The Eagle   Michaelmas 2008      Celebrating YearOur 125th Anniversary
Above: This stained-glass window is often called the Mary Window. In the present convent this window is locatedin the Lady...
A Contemplative in Action                            to England after her husband’s death in Chicago, she                 ...
The words that begin our Rule of Life today still carry the    Sisters moved in, there were bed linens, some platesessence...
My First Convent Home                         Also on Sundays the Novice Mistress might take the                          ...
arm. I don’t remember what I gleaned from my medita-                                                              tion on ...
A “Moving Experience” —                                                                    Margaret Ann staking out   Memo...
Srs. Mary Olive, Faith & Ella at Christie Lake — 1937                            Srs. Joan, Wilma, Nora with Sr. Mary Barb...
Food for the Soul   Programs at St. John’s Convent, 2008 - 2009                                            OVERNIGHT RETRE...
SACRED ART RETREAT (FOR ARTISTIC KLUTZES AND ARTISTS ALIKE!)                              NOVEMBER 21-23, 2008In this retr...
QUIET SATURDAYSQuiet Saturdays begin with a gathering and coffee time at 9:30 am in the Refectory, followed by a talk by t...
PERSONAL RETREATSPersonally scheduled retreats — for a day, several days, or longer — can be arranged for individuals when...
Novice Helena — late 1940’s            Srs. Nora and Philippa in the grounds of SJRH, circa 1969         Sr. Wilma in the ...
Dear Associates, Oblates,                                 will include arranging annual visits to the Associates.and Frien...
Last May, we sent out our second Annual Appeal,along with our first-ever narrative budget. We are                          ...
“The Gathering of Sisters, Associates & Oblates”                                     May 5 — 9, 2009Theme: “Something More...
Growing Together in Love and Service                   piece of who I was, an expression of my vocation as                ...
ASSOCIATE MILESTONES                                        Special Anniversaries continued:                              ...
The Sisters of St. John the Divine, August 29, 2008Photo by Michael Hudson    Back Row:   Srs. Patricia Marion (Novice), W...
The Houses of the Sisterhood                    www.ssjd.caSt. John’s Convent, 233 Cummer Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8(416)...
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The Eagle - Michaelmas 2008

  1. 1. The Eagle Michaelmas 2008 Celebrating YearOur 125th Anniversary
  2. 2. Above: This stained-glass window is often called the Mary Window. In the present convent this window is locatedin the Lady Chapel, a chapel dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. This window was originally above the highaltar in the Major Street chapel. It was dedicated to the memory of the Sisterhood’s first warden, the Rev. OgdenP. Ford. The top panel depicts John taking Mary to his home after the crucifixion. The five panels below depict fivescenes in the life of Mary and Jesus: the Annunciation, the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, the Nativity,Simeon holding Jesus at the Presentation in the Temple, and the Purification of Mary, who is seen bringing thedoves of offering at the time of the Presentation.Front Page: These panels come from the cope which historically was worn at the convent by the priest on St.John’s Day. The embroidery was probably done by Mother Hannah around the turn of the last century. The lefthand panel shows St. John holding the Gospel of John and at the bottom of the panel are the words: “Beloved,let us love one another.” (1 John 4:7) Above John is the Eagle, the symbol of John and of our Community. Theright hand panel shows the Blessed Virgin Mary holding three stems of lilies. At the bottom of the panel are thewords: “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” (John 2:5) These are the words which Mary said to Jesus at thewedding at Cana and the words which the Sisterhood has as its motto.
  3. 3. A Contemplative in Action to England after her husband’s death in Chicago, she stopped off in Toronto to visit her family. While there, she Hannah Grier was approached by a small group of people who were Coome, the eager to see a religious community founded in Canada. founder of the They broached the idea of her undertaking this rather Sisterhood of daunting task instead of joining St. Mary’s in England. St. John the After much prayer and thought she accepted it in faith Divine in 1884, and agreed to go to St. Mary’s, Peekskill, an Episcopalian was born at The order in New York State for her novitiate. Carrying Place, Ontario, in 1837, There were mixed feelings about Hannah’s time in the the sixth of 13 novitiate at Peekskill. Some urged her to come back children. Her to Toronto at once, ‘just as she was’ but she had great father was an faith in Mother Harriet’s ability to produce the necessary Anglican priest changes in her to start a new Community. This caused from Northern Fr. Ogden Ford, the first Warden of our Community, to Ireland; her say he hoped she would not change too much. Evenmother was of United Empire Loyalist stock. She appears the Novice Mistress at the Community of St. Mary (CSM),to have had a very ordinary childhood with no hint that Peekskill, said of Hannah Grier Coome, “I fail to seeshe might later become a pioneer in the difficult task why she was sent here to be trained”. There were oth-of founding an Anglican religious order in Canada. It is ers who feared that Hannah’s strength might not provesaid that on at least one occasion, she skipped church to equal to the strain of the novitiate with all the other busi-make doll’s clothes. At the age of 21, she married Charles ness pressing upon her at that time; to them the NoviceHorace Coome, an English engineer who was working on Mistress replied: “You need have no fears for your dearthe building of the Grand Trunk Railway. It was clearly a Hannah. She has a true Vocation and God will givehappy marriage for, many years after his death, she wrote her the necessary strength.” Apparently Hannah’s wittyof her hope of meeting him again in heaven. One major sayings, however, were not always appreciated by theevent did mar her happiness: a fall during her pregnancy Novice Mistress and her buoyant spirit was thought towhich resulted in a miscarriage followed by five years of need some discipline!suffering and invalidism. Sr. Winifred, CSM, who was a member of the novitiateCertain themes in her married life carried through into her with Mother Hannah remembered her as being capable inreligious life. First, her miscarriage probably influenced numerous ways, especially in the embroidery of vestmentsher decision to found Toronto’s first hospital for women. and altar linens. Somehow she found time to sew mostSecond, her husband’s work took the young couple back of the altar vestments for the new Canadian England in the 1860s. Here she was much influenced Sr. Winifred also gives a delightful anecdote of Hannahby the Liturgical Revival, by the Anglo-Catholic move- when she was sent out on a visit to a particular ministryment in general, and in particular by the Anglo-Catholic in the city. She was greeted at the door by a man dressedparish of St. John the Divine, Kennington, and the Sisters like a butler who appeared to be a trusted servant. Heof St. Mary at Wantage. The Sisters of St. Mary ran a showed her all around explaining the background of thissettlement house in the slums of Kennington. Hannah special work of the Diocese and then said something thatCoome worked with them there, added to her skill at made her realize that he was the Bishop. She was greatlyneedlework under their tutelage, and became so enam- embarrassed and said: “Oh! My Lord, I beg your pardonored of the religious life that her husband used to joke — I had no idea — I did not see your apron — I am sothat he expected to come home one night to find that she sorry!” (He was not wearing either the apron or gaitershad joined them. There’s another story, from the same which would have identified him to her as a bishop.) Onperiod, that is quite delightful: her father was visiting the day of her Life Profession, the Bishop came to thefrom Canada and insisted that she take him to her par- Community Room and said to Mother Hannah, “Is thereish church one Sunday. She was worried that he might any mistake as to my identity today?”find the church too “high” even for his taste, describing Mother Hannah decided to use the Rule of the Sisters of St.the scene as follows: “It was in the Trinity Season, and Mary in Peekskill, NY, as the Rule of Life for the Sisterhoodthe vestments were an iridescent green with the metallic of Saint John the Divine. The original document begins withsheen of a Mexican Beetle, and there were three great her intention for the Community:green beetles at the Altar!” As it turned out, her father The Sisters of St. John the Divine are dedicated to thewas not horrified by either the “beetles” or the rest of the undivided service of Our Lord Jesus Christ after theceremonial; on the contrary, it struck as much of a chord example of the Beloved Disciple whose name theyin his heart as it obviously had in his daughter’s. bear, for the fulfilment of the two-fold law of Charity.When Hannah first turned her thoughts to the religious Like St. John, they are called to find their joy in fel-life, it was natural for her to consider joining the Sisters lowship with our Lord and for this end to forsake allof St. Mary at Wantage. However, on her way home worldly distractions. 3
  4. 4. The words that begin our Rule of Life today still carry the Sisters moved in, there were bed linens, some platesessence of Mother Hannah’s intention: and cups and saucers, a few provisions, a kettle and fry- The Sisters of Saint John the Divine, in the spirit of ing-pan lent to them by the rector of St. Matthias but no their patron, are called to live to the glory of God in lamps. A divinity student living across the street produced fulfilment of the two-fold law of love. Each Sister will a lamp and two candles in bottles to illuminate their first seek to do everything as one who has been baptized meal. The chapel was tiny but had everything neces- into Christ’s death, and has entered into the new life sary; all the altar vestments had been made by Mother of his resurrection, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hannah during her novitiate. On the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, 1885, the house—the smallest convent, per-The second paragraph says: haps, ever known—was formally opened and blessed by We are committed to lifelong conversion and to the Bishop of Toronto. growth in union with God through the life of prayer and the undivided service of Jesus Christ. In Christ we Only months after founding the Community, Mother are both called and sent to be open and responsive Hannah was asked to go to Moose Jaw to nurse the sol- to the needs of the church and of the world, and to diers wounded in the Northwest Rebellion. With only one pray and work for peace, justice, unity and the integ- novice, two postulants and three fully-trained nurses she rity of creation.” travelled by boat from Owen Sound to Fort William and from there by the very new and ‘jolty’ railway. It was onOne of the great blessings of our Community in a rapidly the boat trip that Mother Hannah realized they were notchanging world is Mother Hannah’s vision that we should going to be able to care properly for their hair, so she cutbe open and responsive to the needs of the church and off her lovely, long black hair and dropped it overboard.the world. This has enabled us to change ministries over When they arrived in Moose Jaw they discovered the basethe last 124 years as new needs were brought to our hospital was a large frame building lined with black paperattention. Mother Hannah’s desire was that prayer and with as yet no furniture or decoration of any kind exceptdevotion be the primary vocation of the Sisters and sec- large “no smoking” signs. She was given the keys to theondly, active charity. Our current Rule states that building and asked to make it into a hospital! This she “…all our work is an extension of prayer and a way did and received a War Service Medal that is among the of growing in our relationship with God and our Sisterhood’s prized possessions. neighbour” and, “All work is of equal value in nur- turing the common life and the witness of the com- On returning to Toronto a few months later they discov- munity”. ered that friends and benefactors had set up the first St. John’s Hospital in a small house connected to the conventMother Hannah stressed that not only was all work of by a covered passageway. It possessed little in the wayequal importance but that it “should be done thoroughly, of surgical equipment, but had several private rooms forpunctually, and quietly, without appearance of haste or paying patients and a ward with eight beds for those whoexcitement, no matter what the pressure. We must not needed free care. 465 patients were cared for there in itsdespise any work as menial, but realize that the work first three years. In 1889, Mother Hannah (together withof the hands is as acceptable to God as the work of the 3 Life-Professed Sisters, 5 novices and a postulant movedintellect.” When a young novice said to Mother Hannah, from that tiny convent to a new convent and hospital on“Please may I be excused for speaking harshly to a Major Street built with the money raised by friends andmenial, and for giving way to nervous irritability?”, Mother Associates of the Community. It was expected that theHannah’s response was: “There are no ‘menials’ here, my Community would grow in numbers and by 1898 theredear; no work done in a Religious House is ‘menial’; and were 22 active members in the Community, and their reg-do not call temper ‘nervous irritability’.” To another nov- ular work comprised St. John’s Hospital for Women, theice who failed in self-reliance she used to say: “It seems Church Home for the Aged, the Seaton Village Mission,to me you are always having to be lifted up, and helped Bishop Bethune College at Oshawa, the Kindergarten onalong your way, using all your friends as crutches!” Major Street, and also the Church Work Room and the The first house for the Altar Bread Department — quite an impressive list of Sisters on Robinson ministries for 22 Sisters. Street was originally a stable and very differ- The Gospel account of the wedding at Cana includes the ent from our beauti- words that form the motto of our Community: ful, spacious convent “Do whatever he tells you.” of today. It was actu- And that is still our ministry today: to do whatever he ally two houses joined tells us to do. This is Mother Hannah’s legacy. She was a together and very woman of vision and great courage but she was also prac- simply furnished with tical and down-to-earth with a delightful sense of humour. three hard beds and a The Sisters of today are blessed to be part of her vision. few chairs, a table, a dish-pan, coal-scuttle, Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD and shovel. When the4
  5. 5. My First Convent Home Also on Sundays the Novice Mistress might take the novices on outings for in those days we did not have aOn July 31, 1943 I arrived at the front door of the con- day off or even half a day! We would go to High Parkvent on Major Street for a month’s visit as an aspirant or Kew Beach for picnics or to the ROM (The Royalto the Community. I was filled with much apprehen- Ontario Museum) which was within walking distance.sion, but probably not as much as my parents had. Iwas shown to my room in a link building called St. We had a tabby cat who was a wild stray and appearedElizabeth House which connected the chapel to a house sometimes outside the kitchen door. Sr. Lorraine de-on Brunswick Avenue. Elizabeth House had two floors cided to try and tame her. After a long time she finallyand a stairway with a beautiful, wide polished bannister got her to come inside the kitchen, but only briefly atwhich was wonderful for sliding down! Sometime dur- first. We called her Mrs. Major. Eventually she had kit-ing that month I made the decision to enter the Sister- tens; all of them were given away except one. On onehood and was admitted as a postulant in September. 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.The convent, the chapel and St. Elizabeth House formeda quadrangle with a garden in the centre; sometimes inthe summer, some of the Sisters met for recreation timein the garden and, on one occasion, a squirrel jumpedonto a Sister’s lap and up onto her head and thenjumped from head to head around the small circle!We lived in the midst of the Jewish community whowere always our friends. We often visited their bakeshops on College Street to buy bagels or other bakedgoodies. When the wind was right we enjoyed the deli-cious smell of chocolate from Neilson’s Chocolate Fac-tory nearby. We would also walk to visit patients at theToronto General Hospital.In those days postulants did not go to Compline, theNight Office, and one evening, during Compline I wason the balcony outside the refectory when I spied twomen chasing one another into the garden from Bruns-wick Avenue; one of them had a long pole and was I also remember a story about a Sister who dumped heryelling loudly. Sr. Edith Margaret was crossing the gar- wash water through a window onto a passing priest be-den some distance ahead of them; she turned around low who became quite irate; of course, that was not theand said to them quite calmly, “Hush! The Sisters are in usual means of disposal. Needless to say, the Sister wasChapel.” severely reprimanded. There are, of course, many other forgotten memories of this beloved home including theOn Sundays the Sisters went in a crocodile procession wrench it was to leave it after ten years and move toto St. Thomas’s Church for the Eucharist and many Botham Road, well beyond the city limits. I’d like totimes were heckled by bystanders calling out “Papists, end with a quotation from a poem by Sara Teasdale:witches” and other such taunts. We sat in the front rowalways reserved for SSJD. A live-in friend and volunteer “Oh better than the minting of a gold-crowned king,usually sat behind us. On one occasion she sneezed Is the safe kept memory of lovely things.”and her false teeth flew out under the novices’ seat Sister Joyce, SSJDwhich set them off into giggles. 5
  6. 6. arm. I don’t remember what I gleaned from my medita- tion on that day but I have not forgotten the incident. I remember . . . the consecration of St. John’s Convent Chapel in 1956. When the Chapel was completed I heard Sister Evangeline exclaim: “We have our Chapel back again!” I realized, after our recent experience, what that exclamation meant to her. We had waited only a few months, while she had waited over three years! I remember . . . the skunks, the groundhogs, the foxes, the rabbits, the squirrels and the racoons! We made Altar Bread and saved the leftover batter in a special bin“I Remember . . .” to give to a farmer for his pigs. However hard we tried to keep the lid secure the racoons got into the bin leav-The rooms at the convent on Botham Road were like ing the remains strewn all around for us to clean up.a kaleidoscope which, at the turn of an idea or need,might be changed into something else! What had been I remember . . . the volleyball court in the orchardthe refectory later became the Guild Room; the Altar — and the rhubarb patch — and the Swiss chard gar-Bread Department was taken over by the Library; and a den — and our gardener, Val, who had beehives inbedroom became an office. In those fifty-one years life the orchard at the edge of the ravine and grapevineswas never static! behind the garage — and the tiny blue scillas that made a carpet outside the Old House and flowed down the I remember . . . being told that Sisters Francesca, Faith side of the ravine.and Mary Ruth lived at Botham Road before the restof the Community moved in. During this time a kit- I remember . . . six aspirants in the 1960’s climbing theten, named Smokey, moved in with them. Mrs. Major, old apple tree on the front lawn to gather apples. Sisterthe convent cat on Major Street, was not welcomed Doreen was one of those Smokey, so Mrs. Major was assigned to St. John’s-on-the-Hill at Aurora. Mrs. Major promptly returned I remember . . . the planting of trees and bushes into Major Street, and eventually was sent to live at the commemoration of special occasions, gifts from familiesChurch Home for the Aged on Bellevue Avenue, where and friends.she ended her days in peace and glory. I remember . . . the one hundredth anniversary of theI remember . . . the blessing of the new convent on Community in 1984. A year of great events! One memo-September 8th, 1953, by Bishop A. Ray Beverley, the rable fun event was the SSJD version of Gilbert andBishop of Toronto. Several weeks later an Open House Sullivan’s “Pinafore”, changing the score to SSJD char-was held. I was a new postulant and Thelma-Anne acters. Along with other songs Sister Constance Joanna,McLeod (who later became Sister Thelma-Anne) was a postulant, sang with her two companions “Three Littleone of the visitors. Postulants Are We”.I remember . . . my first Christmas at the convent. I remember . . . some significant changes during our 51Father Brian Freeland celebrated at the Midnight Mass years at Botham Road: changes brought about throughin the small temporary Chapel. On St. John’s Day, two the influence of Vatican II; change from a seven-folddays later, the Sisters from the nearby Branch Houses office to a four-fold office; the simplification of ourcame for our annual Community party. I remember the habits; changes in some of our ministries; changes injoy of the arrival of all the Sisters from the three nearby customs and practices.Branch Houses: St. John’s Convalescent Hospital, The I remember . . . the guests who came to the convent andChurch Home for the Aged and St. John’s-on-the-Hill those who lived with us for many years, Joan, Dorothyin Aurora. and Gertrude.I remember . . . the temporary Chapel. We had won- I remember . . . the Reverend Mothers and the Sistersderful windows surrounding three sides of the little at Botham Road whose lives so deeply influenced theChapel as we viewed all that nature provided, includ- growth and evolution of the Community. The picturesing a ravine. One morning, during meditation, all eyes of our departed Sisters were carefully brought with usbecame focused on the scene outside. Our cat was and are once again displayed in their place of honour.stalking a wounded bird. One Sister could take this no As Sister Nora used to say: “We haven’t much moneylonger so she ran outside, grabbed Smokey, spanking but we do see life.”him as she marched back with him firmly under her Sister Wilma, SSJD6
  7. 7. A “Moving Experience” — Margaret Ann staking out Memories of a New Member of SSJD . . . . the front sitting-room wait- ing for Sisters or visitorsWhen I entered SSJD, I thought I would learn a new to come. She always hadvocabulary — words like Compline, Triduum and refec- a smile and a wave. Shetory. Never did the words ‘clerestory’, ‘45-certified’ would ask questions aboutand ‘airvac’ enter my mind but my first two years in how your day was goingCommunity were filled with these words as we planned and what was happeningthe building of the new convent and then the move outside. It felt great to bethere. welcomed home like thatWhen I was going through my interviews before coming every day! To have some-into the Community, I remember Sr. Constance Joanna one to actually answer ourbriefly mentioning that the Community was thinking of “honey, I’m home!” Sr. Margaret Annmoving. Little did I know that the decision would befinalized two days after I entered, so my first two years When we did the final move into the new convent fromin Community are filled with “moving” memories. BBH, we did it in stages. I was in one of the first groups to move over. We were all excited to finally move intoThe last day of the move to Birchall Bainbridge Hall our new bedrooms and have our old furniture back. It(BBH) — now the Convent Guest House — I was at was like welcoming home “old friends” that had beenthe Botham Road convent helping pack up the final away for a long time. It was a bit strange to have somebits and staying with my “moving buddy” (Sr. Merle and of the Sisters in the new convent and a large group stillSandy the cat). I wanted to have a last walk-through of in BBH. Late that first night after I had turned out thethe convent. During my tour, I came upon Sr. Val sitting light in my new bedroom, I realized that I was a bitin one of the rooms in the enclosure, which turned out hungry. The kitchen in the convent had not been set upto be the first bedroom she had when she entered. Sr. yet, so I went through the link to find some crackers inElizabeth Ann joined us and we had the best time telling BBH. To my dismay I realized that I was locked out ofeach other stories about our first days in the convent and BBH. (We were still getting used to all the new doorsabout our clothing retreats. It was wonderful to hear the and which ones needed to be locked and which didstories. As well our time together became a time to say not.) The door had been closed and locked and I hadgood-bye to a building where our vocational journeys not thought to bring my key, since I was in my pjs andhad started. had no pockets. I stood there for a few moments trying to figure out what to do and decided that I should justLiving in BBH was cramped but lots of blessings came go to bed, that I really did not need the crackers! So Iwith living in that building for four months. Because walked all the way back to my room empty-handed!we did not have our own refectory in BBH, we all atetogether over at St. John’s Rehab cafeteria. The sharing I have moved many times in my life but I never knewthat went on over the tables, the laughter and of course that I would be part of a two-stage convent move. Itears, is one of the reasons I think that our move was a have learned many things in our move. I know now thatsuccess because we had that outlet to talk informally in anything is possible with a little planning, lots of prayer,small groups. One of my favourite memories was of Sr. and the love, support and determination of 30 women! Sister Amy, SSJD ALTAR LINEN DEPARTMENT Prices effective May 2006 Fair Linen - 120 inch length finished $310 Purificators - 10 1/2 inches $204 or $17 each with 5 crosses ($35.50 per foot for longer) square/dozen Fair Linen - 120 inch finished with from $390 Lavabo Towels - Per dozen $228 or $19 each 5 crosses and borders on ends Fair Veils $51 each Credence Cloth - Tables up to 30 inches, $97 Palls on Plexiglass from $45 each with 1 cross (for each inch extra - $2.90) Corporals $45 each Credence Cloth - Tables up to 30 inches from $130 with 1 cross and end borders Sick Communion Sets - includes 1 pall, from $95 1 corporal, 1 fair veil, 3 small purificators Baptismal Towels $25 each (6pcs) All Fair Linens and Credence Cloths are made to order. For more details, please contact Sr. Jocelyn after October 20th at St. John’s House, 3937 St. Peters Rd. Victoria BC V8P 2J9 - 250-920-7787 - 7
  8. 8. Srs. Mary Olive, Faith & Ella at Christie Lake — 1937 Srs. Joan, Wilma, Nora with Sr. Mary Barbara in the foreground — circa 1959 Sr. Nora and Mother Aquila in England, circa 1948Sr. Joanna & Postulant Jacquelyn, circa 1960 or 61 Novice Jeannine and Sr. Beatrice in the Library Novices having a picnic with their Novice Mistress — circa 1930’s — circa early 1960’s8
  9. 9. Food for the Soul Programs at St. John’s Convent, 2008 - 2009 OVERNIGHT RETREATSOvernight Retreats (including Individually Directed Retreats) begin with Evensong at 5 pm on the first day. Pleaseplan to arrive by 4 pm to have time to check into your room and get settled. Retreats end after the noon meal onthe last day (approximately 1:30 pm). For retreats ending on Sunday, there is an option to stay for the afternoonand join the Sisters for Evensong and our weekly supper-with-conversation. Retreats are usually limited to 25participants.NOTE: Cost of overnight retreats is $100 per night ($50/night for full-time students with valid student card),which includes room and board, and an honorarium for the conductor or retreat guide. Note that the Holy Weekretreat is 4 days, but the cost is a special offer of $200 for the duration. Bursary assistance is available forthose on limited income; please contact the Guest Sister. Reduced rates are available for seniors over 65. A$30.00 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for overnight retreats.TEND MY SHEEP: DEEPENING THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF THE PARISH—AND OURSELVES SEPTEMBER 9-11, 2008(FOR CLERGY ONLY) To Peter’s repeated protestations of love, Jesus commanded: “Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep.Feed my sheep.” This would be simpler if we were entrusted with the care of actual four-legged, woolly, not veryintelligent creatures. It might be hard work, but there would be little room for subtlety and we would know whenwe had done the job satisfactorily. Much more difficult is the translation of this divine imperative into our ministrywith and among our sisters and brothers, complex creatures made in the image of God. Led by the Rev. Dr.Margaret Guenther, well- known author and retreat leader.LET’S TAKE A WALK —THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME SEPTEMBER 12-14, 2008Walkathons are in. Even those of us who are not enthusiastic walkers are inundated with requests to sponsoranother in support of a cause—to wipe out cancer, to house the homeless, to ease the anguish of those sufferingfrom AIDS. These are worthy walks, but they are quick and easy. Christians are called to another walk, the journeyof a lifetime. Scripture is filled with comings and goings, arrivals and departures. As Jesus walked with his friends,his followers today walk with him still. This retreat offers an opportunity to reflect on our life as travellers in hiscompany. Led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Guenther, well-known author and retreat leader.INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT SEPTEMBER 19-21, 2008This is an opportunity to be accompanied individually as a way to deepen your prayer life, to explore particularissues or needs in your relationship with God, and to grow in sensitivity to the movements of the Spirit of Godwithin you. Led by experienced spiritual directors.LESSONS FROM THE VICAR OF DIBLEY OCTOBER 17-19,2008The popular British TV comedy, “The Vicar of Dibley,” provides a window into the joys and challenges of living theChristian life. Vicar Geraldine is earthy, funny, full of wisdom and insight, sometimes rude, and alwayscompassionate. With her eccentric and loveable parishioners, Geraldine faces issues that challenge everycommunity of Christians—how to love and care for people who are very different from us, how to discern God’s callto us, how to live a faithful Christian life in a post-Christian culture, how to find loving human intimacy as well asintimacy with God. Come and share your own insights as we watch and reflect on some of the most memorableepisodes of this heart-warming comedy series. Led by Sr. Constance Joanna, SSJD.INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT (FOR CLERGY ONLY) NOVEMBER 18-20, 2008This is an opportunity to be accompanied individually as a way to deepen your prayer life, to explore particularissues or needs in your relationship with God, and to grow in sensitivity to the movements of the Spirit of Godwithin you. Led by experienced spiritual directors.
  10. 10. SACRED ART RETREAT (FOR ARTISTIC KLUTZES AND ARTISTS ALIKE!) NOVEMBER 21-23, 2008In this retreat we will use art as a form of prayer, as a way of getting in touch with the Divine Mystery that isGod. Sacred art is a prayer of awareness in which the visual image communicates more deeply than words. You donot need to be “artistic” to pray with art; only willing to experiment and have fun. Additional charge of $10 forsupplies. Led by Sisters of SSJDINDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT (Open to anyone) FEBRUARY 20-22, 2009This is an opportunity to be accompanied individually as a way to deepen your prayer life, to explore particularissues or needs in your relationship with God, and to grow in sensitivity to the movements of the Spirit of Godwithin you. Led by experienced spiritual directors.INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT (For Clergy Only) MARCH 3-5, 2009This is an opportunity at the beginning of Lent to be accompanied individually as a way to deepen your prayer life,to explore particular issues or needs in your relationship with God, and to grow in sensitivity to the movements ofthe Spirit of God within you. Led by experienced spiritual directors.SUFFERING AND JOY MARCH 27-29, 2009Very few of us walk through life without experiencing some form of suffering. But if God loves us, why do we getsick, lose relationships, face inexplicable obstacles in our work or family lives? Our scriptures do not give us aready answer as to why, but they do offer us liberating perspectives on responding to suffering. In particular, St.Paul has some remarkable reflections on suffering as believers in Christ. Among his most astonishing ideas is thatjoy is the companion of suffering. During the days of the retreat we will have opportunity to think deeply abouthow we may view our sufferings and the sufferings of our world from the perspective of being believers in Christ.Led by the Rev. Dr. Ann Jervis, Professor of New Testament at both Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges.A PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY PLACES IN HOLY WEEK APRIL 8-12, 2009Join Sr. Constance Joanna and Sr. Egeria (a fourth-century Spanish Nun) as they lead you on a pilgrimage to theHoly Places. We will stop at the Dome of the Rock, the Church of St. Helena, and other places in Jerusalem wherethe Holy Week liturgies took place in the early church. Egeria will tell us about each of them as we prepare tocelebrate those same liturgies here at St. Johns Convent. As we share in Jesus paschal journey, we will receivenew understanding of the link between the church in the 4th century and the church in the 21st century.GOD IN TRANSITION (For Clergy Only) MAY 12-14, 2009How can we find, and help others to find, a Christ-centred approach to dealing with times of immense change andtransition, in the world, the church and our personal lives? How can we discern what change is life-giving and to benourished, and what is destructive and to be resisted? How can we welcome change in a life-giving way and embraceour own responsibility for helping to shape the future? Led by Margaret Silf, well-known author and retreatleader.GOD IN TRANSITION MAY 15-17, 2009We are living through times of enormous change and transition. Global challenges affect our future as a humanfamily on this planet, and also affect our personal lives and choices. Some changes are like childbirth — painful yetultimately life-giving. Others are potentially destructive. How can we tell the difference and make our own choicesaccordingly. How will we respond to our own personal call to help shape humanity according to God’s unfoldingDream? Led by Margaret Silf, well-known author and retreat leader.INDIVIDUALLY DIRECTED RETREAT (FOR CLERGY ONLY) JUNE 16-18, 2009This is an opportunity to be accompanied individually as a way to deepen your prayer life, to explore particularissues or needs in your relationship with God, and to grow in sensitivity to the movements of the Spirit of Godwithin you. Led by experienced spiritual directors.
  11. 11. QUIET SATURDAYSQuiet Saturdays begin with a gathering and coffee time at 9:30 am in the Refectory, followed by a talk by theleader at 10 am. The rest of the morning is time for your own silent prayer and reflection, and we gather for theEucharist at 12 noon. Following the Eucharist, participants may join the Sisters for a silent hot dinner in theRefectory, or may eat a bag lunch with conversation in one of the meeting rooms. A second talk by the leader willfollow at 1:30 pm. The rest of the afternoon is for your own silent prayer and reflection. There will be a closingsession at 3:30 pm, with departures by 4 pm. Quiet Saturdays are usually limited to 25 participants.NOTE: Cost of Quiet Saturdays is $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates), if you bring a bag lunch. (Beveragesare included, as are muffins on arrival.) If you would like a hot meal at noon instead of bringing a bag lunch, thereis an additional charge of $10.00. Please indicate your preference on the application form.DREAMS: WISDOM FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS OCTOBER 4, 2008Robert Johnson says that dreams express the unconscious. They are dynamic mosaics, composed of symbols thatexpress the movements, conflicts, interactions, and developments of the great energy systems within theunconscious. How can we begin to discover the meaning of our dreams without extensive training? Led by Sr.Elizabeth, SSJD.LUKES JERUSALEM TALES NOVEMBER 8, 2008Luke’s Gospel includes many parables that are in none of the other Gospels; most of these (eight in total) are inthat part of Luke’s narrative that recalls Jesus’ travel towards Jerusalem. The Gospel of Luke is kind of likeChaucer’s Canterbury Tales in this way. On this Quiet Day, we will contemplate several of Lukes "JerusalemTales": parables that both teach and delight. Led by the Rev. Dr. Pauline Head, SSJD Associate.THE GOSPEL SONGS OF ADVENT December 6, 2008Bishop Colin Johnson offers a day of reflection on the themes of the coming of our Lord based on the canticles ofMary and Zechariah, found in Lukes Gospel (Magnificat and Benedictus). These two canticles have been an (almost)unchanging part of the daily prayer of the church for millennia. They have been spoken by rote by a solitaryworshiper, chanted by tuneless congregations, and set to some of the worlds most sublime music. How has suchrepetition influenced the way we think and pray about our expectations of Jesus first (and second) coming to hisworld? Hear again the deep longing and the profound promises of justice and mercy at the heart of Advent.DISCERNING YOUR JOURNEY JANUARY 24, 2009A new year energizes our intention to live a God-centred life. Mind-mapping, frequently used for study, organizingand creating, can also offer insights for discernment as your life unfolds. This quiet day offers an opportunity tolearn and use this simple but effective tool and make it part of your regular practice. Led by Norah Bolton, SSJDAssociate.CIRCLE OF QUIET — PRAYING THE ROSARY FEBRUARY 21, 2009Learn to pray with the Anglican Rosary, and to make your own. Bring your own crochet hooks (size 4 to 7); we willprovide cord for knotted rosaries, plastic and wooden beads, crosses, and instructions. Additional charge of $10for supplies and booklet. Led by Sr. Sarah Jean, SSJD.WHY GO INTO THE DESERT? MARCH 21, 2009“Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Why does God callor lure us into the wilderness? What will we find there? What do we need for the journey? What will happen to usif we answer God’s call to spend time in the desert? Led by Sr. Elizabeth, SSJD.MAKE A LAP LABYRINTH ....AND LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING. JUNE 13, 2009The labyrinth is an ancient form of walking meditation, but we may be unable to walk or have access to a full-sizedlabyrinth. We will make lightweight plexiglass labyrinths that we can hold on our laps for meditation and prayer atthose times when we cannot walk. Additional charge of $10.00 for supplies. Led by Alison Morrow, SSJDAssociate.
  12. 12. PERSONAL RETREATSPersonally scheduled retreats — for a day, several days, or longer — can be arranged for individuals when there isspace in the Guest House, and (if guidance is desired) when a retreat guide is available. Cost of Personal Retreatsis $65 per day (including overnight, 3 meals and coffee breaks), with an extra $20 per day if a spiritual guide isdesired [$50/night for full-time students with valid student card)]. Cost of Day Retreats is $25 (including aprivate room, noon meal, and coffee breaks). CUSTOMIZED SABBATICAL PROGRAMSDo you have some sabbatical time coming up? Consider spending all or part of it at St. John’s Convent Guest House,and making use of our varied resources:$ our library of over 30,000 volumes, which includes an excellent collection on spirituality, theology, church history, and scripture study, as well as good recreational reading$ proximity to the Toronto School of Theology and its varied denominational colleges$ the availability of spiritual direction at the Convent$ the option of participating in any or all of the Food for the Soul programs while you are here$ the opportunity to join the Sisters, as desired, for the daily celebration of the Eucharist as well as sung Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline$ a peaceful, relaxed environment both inside and out, with beautiful gardens and walks$ option of taking a bag lunch if you are going out for the day$ free parking and laundry facilities$ easy accessibility to public transit$ availability of all the cultural resources of the Greater Toronto Area$ comfortable rooms, lounges, and pantries, with the option of a room with ensuite bath (depending on availability)Special monthly rates are available.Inquire by contacting the Guest House at the address below. HOW TO REGISTERForms: Download a PDF file from our website, or ask us to e-mail or send you a copy of the registration form.For Overnight Retreats: Mail the form with a $25 deposit. Space is limited, so please send your deposit in asearly as possible to hold a room. (No phone reservations)For Quiet Saturdays: Mail the form with a $10 deposit. (No phone reservations)For Personal Retreats or Sabbaticals: Phone or e-mail us first to see when space is available and for moreinformation.For All Events: Please register at least one week in advance, to be sure space is available and to help with ourmeal planning.Contact Information: St. Johns Convent Guest House 233 Cummer Avenue Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 Phone 416-226-2201, ext. 305 Fax 416-226-2131 E-mail
  13. 13. Novice Helena — late 1940’s Srs. Nora and Philippa in the grounds of SJRH, circa 1969 Sr. Wilma in the bursar’s office circa 1987 The first refectory at 1 Botham Road (later the Guild Room), mid-1950’s Sr. Barbara and Novice Penelope in the snow, circa 1960 A large group of Sisters in the Guild Room, circa 1981 Sr. Joyce, circa late 1970’s 9
  14. 14. Dear Associates, Oblates, will include arranging annual visits to the Associates.and Friends of SSJD, In October when Srs. Jessica and Dorothy go to the Gaspé for a mission, they will spend time in Montréal both coming and going. More opportunities will de-As I was sitting at my com- velop in the coming year.puter preparing to write thisarticle, I wondered what Early in the retreat, we were shocked by the suddenMother Hannah might have death of Sr. Philippa. Her funeral requiem was ar-been thinking as she took ranged for one of the lasther Life Vows on Septem- days of our retreat so thatber 8th, 1884, the day we her family in Vancouvernow mark as the Founda- could be here with us. Sr.tion Day of the Sisterhood Philippa was very proud ofof St. John the Divine. What her Scottish heritage and somight she have penned in had requested a piper to beher journal on that occa- at her funeral. She wouldsion? What hopes and as- Photo by Michael Hudson have thoroughly enjoyedpirations did she have for this fledgling community? the playing of the bagpipesCould she have imagined, even in her wildest dreams, outside the front door asthe Community we are today as we begin to celebrate the many guests arrived. Af-our 125th year of love, prayer and service? How could ter the funeral the piper led the funeral cortege downshe have envisioned this beautiful convent and guest the driveway towards Cummer Avenue. I could nothouse which are so different from that very small help but think that Sr. Philippa must have been en-house on Robinson Street where the Community be- joying it all. An obituary for Sr. Philippa will appeargan. As we celebrate our birth 124 years ago, we will in the Christmas issue of The Eagle.have several special events some of which we hopeyou will be able to participate in. Each issue of The In September I spent time at our Branch House inEagle will give you a flavour of our past through a Victoria with Sr. Doreen, the Head of the house. Ihistorical look at our convents, Reverend Mothers, preached on Holy Cross Day at the admission of twoministries and branch houses. Oblates and the renewal of promises of another Ob- The last week of Au- late. Sr. Doreen and I both attended the BC Diocesan gust we had our An- Synod. And we watched as the carport was made nual General Chapter into a more accessible and larger chapel. This fall the which was followed by household at St. John’s House, Victoria, will include an eight-day Retreat led Srs. Doreen, Jocelyn, Jessica and Louise together with by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Oblate Doreen Davidson. Guenther. It was a spe- Over the summer months three sisters under- cial time for the Sisters went double-knee surgery: Srs. Anitra, Jessica and to be together: first, for Constance Joanna. All are doing well on that won- a time of meetings to derful road to recovery through physiotherapy at St. plan our ongoing mis- John’s Rehab Hospital. sion and ministries and our life together as in-tentional community, a time to recreate together andenjoy one another; and second, for a time of Retreattogether as we prepare for the celebration of our125th year.During our Chapter discussions, we talked about ourBranch Houses and how very much we value theopportunities for life and mission in a smaller house.At present, our only Branch House is in Victoria, BC,as we have closed our house in St. Lambert, QC, inthe Diocese of Montréal. The Sisters from the housein Montréal moved back to the convent at the end ofJune to strengthen the convent household. We arenow beginning to find ways to continue our minis-try in the Diocese of Montréal without being resident Earlier this year Val Clarke, formerly Sr. Val, requestedthere. One way we are ensuring continuity of this release from SSJD. At a Special Chapter we grantedministry is that Sr. Beryl will remain as Associate Di- her request and we wish her well in her new life.rector for the Eastern Province of Associates which10
  15. 15. Last May, we sent out our second Annual Appeal,along with our first-ever narrative budget. We are Position Descriptiongrateful for the feedback on the narrative budget, for Director of Developmentso many of you have found it helpful to know how Sisterhood of St. John the Divineour ministries are supported. This senior-level position is responsible for pro-For the past couple of years, Sr. Constance Joanna viding strategic and operational leadership forhas served in the role of Director of Development. the Sisterhood’s financial development, includingUnder her leadership, we have developed our fund- management and evaluation of all fundraising pro-raising programs, including the Annual Appeal. With grams.the very generous help of our Associates, Oblates,and friends, we have made great progress in securing The successful applicant will have proven experi-the financial resources we need to support our min- ence in all areas of fundraising, as well as an un-istries and to enhance the Sisterhood’s sustainability derstanding of the culture of an Anglican religiousand financial security. order, and the ability to communicate the Sisters’ mission and ministry to potential donors. For moreTo ensure the long-term sustainability of our minis- details see our website:, the Sisterhood’s Board of Directors has decidedthat it is now time to hire a professional Director of Please send resumés to Sr. Elizabeth Ann Eckert,Development – someone who has the training and Rev. Mother, by October 15, 2008.proven expertise to assist the Sisterhood in our on-going fundraising efforts, and especially to help usbroaden the sources of our funding for our ministries– for instance, foundations and other granting agen-cies. An Important Message for Our DonorsYou will find a brief summary of the position in the The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine places a highbox on this page. If you know anyone who might value on our relationship with you, our interested in applying, please encourage them to Without your support we would not be able towrite to me. It is very important for us to find a achieve the mission God has given us to do. Weskilled professional who also understands the culture thank you for your commitment to help us in ourand values of a religious community like ours. mission and ministry. Transparency and account-This summer we ran another “Women at a Crossroads” ability are essential to continuing support fromprogram for eight women from coast to coast across our donors. Therefore, we have recently joinedCanada. It was an interesting and diverse group of Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code Program.women whom we hope will add leaven to their home Imagine Canada is a voluntary organization re-churches. sponsible for supporting charitable fundraising. It At our Annual Chapter, I ap- does this by providing assistance and resources for pointed Sr. Elizabeth as the charities and ensuring that charitable organizations new Assistant to the Rev- are educated about following the policies of the erend Mother. Sr. Margaret Canada Revenue Agency. Mary served in this role very ably the last three years. Recently, Imagine Canada developed The Ethical She will continue as Clerk Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code. of the Works and together This code lays out a set of standards for charitable with Sr. Elizabeth and me, organizations to manage and report their financial we will work well together affairs responsibly. By adhering to these stan- as a team for the well-being dards, we are complying with generally accepted of the Sisterhood and the practices for soliciting and managing donor dol-Srs. Margaret Mary and Elizabeth convent household. As Sr. lars.Elizabeth is no longer able to be the Director of As-sociates for the Central Province, I’ve appointed Sr. If you have any questions about our adherenceHelen Claire to this role. She comes with much expe- to the Ethical Code, please contact Sr. Constancerience of working in the Associate office. Joanna, our Director of Development (phone 416- 733-2929, ext. 316, e-mail:, or write herSo now, let the celebrations begin for 125 years of at the Convent.) If you would like a copy of ourlove and service! Thanks be to God! audited financial statements, we will be glad to Sr. Elizabeth Ann, SSJD send it to you. You can also download the Ethical Code itself by going to 11
  16. 16. “The Gathering of Sisters, Associates & Oblates” May 5 — 9, 2009Theme: “Something More” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mt. 6:21)What is the “Something More” —the treasure hidden in a field or the pearl of great price—that people are lookingfor in the 21st Century? What is the role of Sisters, Associates and Oblates in enabling that “Something More” to bediscerned in people’s lives?Speaker — Margaret Silf is an ecumenical lay Christian, committed to working across and beyond the denomi-national divides. For most of her working life she was employed in the computer industry and recently left paidemployment to devote herself to writing and accompanying others on their spiritual journey, especially throughretreats and days of reflection. She is the author of a number of books on the spiritual journey for 21st centurypilgrims who may or may not identify with institutional religion, and a regular columnist with “America” magazine.Some of her books include Inner Compass; Wise Choices; Close to the Heart; Gift of Prayer; Sacred Spaces; Rootsand Wings: The human journey from a speck of stardust to a spark of God (2006) and Companions of Christ. Purpose • to learn more about the “something more” we are all seeking • to experience the monastic rhythm to nurture your own spiritual life • to learn more about the monastic life in general and the work and ministry of SSJD in particular • to discover what we can learn from one another and how we can help one another in the ministry of prayer, love and service.Cost of event:Resident at the convent including all meals — $375 ($200 deposit needed with application form)Non-residential but including dinners and suppers at the convent — $250 ($125 deposit needed with application form)Cancellation fee: $50We are inviting representation from all regions of Canada and beyond (U.S. and overseas). Space is limited so wemay not be able to accept all applications.Deadline for application form to be into the convent with a deposit: January 31st, 2009.Balance is required by April 1st, 2009.“The Gathering” begins on Tuesday, May 5th with registration from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. followed by EveningPrayer at 5:00 p.m. and supper. It will end on Saturday, May 9th, with a talking supper at 5:30 p.m. followingthe closing Eucharist. Many of you may wish to stay over in Toronto Saturday night. On the evening of May 5th,at 7:00 p.m., there will be a talk by Margaret Silf on the theme “Something More”. This event will take place inGrasett Hall at St. John’s Rehab Hospital (next door to the convent) and will be open to all Associates, Oblates andtheir guests.The schedule will include the following elements:• Morning Prayer, Eucharist, and Evening Prayer/ Compline• Silent breakfast and supper; lunch with conversation• Talks each day by Margaret Silf followed by small group discussions• Free time on Wednesday and Thursday evenings• Special entertainment on Friday eveningFor those who may wish to stay at a hotel:Novotel, 3 Park Home Avenue, North York, M2N 6L3 Comfort Inn Toronto, 15 Charles Street E. Toronto M4Y(P) 416-733-2929 1S1 (one block south of Bloor on the Yonge subway)(Current rates for a standard two bed room are between Budget hotel within easy walking distance of shopping$243–$266 including applicable tax. Breakfast is not and subway. Current rates are from $144-$189 per nightincluded. Travel time to the convent via subway and for standard room with two double beds. Travel timeconnecting bus is approx. 15-30 minutes.) via subway and bus to convent is approx. 40-50 min- utes.12
  17. 17. Growing Together in Love and Service piece of who I was, an expression of my vocation as a Christian.My first experience of Associates was when I was In 1962 when I joined SSJD,12 years old and a boarder in Grade Eight at the I experienced more of theQu’Appelle Diocesan School in Regina which was run breadth of Sisters’ relation-by the Sisters of St. John the Divine. Sister Francesca ship with the Associates. Thewas the Headmistress and Sister Constance would lat- Toronto Associates came toer on be one of my teachers. the convent in large groupsIt was the teacups which first made me aware of the for retreats and quiet days.Associates. When Associates came to the School, the Prayer requests from Associ-china cups and saucers were brought out. I thought ates across the country werethat the Associates came just to have tea with the Sis- added to ours at the Eucharistters. Many years have passed since teacups introduced and in the pages of our Fridayme to the Associates and my understanding of the intercession book. At that time, there was one Wardenlink between Associates and the Sisterhood has been for all the Associates, and she visited Associates acrossgrowing ever since. the country and led their retreats. I remember Sr. Rose- mary Anne’s frequent travels, and her leadership ofI discovered that the Associates had a very important retreats and missions.role in the life of the Community as well as the school.Over the summer holidays when the school was al- Some things have changed. The title of Wardenmost empty, some of the Regina Associates helped the changed to Director. Probationer Associates are calledSisters to clean and tidy the classrooms and dormito- Discerning Associates. The Associates are now dividedries. Together they did the mending and made cur- into four areas: Eastern, Central, Prairie and Overseas,tains and bed-spreads for the rooms. Their help and and Western. When I became Director of Central As-encouragement meant the world to the Sisters. sociates in 1994, I eagerly embraced the traditions — I felt that I was on holy ground. I was admitted as I have been with the Associates in Western and East- an Associate in ern Canada, as well as with the Central Associates. I’ve 1957 while I was been given many friendships. In my visits, I have seen studying at the more of the landscape of Canada and experienced the University of To- love which people have both for SSJD and for their ronto. Whenever own areas. Great rivers, oceans, forests, mountains I visited the con- and prairies shape our spirituality as well as our way vent, I was given of life. My sense of what it means to be an Associate a little white veil now far exceeds teacups. with a blue edgewhich showed to other guests that I was an Associate. In 1995, the ‘Associate Assembly’ brought more thanBut one didn’t talk about it much to anyone else. The 100 Associates from across Canada to a lively week-relationship between the Sisters and their Associates end at the convent. We recalled the story of the found-was private. In fact, spirituality was thought to be a ing of SSJD. It was a desire of a few people to foundprivate matter. But you could talk about prayer with a religious community for women in the Anglicanthe Warden of Associates who was then Sister Lois, Church in Canada which led to the founding of SSJDand after her, Sister Francesca. in 1884. Among this group were the men and women who became the first Associates. We think of GeorginaThen I made some dear friends who were Associates: Broughall as the first of those First. We think of herMary Rendell, Helen Milton, and Joan Trowles. Mary together with Hannah Grier Coome because the Asso-encouraged me to take a short term of service in an ciates and Sisters were ‘in the womb’ together.Anglican school in India. Helen, a New Testamentscholar, opened my mind and heart to the Bible. And Our present reality is smaller numbers and the ma-on my return from India, I found that Joan had prayed jority of us Sisters are older. In our prayer to thefor me over the four years I had been away. Holy Spirit, we say: “Grant to our beloved Commu- nity a new and continuing Pentecost.” We want theMost of the time I was an Associate ‘at a distance’, far Associates alongside us in the longing for a freshfrom the convent. Letters from the Warden were im- start, a new beginning which will make the religiousportant to me and were read and re-read. The card life visible and desirable to today’s God-seekers.with the Associate prayers travelled with me. Althoughmy prayers were often an imperfect offering, I had a Sister Beryl, SSJDsense of their importance. Being an Associate was a 13
  18. 18. ASSOCIATE MILESTONES Special Anniversaries continued: 64 years: Archdeacon William WrightAdmissions since September 2007: 65 years: Rt. Rev. David SomervilleNewfoundland: Mary Kirby and Mary Pike of 67 years: Pamela ChristieSt. John’s; Emeline Coffin of Conception Bay. 70 years: Olwyn Crozier-SmithNova Scotia: Helen Ryding of Halifax; Cheryl Ra- 71 years: Constance Haguefuse of Whites Lake; Lorraine Street of Wolfeville.Quebec: Eileen Steele of Montreal; Hel-en Foster of Dorval; Mary Pickup of LaSalle.Ontario: Susanne Prue of Toronto [reinstated]; The Rev.Heather Stacey of Collingwood; Daryl Banke of Ottawa;Connie Phillipson of Lisle; Ruth Tate of St. Catharines;Enid Bourner and Esther Lucas of Pickering; CarolBrunton, Karen Hamra and Joan Tate of Toronto; Nan-cy Johnston of Thornhill; C.K. Liu of Unionville; JamesGillies of Bond Head; Dawn Oosterhoff of Toronto;Ruth Binks of Huntsville; Lynne van der Hiel of Mc-Kellar; Beatrice Orchard of Kitchener; Patricia Walker Admission of Associates on January 5, 2008 - L to R: C.K. Liu, Enidof Toronto; Crystal Joy Yoanidis of Clarendon Station. Bourner, Esther Lucas, Joan Tate, Carol Brunton, Karen HamraBritish Columbia: The Rev. Chris Parsons, Sue Pat- and Nancy Johnston.terson and Sylvia Sinclair of Victoria; Betty Rutherfordof Kelowna. Deaths since August 1, 2007:Special Anniversaries in 2008: Aug 16 Jean Spencer, London, ON (Nov 30/85)25 years: Rt. Rev. Dennis Drainville, Hilda Slade, Sep 6 Margaret Beach, Halifax, NS (June 12/69)Barbara Dyson, Joan Taylor, Shirley Park, Diana Oct 18 Doreen Gurney, Nepean, ON (Feb 2 /63)Coultish, Rev. Raymond Porth, Mary Hazell, Rev. Philip Oct 22 Rev. Canon John Paterson-Smyth, Toronto,Rowswell, Rev. Venice Guntley McKenzie, Doreen ON (Mar. 23, 1960);Church, Deirdre Laidlaw, Patricia Bloomfield, HeatherLuccock, Anne MacKenzie Ilene Odell, Costa Mesa, CA (Feb 25/67)30 years: Linda Beadle, Rev. Dawn Gilby, Jane Oct 28 Audrey Gorton, Elliott Lake (Sept 12 /99)Cameron, Ruby West, Lloy McFadden, Rev. Carleton Nov 7 Pauline MacDonald, Mid. Sackville, NSHayden, Shirley Tapley, Anne Pulfrey, Rev. Dale (Feb. 2/72)Huston, Alice Miller, Mavis Teasdale Dec 2 Nancy de Candole, Qualicum Beach, BC35 years: Irene Rainsford, Linda Osmond, Annette (Mar 7/59)Simmons, Rosa Gabay, Christine Watt, Anne Tanner,Rev. Richard Anions & Winifred Anions, Rev. Thomas Jan 7 Rita Franklin, Pointe Claire, QC (Aug 12/61)Little, Patricia Goodman Jan 20 Ruth Hawkins, Thunder Bay (May 13/78)40 years: Sallyanne Etherington Jan 23 Ralph O’Brien, Leamington, ON (Sept 8/86)45 years: Joan Lamb, Marion Stalter, Elspeth Newton, Feb 7 Mary Smith, Hamilton, ON (May 25/63)Rev. Kenneth Jaggs, Barbara Hicks, Karol Hill, Jean Mar 9 Sanchia Seward, SaltSpring, BC (Sept 20/78)Cook, Lillian Looker, Phyllis Anderson, Rev. Canon Apr 15 Jean Willan, Sydney, BC (Mar 30/98)Bernard P. Barrett, Mary Walker May 24 Rev. John Pilling, Calgary, AB (Feb 5/70)50 years: Rev. Dr. Donald Anderson, Rev. WilliamLinley, Rev. Canon Cameron Cairns, Rev. Elsie May 30 Agnes McComb, Kamloops, BC (Jan 15/72)Stephenson, Rev. William Goddard, Rt. Rev. Barry Fraser Jun 1 Susan LeSauvage, Digby, NS (May 9/85)55 years: Margaret Reid, Mary Scovil, Rev. Arnold Jun 19 Rev. Kathy Hoodikoff, Victoria, BCRuskell, Rev. Sidney Horne, Nora Partridge, Rev. (Dec 14/03)Reginald Alcock, Bernice Pilling Jun 25 Shirley Langford, Thedford, ON (Jan 9/83)60 years: Muriel Newton-White, Rev. Douglas Candy, Jul 7 Margaret Low, Brockville, ON (Sep 14/67)Margaret Wackett61 years: Ada Potter Aug 27 Edith Page, Orillia, ON (Sep 8/96)62 years: Joan Trowles, Dorothea Howell63 years: Muriel Browne, Rev. Russell Elliott, MurielLongstaff14
  19. 19. The Sisters of St. John the Divine, August 29, 2008Photo by Michael Hudson Back Row: Srs. Patricia Marion (Novice), Wilma, Elizabeth Ann (Reverend Mother), Amy (First Professed), Jocelyn (St. John’s House, BC), Constance Joanna and Sarah Jean. Second Row: Srs. Louise (St. John’s House, BC), Peta-Ann, Merle, Margaret Mary, Joyce, Dorothy, Margaret Ruth, Doreen (Head of House —St. John’s House, BC ), Jessica (St. John’s House, BC), Beryl, Helen Claire, Patricia, Jean, Elizabeth, Anne, Brenda and Sue. Front Row: Srs. Thelma-Anne, Anitra, Helena, Constance, Philippa (who died September 1st) and Madeleine Mary The First Sunday Concert of our New Season: Back Page: In this special issue of the Eagle we The Three Cantors are featuring some of the needle in Concert with Angus Sinclair work done by our Sisters. Here are Sunday October 26, 2008 four examples of our Sisters’ work: Top Left: the orphrey from our Lenten 7:00 p.m. Refreshments; 7:30 p.m. Concert chasuble by Sr. Joanna; at St. John’s Convent, Toronto Top Right: St. Michael, possibly the work of Tickets $20. Reservations encouraged. Mother Hannah, from the hood of a cope; Call 416-226-2201 ext 305 Bottom Left: the Resurrection Lamb by or e-mail the Sr. Joanna; Bottom Right: a pattern of lilies on a bourse.
  20. 20. The Houses of the Sisterhood www.ssjd.caSt. John’s Convent, 233 Cummer Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2E8(416) 226-2201 | Fax: (416) 226-2131 | E-mail: convent@ssjd.caSt. John’s House, B.C., 3937 St. Peters Road, Victoria, BC V8P 2J9 (250) 920-7787 | Fax: (250) 920-7709 | E-mail: