SSJD The Eagle - Pentecost 2013

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SSJD The Eagle - Pentecost 2013

  1. 1. 1 The EagleThe Eagle Pentecost 2013 Dear Associates, Oblates, and Friends of SSJD, How quickly the year turns. Ash Wednesday seemed to have come early this year and brought us the reflective season of Lent. As a means of simplifying our daily offices of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline, the Liturgy Committee put together an office book for use of our guests. This has been a wonderful success in making the prayer of the community more accessible to guests. In the Epiphanytide Eagle I reported that Sister Rhonda had left the community in November. She felt divided between the heart’s pull towards her family and her longing for life in SSJD. In February she realized that her heart’s longing was to be with SSJD and so we readmitted her as a Novice. You will see her cheery face as she works as the Guest House Coordinator. One of the Canadian members of the Anglican Consultative Council, Suzanne Lawson, spent an evening with the Sisters and shared her experience at the ACC meeting in New Zealand. It was wonderful to get a world- wide perspective on the Anglican Church and to see the many members of the Anglican Communion worldwide both as world figures and as family. Sisters Sarah Jean and Louise travelled from St. John’s House in Victoria, BC, to be with us in March. They were here to attend two Community Days we had scheduled. These are days in which the Sisters discuss our life together. We had excellent facilitation by the Rev. Rob Voyle, who has been teaching us Appreciative Inquiry. The Guest House was busy with many Lenten retreats, including a Writer’s Workshop with noted author Kathleen Norris (Cloister Walk; Dakota; Acedia and Me; and Amazing Grace). The response from the retreat was so good that we plan to have her back again. Sr. Elizabeth attended meetings of the Council of General Synod (COGS) in her role as Chaplain as they were making final preparations for the upcoming General Synod in Ottawa in July. The meetings in July will be held jointly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the first meeting of its kind. Please pray for all those attending, including Sisters Constance Joanna and me attending as delegates, and Sisters Elizabeth and Debra attending as exhibitors. If you will be at General Synod July 3 to 7, please look us up at the CAROA booth (the Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas). Sister Joyce’s sudden death, coming just before Holy Week, was a real shock to us all. You will see her obituary in this issue of the Eagle. Her funeral service was a “little Easter” in the midst of the solemnity of the Holy Week services. On Good Friday we were fortunate to be able to borrow paintings from St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Islington. These were a set of the Stations of the Cross done by the Reverend Stephen Drakeford. They were simple figure drawings placed over photographs. The paradox of the two images called us deeper into our prayer around each of the Stations. In April Sister Sarah Jean, one of the Sisters at St. John’s House in Victoria, BC, had a fall resulting in a bad break in her leg. Please keep her in your prayers as she recovers. Sister Anitra spent the month of May in the
  2. 2. 2 household in Victoria, to be an extra pair of hands and to help with the daily round of prayer in Chapel. We are praying for the Diocese of British Columbia as Bishop James Cowan retires at the end of August and the diocese begins its episcopal election process. Sister Constance Joanna and I attended the episcopal election in the Diocese of Toronto on April 6th. The Sisters were delighted when Archdeacon Peter Fenty was elected. We wish him and his family well in this new venture in his life and in the life of the Diocese of Toronto. The number of candidates who let their name stand for election shows the breadth of leadership in this Diocese. Sister Elizabeth attended the annual Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas (CAROA) Leaders’ Conference in Racine, WI. These meetings are wonderful for networking with other Religious Orders. This year’s meeting also included member communities from the National Association of Episcopal Christian Communities (NAECC). It is important that communities meet for mutual support and learning. SSJD will be hosting this combined meeting in May, 2014. On May 1st Sister Constance Joanna began as Interim Priest-in-Charge at Christ Church in Oshawa. This part-time position takes her out of the Convent several days each week, including Sunday mornings. We made some changes in staffing around the Convent to accommodate this and other changes. On the feast of St. John in Eastertide, May 6th, we received Sister Amanda Taylor, N/SSJD as a Novice. At this joyous event we had members of the Order of the Holy Cross (OHC) and of the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC) in attendance, as well as fifteen of the Sisterhood’s Oblates. The Oblates were gathered at the Convent for their Triennial Gathering with the theme, “Living Holy Lives”. On the last day of the Triennial, I received Mervat Iskander’s Oblate Promises, Carolyn Madeley’s Renewal of Promises, and Janice Barnes’ Life Promises. The CSC Sisters held their Provincials’ meeting at the Convent and were gathered here from their houses in Canada, England and Australia. Sister Sue has retired as Associate Director for Eastern and Central Associates and is now Spiritual Care Coordinator for the St. John’s Rehab site of Sunnybrook Hospital. Sister Helen Claire is once again the Associate Director for the Eastern and Central Associates, and Sister Debra has become the Sacristan at the Convent working alongside Sister Amanda. After a period of discernment, Amy Hamilton (our former Sister Amy) asked for, and has been granted, Release from the Sisterhood. She moved out at the end of May and has begun her transition to secular life. We wish her well as she pursues further theological studies towards ordination. Along with watching spring suddenly come to the gardens and grounds around the Convent, we watched the workmen complete the new parking gate on the driveway. When you come to the Convent by car you will now have to stop first at the Reception Desk at the main entrance to get the code for the gate. We also made the decision to install a set of solar panels on the rooftop of the Convent. Our Rule of Life calls us to pray and work for the integrity of creation. This means that we try to live lightly on the earth. To make a donation to help support this work and to keep up to date with our progress, visit our website at www.ssjd.ca. Next year will be our 130th Anniversary as a Community. In anticipation of this anniversary, we are working to update our history, last updated in our Centennial year in 1984. Canadian author, Jane Christmas, is working with the Sisters to help us write this history. We should be able to let you know more details of this publication by the fall. May you be blessed with a lovely summer. Sr. Elizabeth Ann, SSJD Reverend Mother
  3. 3. 3 The Quiet Garden Movement has been in existence since September 1992. The first Quiet Garden opened at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, although the vision began several years earlier in South Wales inspired by a 14-year-old named Phil. You will find his story at: www.quietgarden.org/history.html In April 2009 St. John’s Convent became affiliated with the Quiet Garden Trust and we began doing Quiet Garden Days each summer. I have had the privilege of facilitating two of them. In 1936 the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine founded St. John’s Convalescent Hospital which later became a rehab hospital. It is situated on approximately 32 acres of parkland, partly surrounded by a ravine, a haven for birds and small animals, with lots of trees and several gardens. Since the Community was founded in 1884 we have always had “green space”. This was especially true when we built the hospital as we recognized the importance of nature in holistic healing. Our new Convent is built on 8 acres of this property. We have a beautifully landscaped courtyard garden which is very popular with all of our guests, especially those who come to the Quiet Garden retreats. We also have an outdoor labyrinth. This March I had my annual eight-day retreat at the Convent. During the retreat I felt drawn to read a small book by mathematician and cosmologist Dr. Brian Swimme, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. I do not have a scientific brain and much of the book I did not understand; however, I did make connections that touched me deeply. I am sure many of you who read this article have had those “aha” moments. My life, like the lives of those who come for our Quiet Garden retreats, is very busy with our large guesthouse ministry and the many demands of 21st century living in our Western culture. Alas, even convents can be affected by consumerism and technology. Swimme commented, “we have lost our connection with the sacredness of the cosmos/ creation”. Of course, he says much more, especially about how brainwashed we are in our consumer-driven technological culture, which keeps us racing from one thing to the next, leaving little time to look at the stars, watch a sunset or listen to the birds. I was reminded of two memorable incidents when I read Dr. Swimme’s comment about losing our sacred connection with the cosmos. In 1989, the late Sr. Olga, a Loretto sister, came to conduct an eight-day silent retreat for the Sisters . The title was “Wasting time with God” which fascinated me. On my first visit with Sister Olga, she said to me, “You are going to spend eight days ‘being’ with nature and God!” She was very gentle. She sent me out to “be” with nature. The first thing I did was bend down to count the petals of a little daisy. There were at least 130 tiny, delicate petals. It was truly a sacred moment. It made me aware that I so infrequently took time to really look at the magnificence of even a small flower. This is only one incident of being “disconnected”. (continued over) Quiet Garden Days Jesus said “Come apart and rest awhile.” (Mark 6.37)
  4. 4. 4 During my recent retreat I celebrated the 21st anniversary of my Life Profession, the day I made my final vows to God and my Community. I re-read the journal that I had written that day, partly because I was feeling spiritually dry and I needed to reflect upon the vows that I had made. Here’s the entry: In the early part of the evening as I walked in our grounds, the sounds of life were all around me: birds were everywhere singing; the trees were budding; the squirrels were having a great time chasing each other. They are frisky critters. The sky was lovely, all kinds of colours. I felt at one with myself and the Universe. I felt very sad when I read the passage. Here I am with this lovely quiet garden that men and women come to share and experience and pay for, and I allow myself to become too busy to be present and enjoy it. This is precisely what Swimme is talking about. I recognized that I often lose my connection with the sacredness of the universe. When that happens it also affects our human relationships. Even as a Sister I can be consumed by the “busyness” of life and this affects my community relationships. I can become overtired and less present to others. When I facilitate the Quiet Garden retreats this summer, as we spend time “being” in the garden, whether walking the labyrinth or sitting quietly by the goldfish pond, it is my deep desire that we will indeed be aware of our “sacred connectedness to all of life”. I would like to end as I began, with a scripture quotation to illustrate how Jesus was deeply connected with the sacredness of the cosmos/ creation. In Matthew’s Gospel, he said: “Consider the lilies of the fields, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” Sr. Jessica, SSJD Oblates (cont’d from pg 5) We had a supper party with the Sisters on Monday and again on Friday. They were so gracious and welcoming to us the entire time. It was overall a very special period. I hope this “bare bones” outline has given you the flavour of our time together. Virginia Finlay, Oblate Fundraising (cont’d from pg 10) government by the renewal of their commitment to continue the Solar MicroFit program at this time was an opportunity that we believed important to grasp. Not only is it an investment in eco-sustainability, it is also a cost saving investment in our electricity bill. Consistent with our commitment to the spirituality of eco-sustainability, the time seemed right to take the risk and go forward, confident that in doing so we would find support for our decision. Sr. Doreen, SSJD
  5. 5. 5 The Oblate Triennial met from May 4 – May 10, 2013 at St. John’s Convent, Toronto. The planners are to be congratulated for a superb schedule. Of course, the timing helped a little, because we had three busy days, then a Grace Day, then three more busy days. It was perfect. Each morning began with Morning Prayer at 8:30. Then from 9:00 – 9:30, we had either Contemplative Prayer or Lectio Divina, led by one of the Oblates. Then from 9:30 – 10:30 there was a special session, a coffee break, then another session from 10:45 – 11:45. Eucharist in the Chapel was at 12:00, followed by dinner, then a rest time. From 2:30 – 3:30 there was another session, then a time for private reading or reflection. Evening Prayer was at 5:00 then supper and most evenings, the Sisters generously shared their Recreation time with us. Compline ended the day at 8:10. Saturday, we began with Welcome and Group Guidelines by Sr. Louise, then Oblate introductions and updates. We were, at that point, 13: Janice Barnes, Phyllis Beauchamp, Nora Bottomley, Doreen Davidson, Frances Drolet-Smith, Virginia Finlay, Jean Gandon, Carolyn Madeley, Julie Poskitt, Lynne Van der Hiel, Lynne Samways-Hiltz, Nancy Scott, and Bunny Stewart. Chris Hooker and Mervat Iskander joined us later. Unable to be with us were Sandy Austin, Dorothy Dahli, Sue House, Violet McKean, Solange Vouvé, Beulah Walcott, and Shirley Wigmore. In the afternoon, we discussed “Living on the Margins”, papers by the Oblates of the Sisters of the Love of God. On Sunday morning, we reviewed our commitments as Oblates with Sisters Louise and Elizabeth Ann as our leaders and, in the afternoon, Bunny presented “Merton on Vocation and Discernment”. On Monday, Frances led us through a discussion on the “Formation of Oblate Spiritual Life”. (The strike-through is intentional because Frances felt and I think we all agreed that our spiritual lives are not really separate from our lives in general). In the afternoon, we were treated to “Joy: Celebrating the Divine Presence in the Everyday”, presented by Julie Poskitt. Tuesday was the Grace Day and it was a welcome easing of our minds and our bodies. There was a lot to digest from these sessions, and several of our members also had some jet- lag to contend with. Wednesday, we began again. In the morning, we had a “fun-time”. Lynne and Lynne taught us some beading techniques. They provided us with a wonderful assortment of materials to work with and we each produced some very professional-looking items of beading. In the afternoon, Sr. Louise set out a “Prayer Fair”. The whole room was set up with an incredible display of prayer items, such as: beautiful pictures of icons, and small copies we were invited to take; samples of prayers to use while making prayer shawls, with a tiny two-inch prayer shawl on the front. Thursday, Sr. Constance Joanna was the presenter of a very interesting session on “New Monasticism”. We could have listened for twice as long. Then Mervat spoke to us about the Orthodox Church and again, we could have listened to much more. It was a pity there was just not enough time for either of them. The afternoon session was a joint time with the Sisters on “How do we support each other” and Julie was the facilitator. This was a great sharing time and I think we all benefited greatly from it. Friday, we wrote messages to the Sisters, discussed our evaluations and began the planning for the next Triennial. Report on the Oblate Triennial, 2013 (continued on pg 4)
  6. 6. 6 OBLATE TRIENNIAL 1st row: Chris Hooker gardening on our Grace Day; Frances Drolet-Smith & Julie Poskitt at the opening session; 2nd row: Janice Barnes making her Life Promises; Doreen Davidson & Sr. Beryl chatting over a meal; 3rd row: There was never any lack of conversation (Lynne Samways-Hiltz & Frances Drolet-Smith); Virginia Finlay, Chris Hooker, Mervat Iskander & Lynne Samways-Hiltz showing their prayer beads.
  7. 7. 7 MAY 4– 10, 2013 1st row: Carolyn Madeley & Sr. Susanne chatting at the Welcome Social; Bunny Stewart & Lynne Van der Hiel looking at a prayer bead display; 2nd row: Sr. Dorothy & Phyllis Beauchamp sharing a laugh at recreation; Nancy Scott enjoying a laugh at Sr. Louise’s “Prayer Fair”; 3rd row: Sr. Margaret Mary & Nora Bottomley having a good time at a talking supper; Jean Gandon.
  8. 8. 8 Having slowly settled back into life in Canada, I was delighted when asked to write about my time in Ramallah for The Eagle. It gave me the opportunity to sit back and reflect a little more deeply on my stay in the West Bank. It all began with an email to the Anglican Priest in Ramallah to see if I could undertake the internship component of my Masters of Theology in his city. Not surprisingly, some bureaucracy was involved before the arrangements were finalized. I needed the recommendation of my Bishop and the approval of the Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem. But everything fell into place and, before I knew it, I was on my way to volunteer at the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School of Ramallah. Overall, it was an incredible experience. I have been abroad several times, but never so richly immersed in a community as I was in Ramallah. The city itself is quite big, with an estimated population around 50,000. Yet it was impossible for me to go out for a walk in the main area without being greeted by someone, whether a student, a teacher or a fellow church parishioner. Despite their minority status, the Christians have a real presence in Ramallah, where it is said they make up only 10% of the population. The bells of the Catholic Church ring daily; once I even heard the Islamic call to prayer with the church bells ringing simultaneously in the background. In many ways, the Christians feel threatened – not in the physical sense, but in the sense that they fear their presence may disappear altogether if the emigration of Christians continues. Perhaps for this reason, they make a point of being a strong and visible witness. The Feast of the Holy Cross entailed having gigantic bonfires – events that are well attended by large crowds. During the Gaza conflict, the Christians held a candlelight vigil, led by the Priests of the Greek Orthodox Church. And each year they have a tree-lighting ceremony in the centre of the town to usher in the Christmas season. My time at the school was quite extraordinary, mainly due to the students and teachers. I was given a room in one of the buildings on the school complex (there were four buildings in total – an elementary school, a high-school, a home for children, and a kindergarten building which also contained the school library). On retiring to bed my first night, I realized I had no alarm clock and was worried I might sleep in on the first day of my job. As luck would have it though, I ended up having, not one or even two, but three alarm clocks: first the call to prayer woke me up when it was still dark outside and too early to rise. Not much later, I was awakened by my second alarm – the rooster. This also being too early, I rolled over only to be woken a third time by the school bus, which was parked right outside my window and which made a most maddening sound when turned on. The students were lovely and surprising in their own way. Never having worked with children, I found myself observing and learning a lot through their behaviour and actions. Unlike in Canada, where one teacher is assigned to an elementary class, the grade one through to grade eight students had a different teacher for each subject. I witnessed how clever children can be and how much they knew they could get away with depending on which teacher was instructing their class. I assisted in the primary English classes, taught simple English hymns in some music classes, guest lectured in the senior religion class and got involved in the higher counselling classes. Each day was different and I never knew what to expect or how the day would unfold. What often amazed me was when I had pegged a student as being disengaged or not well- behaved, I would later witness that the same student excelling in a class. For some, I never knew what prompted the change. For others, I Sojourn in Ramallah
  9. 9. 9 realized that they were actually quite gifted and, when challenged intellectually, they would rise to the occasion and surpass my expectations. Outside of the school, I filled my time by exploring Ramallah and the surrounding towns. I had the privilege of visiting Bethlehem, Beit Sahour where the Shepherd’s Fields are said to be located, the Dead Sea, Emmaus, Jericho, Jerusalem and Taybeh, an all-Christian town in the West Bank. Many of these trips were accompanied by Sister Najah and Auntie Dalah, two lovely ladies with whom I lived at the school. Sister Najah oversees the Home where children from broken families stay and are given incredible amounts of love and structure. Auntie Dalah is a retired teacher who continues to participate in the life of the school community. They were a continual source of love and kindness and we shared many delightful times together. I have fond memories of the three of us going on a Sunday afternoon leisurely walk in downtown Ramallah with the sun shining brightly upon us and stopping in at the ice- cream parlour for some homemade treats. Ramallah is not a tourist destination, but I simply enjoyed walking through the streets and soaking up the vibe of the downtown core, which is a hub of shops and people. Their culture is changing, evidenced by the throngs of young people who go out at night to new cafes and restaurants. I am told this is a relatively new phenomenon, especially the cafe culture, which has been adopted from the West. And when I sat in Zam’n, a locally owned cafe, sipping my iced coffee, I could easily feel as though I was in a Toronto cafe with the atmosphere and people (many ex-pats) similar to what I would find back home. But Ramallah is a city of contrasts and, just down the road, you will find a ‘men’s only’ cafe serving up traditional Arabic coffee in a joint that is lacking in charm but full of character. It was disheartening to see what the Palestinian Christians endure as a result of the divisiveness of the land – checkpoints, concrete walls, permits, separation of families – the list goes on and on. It is little wonder that so many of them are emigrating abroad, and it is a trend that seems to continue at the moment. Many of the teachers with whom I worked at the school expressed a desire to move to Europe or North America in order to escape the injustices that are a part of their reality, and to have a better life for their children. Despite witnessing their hardships though, I hold on to a glimmer of hope. If a school with over 800 Christian and Muslim students can learn and play together, I remain, perhaps naively, optimistic that two nations can work and live together. Sonya Dykstra, MTSDev Janice Albright- McDonagh Ken Amer Lynn Atack Lorraine Atkinson Margaret Atwell Anne Bird Marilyn Black Ian Bockus Alison Cline-Dean Gladys Collins June Coote Mary Dunning Jayne Edgeley Joyce Evans Betty Gillham Mary Heather Merlyne Howard Judie Lafford John Lee Gordon Light Pat Longsworth David MacMillan Karie Lynn Maloney Chris McMaster Joan Mitchell Barbara Moore Peter Megg Edna Parsons Doris Piercey Sharon Poole Ann Pugh Diane Reid Laura Roome Evelyn Rubie Eileen Steele James Sutton Anne Tanner Yvonne Thistle Catherine Thurlow Katherine Treganowan Barry Wallace Laura Wallace Bob Wright Crystal Joy Yoanidis Missing email addresses Recent email Newsnotes to the Associates listed below have been undeliverable. If you have changed your email address (or have recently acquired one), please send it to Sr. Helen Claire: hc@ssjd.ca.
  10. 10. 10 As Sisters, we believe that God has called us to an extraordinary ministry of prayer, outreach, hospitality, compassion and education, all within the context of living a vowed life in Community. We have included a project for a Solar–Alternative Energy Project, which we believe is consistent with our commitment to the spirituality of eco-sustainability. SOLAR–ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROJECT An integral part of our life, which is shaped by gospel values, is a reverence for the whole creation. We work together to try to create a lifestyle committed to simplicity, one that respects life, each other and the earth as a sacred gift. In little steps we have tried to walk in a direction that honours our partnership with creation and our call to stewardship, by encouraging lifestyle changes and reducing our footprint on the earth. In our commitment to the spirituality of eco-sustainability, we have agreed to go forward and install solar panels. Our decision has come after careful discussion–a desire to create a more energy-efficient Convent, a concern about ecological issues, a longing to do more to protect the earth and find ways to contribute towards a more sustainable future. Ontario’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy generation is a cornerstone of the province’s Green Energy Act. The provincial government launched the program in September of 2009, and the Ontario Power Authority started accepting applications in October of 2009. After a review, in March 2012 the Ontario government renewed its commitment to a clean energy economy. It is North America’s first comprehensive feed-in tariff program for renewable energy. The demand for electricity in the Province, and particularly in Greater Toronto, continues to tax the current capacity to provide the electricity needed. Electricity produced by coal plants contributing to pollution and nuclear power stations badly in need of repair and upgrading continue to be a concern for many of us. The Ontario government’s long-term energy plan in moving the province to clean sources of power, like the MicroFit program, has given us an opportunity to participate and give back something towards a more sustainable lifestyle. SOLAR–ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROJECT: THE COST Company engaged to do the work: Eco Alternative Energy – to install and provide a contract for a Solar Grid System designed for the OPA Feed-in Tariff Program The cost of the proposed system will be $61,675.15 ($54,579.78 + HST of $7,095.37) Toronto Hydro New Meter Charge $ 2,500.00 Total Cost $64,175.15 OUR CHALLENGES AND GOALS As you have already read in our Narrative Budget 2013, to sustain our goals and meet our budget in recent years, we have had to take more from our Founders Fund than it earns. This is partly the result of increased expenses and an unfavourable investment environment. And you will have noted the GAP of $100,000. Notwithstanding these challenges, the opportunity offered by the Ontario News from the Fundraising Office “ … and to pray and work for peace, justice, unity and the integrity of creation.” (from the Rule of Life of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine) Our neighbours Willowdale Manor and their solar project (continued on pg 4)
  11. 11. 11 This passage from the Song of Solomon was chosen by Sr. Joyce for her funeral service and seems so appropriate for her. As Sr. Constance Joanna said in her homily at Sr. Joyce’s funeral, “Sr. Joyce has known love–the love of Community, the love of deep friendship, the love of art and nature, the love that is shown in creative service to others. But at the deep root level, it was her response to Love itself that was both the origin and the goal of her religious life. She began her journey with the Beloved, and in that intimate relationship she knew herself to be God’s beloved.” Sr. Joyce entered the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine on September 3rd, 1943, at the age of 21, and died in the 65th year of her religious profession. During her life in Community, Sr. Joyce worked in several departments including the chapel, the kitchen and the altar bread department at the Convent. For 11 years she worked at St. John’s House in Edmonton (1956-1967) when the Sisters had a home for unwed mothers. Then she was at St. John’s Rehab Hospital for a number of years providing pastoral care to the patients and staff; in recent years she was best known as the Librarian. It was she who organized the move of books (approx. 16,000 volumes) from the Convent on Botham Road to the present Convent and oversaw the set-up of the new library. Apart from Sr. Constance, Sr. Joyce was the only Sister who had lived in three convents: the one on Major Street, the one on Botham Road and the one on Cummer Avenue. When I asked her in 2008 to write about the first Convent, I discovered that she had a delightful sense of humour and was a goldmine of funny stories about her early days in SSJD. One of the funniest was about a tabby cat, a stray who appeared at the kitchen door so often that Sr. Lorraine decided to try and tame her. They called her Mrs. Major. Sr. Joyce wrote: “Eventually she had kittens; all of them were given away except one. On one memorable occasion the kitten was being chased by a Sister; it ran through the open door of the walk-in fridge and jumped into a large kettle of cooling soup just as a chapel service was about to begin. Sr. Lorraine called over to the guest house for some University of Toronto students who were delighted to come and deal with the emergency. They nursed the kitten, gave her a shampoo, dried her off and coddled her. As a result of all this attention she looked all fluffy, just like a little ballerina.” If I remember correctly, it was Sr. Joyce who was chasing the kitten. Three of Sr. Joyce’s great loves were reading, gardening and art. I would frequently consult Sr. Joyce about books to read or to buy for the library and at least once a year I would take her to a garden centre to buy plants or potting soil for her garden. When she could no longer get down on her hands and knees, Don Allen built her a raised bed which she filled to overflowing with colourful plants. On another occasion Sr. Joyce convinced me to take a Chinese painting course with her. Of course, she was a much better artist than I was but I enjoyed taking the course. Sr. Joyce was a good friend to many people and had the gift of quiet, thoughtful wisdom which we all appreciated. She will be greatly missed by us all. Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD Sister Joyce, SSJD 1922–2013 My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come...” (Song of Solomon 2:10 - 12b)
  12. 12. 12 The world is full of thankful things The world is full of thankful things, things to be thankful for – birds and bees and butterfly wings, waves upon the shore; children playing, faithful praying, sun and moon and so much more – yes, the world is full of thankful things, things to be thankful for. And the world is full of wonderful things, things to be wondered at – thunderstorms and winds that sing camels and vampire bats; gentle breezes, heart-felt sneezes, swirling feathers in a hat – yes, the world is full of wonderful things, things to be wondered at. And the world is full of holy things, things that say “God is here” – synagogues, mosques and sacred rings, temples and churches dear, sunlit meadows, forest shadows, lava flows and running deer – yes, the world is full of holy things, things that say “God is near.” So we’ll thank our God for thankful things – freedom from want and fear; and we’ll thank our God for wonderful things – comets and water clear; but most of all and more than all, for places thin where the veil is sheer – yes, we’ll thank our God for holy things, things that say “God is here!” Sr. Sue Elwyn, SSJD Guelph, ON 2006 Photos Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD The Houses of the Sisterhood www.ssjd.ca St. John’s Convent 233 Cummer Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 416-226-2201; Fax: 416-226-2131 email: convent@ssjd.ca St. John’s House, B.C. 3937 St. Peters Road, Victoria, BC V8P 2J9 250-920-7787; Fax: 250-920-7709 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. Parking Gate The parking gate to prevent visitors to the hospital avoiding parking fees by parking at the Convent will be installed this summer. The gate is at the car turn-around at the front lobby entrance of the Convent. When you come to the Convent and Guest House, please check in (as usual) at the main reception desk in the lobby. You will be given the code to open the parking gate to give you access to the parking spaces in front and by the Guest House. The gate will open automatically when you are ready to leave. ALTAR LINENS Altar linens may be purchased from Sr. Jocelyn, SSJD, at the Convent. All linens are hand-sewn from Irish linen. Items which may be purchased include 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 Tel: 416-226-2201, ext. 310 Fax: 416-222-4442

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