON (May 16, 1982) Esther Lucas, Pickering, ON (Jan 5, 2008) Patricia Walker, Toronto, ON (May 9, 2008) Hilda Slade, St. John’s, NL (Jan 30, 1983) Rev. Reginald Alcock, Alberta (Oct 20, 1953) Rev. Cory Rundell, Kelowna, BC (Jun 10, 2000) Mary Lepard, Toronto, ON (Dec 29, 1966) Elenore Yates, Ottawa, ON (May 6, 2000) Alice Bowie, West Kelowna, BC (Feb 2, 1985) Mary Heather, Dewittville, QC (Dec 3, 1966) Edith Hutchinson, Ottawa, ON (Feb 24, 1955) Christine Margaret Whatmore, North Bay, ON (Feb 21, 1981) Marilyn Broadbent, St. Lambert, QC (Jan 28, 2001)
  9. 9. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be Oblate Director for the past year, and to walk with our Oblates as they deepen their relationship with God, our community and with others. The highlight of this year was the Oblate triennial gathering for 2016, “Living Holy Lives”. All Oblates were able to attend except Sue House, who is caregiver for her father. Sue received a package of handouts from the gathering. The gathering was an opportunity for Oblates to re-connect with those they knew before, to get acquainted with others for the first time, and to share what it means to be an Oblate– experiences of love, prayer and service. The first Holy Eucharist together was the Sisters’ monthly Requiem with Oblate Frances Drolet-Smith as celebrant. It was a time to say goodbye to the three Oblates who had died since the last triennial–Shirley Wigmore, Virginia Finlay and Violet McKean. That evening the Oblates exchanged memories of these women and recorded them in their Book of Remembrance. During the gathering Oblates experienced different ways of praying as different Oblates led the prayer time each morning. They discovered Sacred Art as “play and prayer” and took delight in connecting with that side of their spirituality. It was wonderful to have our Oblates with us experiencing the monastic side of their being, praying together with the community at Morning Prayer, Holy Eucharist, Evening Prayer and Compline. Both Oblates and Sisters had a memorable afternoon learning about the Coptic Orthodox Church, and toured St. Mary and St. Joseph Coptic Church, the home church of Oblate Mervat Iskander. We reviewed the Handbook for Oblates and looked at changes that have been made or are needed for clarification, not only for our new members but for all Oblates. Oblates reviewed and updated their cards on their interests, gifts and skills that can be used to help the Sisters during their residential time. The Sisters and Oblates had a joint session to see how our relationship together can be enriched in the future, and to support one another. We have 20 Oblates and one discerning Oblate, Cate McBurney who began discernment on April 3, 2016. Oblates joined us on our Patronal Festival Day of St. John. On that day Mervat Iskander made her Life Promises, Dorothy Dahli renewed her Promises, and Maggie Grace Moore and Sue Ann Elite made their Initial Promises. We currently have three enquirers who wish to become Oblates. As usual, several Oblates will join the Sisters for their annual long retreat. Oblates have been diligent in taking retreat and residential time at the convent or at St. John’s House in Victoria, BC. Many volunteer regularly at the convent or at St. John’s House. They are true to their Rule of Life and serious with their oblation to God and service to SSJD and to their community. I have visited with all the Oblates during the triennial, retreat or residential time or by telephone. I have encouraged them to review their Rule of Life and make changes as needed because of the different stages and circumstances of life. Their Rule of Life is to be a blessing to them to follow and not hoops to jump through. May our mutual relationships deepen in the coming years. Sr. Dorothy, SSJD Oblate Director 9 News of our Oblates
  10. 10. News from St. John’s Rehab 10 I have now been the Spiritual Care Coordinator in St. John’s Rehab for a little over a year, in addition to being Priest- Chaplain. It has been a great pleasure to learn and grow with everyone in St. John’s Rehab. Our spiritual care team is myself, Priest-Chaplain and five spiritual care providers who are members of the health teams: Sisters Beryl, Jocelyn, Louise, Jessica and Anitra. I offer gratitude for our volunteers, without whose support we would be diminished. Spiritual care visitor volunteers support the Sisters’ work on their floors. The visitors accompany our patients bringing comfort, a listening ear, prayer and friendly conversation. The chapel volunteers assist with the services, including helping patients to the chapel, visits and support before and after a service, and with altar preparation. Our specialized volunteers work to support us in our various departmental programs. Our faith visitors, who visit patients, are provided and endorsed by their own faith communities. We continue to offer bed communions on both Wednesday and Sunday. On Friday mornings a team from St. Pascal’s Roman Catholic Church comes to provide bed communions and every second Friday of the month there is a Roman Catholic Mass in the afternoon. Our team of faith visitors includes Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh visitors. This year I have begun greater community involvement with faith communities who are our immediate neighbours so I am pleased to participate in Neighbour Link. The church across the road from us, Life Spring Church, has led a Sunday morning service, and also sent a group in the afternoon to sing to our patients. We hope they will return. Our Healing Service with a Eucharist continues on Wednesday afternoons. On Sundays, whether a hymn sing or Morning Prayer service, we now offer communion immediately after. Usually more than half of the patients remain for communion. The chapel is open 24/7, so we leave the doors wide open most of the day. All people are welcome for prayer, quiet and solace. Recently, two discharged patients who had attended all chapel services together came to my office. One was asking for baptism and the other wanted to sponsor him. The Sisters and I were happy to hold a baptism as part of our regular Wednesday Eucharist. Community is so very healing. Sr. Louise ably organizes and runs the angel cupboard, which provides clothing for patients in need, with support from volunteers. Sr. Beryl oversees the patient library with the support of a dedicated team of volunteers. We have a prayer shawl ministry thanks to the knitters of St. Jude, Wexford and now offer emergency toiletry kits to patients who arrive without basic necessities. Last New Year’s Eve we once again facilitated the presentation of a musical play by the remarkable Common Boots Theatre Company. Art and meditation continue on A-3 and our Tree of Life is growing in the chapel. Sr. Beryl continues with the garden club on the A-3 deck, and we have great plans for a true therapy garden there. All interactions and community life contribute deeply to the spiritual health of the patient. We have more dreams, particularly around faith-based pastoral education. The story of the Sisters’ ministry in St. John’s Rehab will continue to be told anew. The Rev. Joanne Davies Priest-Chaplain St. John’s Rehab Program At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  11. 11. THE EAGLE has a story to tell 11 My name is THE EAGLE. I am that little paper you receive three times a year from SSJD and I want to tell you about the friends who make it possible for me to come into your home to visit you. I am not directly the product of the Fundraising Office but they have a lot to do with me. They tell me they are blessed because of me, which makes me feel good about what I do. Many people play a part in bringing me to you, beginning with Sr. Helen Claire who is responsible for planning each issue. She collects and edits articles and pictures, lays them out and sends me to the printer. (We are indebted to the people who author the articles.) Next comes Kelly, the Sisterhood’s versatile secretary. She prints the postal indicia then calls the volunteers and works alongside them to stuff me into envelopes (she is the one standing in the picture). Kelly sometimes rewards them with coffee and doughnuts. Finally, usually with the Fundraising assistant, Lynne, at her side, she takes me to be mailed. I travel to places all across Canada and to the United States, West Indies, England, Scotland, New Zealand and wherever else you may live. I find this really exciting! You may wonder whatever this has to do with Fundraising, but I am, by nature, a Fundraiser, only I don’t call it by that name. I am actually a FRIEND-RAISER and that is what the Fundraising team is all about, too. They provide the mailing labels from their database and supply the Donation Return Envelopes. (Sneaky, aren’t they?) Under Sr. Doreen’s ‘eagle eye’ a close watch is kept by Lynne, Sr. Wilma and Sr. Susanne to find out who might like to receive me. Because it is their job to make sure necessary funds come for the Sisterhood to carry out its mission, the Fundraising team use every opportunity to make you aware of the Sisterhood’s mission and also of their on-going needs to enable them to be of service in God’s world. They say I do a great job in getting the word out to our friends. Sometimes these FRIEND-RAISERS send letters to people I visit and receive replies from as far away as Australia and South Africa, who tell them how they became friends, or why they wish to receive me, or what they most enjoy reading. Do you remember when, in 2013, the Fundraising team was trying to raise $100,000 to meet their budget requirements? I helped them by letting you know about their suggestion of “10 people possibly pledging $10,000 or 20 people pledging $5,000 or 50 people pledging $2,000 or 100 people pledging $1,000.” With my help (and, actually, yours!) they raised that $100,000. That same year the dishwasher broke down so they called upon me again. Sure enough, with your help, the dishwasher was replaced. The next year brought the solar panels! I let people know about the ongoing Maintenance Contingency Fund to provide funds for unexpected household emergencies. Also about an Education Fund that provides training for Sisters in formation, for Alongsiders, Women at a Crossroads and, this year’s addition of the new ‘Companions’ program. Fundraising or FRIEND-RAISING, call it what you will, it is a job of which I, too, am a proud part of the team.
  12. 12. 12 The Houses of the Sisterhood St. John’s Convent 233 Cummer Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 416-226-2201 • Fax: 416-226-2131 • email: St. John’s House, BC 3937 St. Peters Road, Victoria, BC V8P 2J9 250-920-7787 • Fax: 250-920-7709 • email: 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. Back row: Sisters Louise, Jessica, Elizabeth (Reverend Mother), Constance Joanna, Susanne, Jocelyn, Dorothy Grace, Brenda, Margaret Ruth Middle row: Sisters Sarah Jean, Anitra, Beryl, Sue, Wilma, Patricia, Doreen Front row: Sisters Elizabeth Ann, Dorothy, Kathryn Tulip, Sisters Helen Claire, Anne, Amy Joy Sisters of St. John the Divine, August 2016