Empowering Dominican Republic
A Report from the
Sisters of Charity-Halifax
Canada United States
Committed to Action
This statement represents a shift toward global systems but direct
service in specific areas will continue to be an important part of
the Sisters’ work. In fact, our Sisters have always tried to tackle
This is a significant time for the Sisters of Charity-Halifax. Reading the “signs of the times” in recent the “big picture” issues along with the immediate needs before
years has brought the Congregation to focus on the just sharing of water and eradication of human them. For instance, we’ve been active as a non-governmental
trafficking, in particular. Looking at the root causes of poverty led to the development of a broader organization (NGO) at the United Nations for more than 10
Congregational Statement, in 2008, which will guide decisions and actions in the coming years. years. And many of our Sisters work with partners to make real
change both in our local areas and in our global community.
In this Report, you’ll see a few examples of that:
Two Sisters in Nova Scotia opened their doors as
a safe house for prostitutes long before the word
“trafficking” was part of our vocabulary.
A Sister in British Columbia is lobbying
government officials to control human trafficking
at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Through seemingly simple actions such as letter-
writing campaigns, a small group of Sisters is
having an impact in eastern Canada.
Our Sisters are at the table for policy any action contributes
discussions at the United Nations. to systemic change:
History has taught us that one person can make a difference.
Especially when that one person adds her passion to if it has a wide-ranging
others’. There’s strength and power in uniting with one social impact on the
voice, to speak out in unison with those who are poor.
life of a poor person
We Sisters of Charity-Halifax if it's sustainable, that is
accept the Gospel challenge if it creates a structure for
to be a prophetic congregation. ongoing, permanent change
We are moved by the pain of the world if the strategies used can be
and by the energy of our charism. replicated to solve similar
We commit ourselves
through prayer and dialogue, study and analysis, if it brings about social
collaboration and action change by transforming
to bring about structural change traditional practice
in the unjust systems that cause poverty in all its forms.
if it develops or implements
We embrace the personal and corporate transformation a pattern-forming idea,
to which this calls us. allowing people to see the
world with new eyes
Change Through Education She also put together a spiritual ecology program
in Quito for more than 80 people, many of whom
were religious educators, leaders of base church
Maritime Federation Project communities and Associates of Franciscan Sisters. It
was clear that they saw care of the environment as a
Four congregations based in eastern Canada,
representing almost 1,000 women religious, have ministry for all conscientious people. The program
collaborated to advocate for the most vulnerable was wildly successful. As the local organizer says,
in society. Their work focuses on housing and “It was a day of awe, respect, joy, love and prayer.”
social assistance, especially for women and
children. Primarily through research, education Sister Paula observes, “The concept of ecospirituality
and letter-writing, the Maritime Federation may have been new, but the almost immediate
Project has already received response and connection that people experienced was evident.
commitment from provincial governments. Seeing the profound interconnectedness of all
that exists reminds us about relationships – with
So far, the committee has highlighted God, with the rest of our 6.5 billion human sisters
the need for increased social assistance and brothers, and with all our other-than-human Accommodation at Cerro Blanco
rates, greater accessibility to heating relatives: the oceans, mountains, deserts, forests,
rebate assistance, and workable poverty and the other living beings which call earth home.
Committee members (l to r): Sisters Helen Danahy (Treasurer);
reduction plans in the provinces of New Franklyn Ferguson, Sisters of Saint Martha, Antigonish, NS (Secretary);
Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They’re also Aurea Cormier, Notre Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur, Moncton, NB (Chair); “Thomas Berry reminds us that there are four major
looking at the need for affordable and and Roma de Robertis, Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate ‘scriptures’ we must read: the cosmic scriptures,
mixed-income housing. Conception, Saint John, NB (Communications). the scriptures of human cultures (their history
and wisdom), the written scriptures of world
Along with the Sisters of Charity-Halifax, the other Sisters of Charity Federation congregations involved are Sisters religions and the scriptures of the human heart.”
of Saint Martha (Antigonish, NS), Les Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (Moncton, NB) and Sisters of
Charity of the Immaculate Conception (Saint John, NB). While doing a bit of post-program sightseeing,
Sisters Maureen and Paula were shown a school in
a poor barrio of Duran named after Saint Elizabeth
Ecospirituality Ann Seton. It was founded 20 years ago by a married
couple who built the school with their own resources
Through the Congregation’s Global Connections program, and the generosity of others. A Cincinnati Sister
Sister Maureen Wild spent a month in Ecuador earlier this year. In a who had served in Duran for almost 30 years had
country which has recently adopted a new constitution recognizing been a friend to them, so the name of the Charity
the rights of nature, it seems appropriate that she was invited congregations’ founder was an appropriate name for the
there to guide programs on the Earth Charter and ecospirituality. school, which now serves more than 500 students. The Cosmic Walk at Cerro Blanco
Accompanying her as translator was colleague and environmental
educator Sister Paula Gonzalez, a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati.
Making the Change Sustainable
Sister Maureen was invited by Pro Bosque Fondación (Pro
Over the past five years, Sisters of Charity-Halifax have contributed more than $500,000
Forest Foundation) of Guayaquil, to guide programs about
to support water projects in the Dominican Republic and Peru. Partnering with local
the New Cosmology and the Earth Charter. The setting
organizations has meant safe drinking water and sanitation for hundreds of people.
was Cerro Blanco, Pro Bosque’s ecology centre and the site
of over 14,000 acres of protected tropical forest. True to its
The long-term success of these projects, though, depends on much more than installation
principles, accommodation provided at Pro Bosque was an
of pipes and storage tanks, toilets and taps. An education and empowerment component is
eco-cabin of bamboo with a thatched roof and a solar panel
equally important. As well as providing much of the labor, the families who benefit from the
for electricity. None of the committed staff and volunteers
project learn about water storage and conservation, health and hygiene. Then they dig the
who participated in the workshop had ever heard of the Earth
Sister Maureen Wild trenches for pipes. And only then, their hard work is rewarded with a new water storage tank
Charter, though they work by many of its principles every day.
on their roof. Local committees are responsible for ongoing maintenance of the systems.
An important part of Sister Marcella’s ministry
“I have learned that people is participation in monthly meetings with other
Change Through Collaboration
companions for theological reflection. She’s a group
all over the world, no matter facilitator and says these meetings are a way “to
keep rooted in our faith and God’s love for us and
where they come from, all peoples. It keeps us focused on why we’re doing
Collaboration is at the heart of Becoming Neighbours,
a ministry reaching out to newcomers to Canada
Sister Marcella has accompanied families from
Ghana, Afghanistan and northern China. The have the same basic needs” what we’re doing with the newly arrived in Canada.”
through companionship and prayer. Ghanaian woman calls Sister Marcella her There is also an opportunity to share difficulties
“Canadian Mom”; others call her “friend”. She Sister Marcella responds: “Sometimes I wonder and lessons learned. “One of the things that
offers a listening ear, encouragement to the parents who’s helping whom. I have learned that we’ve become deeply aware of is the great need
and their children, and practical guidance. people all over the world, no matter where they to change our immigration laws. We need
come from, have the same basic needs. to make them more humane,” she says.
Through a donation from the Congregation, Sister “Sometimes, for instance, we have to move
Marcella has also provided these families with food “They want to be protected, they want to be in and act as advocates when somebody is
respected, they want to be able to contribute threatened with deportation for no reason.”
to their newly chosen country. The pain and
frustration lived by the newly arrived gradually Sister Marcella sees the parallel between the
lead to increased trust, confidence and hope.” Becoming Neighbours ministry and the Sisters
of Charity Congregational Statement. “When
“And for me, the global experience was right in my we talk about our commitment statement, we
backyard. I connected with China, with Afghanistan can’t live out that commitment if we don’t do
and with Ghana, and I didn’t have to go anywhere.” the collaborative piece. That’s the glue.”
Erandy says it all with her sign.
In 2003, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Toronto, ON,
invited other women and men religious to join them
in exploring the unmet needs in the Greater Toronto
Area. Nineteen congregations came together, and
Becoming Neighbours was established in 2006.
“With a collaborative ministry you’re not alone and
you don’t get overwhelmed,” says Sister Marcella
Ryan, who has accompanied three families for three vouchers, transit tickets and telephone calling cards.
years. “With the collaborative aspect, you have Keeping connected to their families at home is a great
people around you, you have people you can call.” help in combating the loneliness of a new country
The program, directed by Father Peter McKenna, SCJ, that many immigrants and refugees experience.
offers newcomers accompaniment on three levels:
When asked what she’s learned from accompanying Sister Marcella Ryan (centre) was among the 150 people from 23 countries gathered in a Toronto park, in late September.
companions, who are involved in direct service;
Sponsored by the Becoming Neighbours program, the celebration featured music, dancing, face painting and food prepared
telephone call partners; and prayer partners. the families – who are now all Canadian citizens – by a local Afghan Women’s Group.
Connecting with the world Creating Change at Rikers Island
Systemic change takes time, and it takes
collaboration. In her 12-year ministry at the
‘We’re getting “I feel the presence of the Sisters
United Nations, Sister Marie Elena Dio has forged all these of Charity here so strongly”
many connections with other congregations letters on pink
and non-governmental organizations to
help bring about that kind of change.
stationery stamp and sent her on her way. She said, ‘I would
from nuns. have felt you didn’t care about me personally’. These
Initially she represented the Sisters of Charity How do women are so used to this kind of response.”
Federation as a non-governmental representative they know
(NGO) to the Department of Public Information And this response is exactly what Sister Eileen
of the UN. Later, the role became that of an
about this?’ is hoping to change. She wants these women to
NGO representative to the Economic and Social It was on know that they are valued and respected. She
Council, a progression which meant that she global debt. Sister Eileen Schulenburg wants them to know how unconditional God’s
could make verbal and written interventions. Sister Marie Elena Dio
love really is. She also knows that it’s a cold world
As a chaplain at the women’s prison on Rikers Island, for many of these women when they leave jail.
Sister Caroljean Willie, a Sister of Charity ‘We’re getting all these letters on pink stationery NY, Sister Eileen Schulenburg is making a substantial
of Cincinnati, is the current representative from nuns. How do they know about this?’ It was on Without proactive measures like mental health
difference in the lives of incarcerated women. programs and proper discharge planning, it’s easy
for the Federation, but Sister Marie Elena global debt.”
keeps connected in a volunteer capacity. She for people to slip back into the old routines that
contributes to UN orientation sessions offered Sister Marie Elena worked closely with representatives Rikers Island is a tough place. There are about 16,000 landed many of them at Rikers in the first place.
through the Partnership for Global Justice. from other NGOs. They shared in lobbying efforts inmates who are either awaiting or serving sentences
and gave panels and workshops at - and about - the for a variety of convictions in the State of New York. Sister Eileen is not alone. Each of the 10 jails
When she started in 1997, “it was an opportunity UN. They also shared information and perspectives. About 1,300 of them are women. Allegations and at Rikers has a Jewish, Muslim, Protestant
to be more involved in global social justice and She goes on to say: “Others have insights, particularly convictions are related to drugs, domestic violence, and Catholic chaplain. She also works with
it was an opportunity to work with our Sisters people from the poorer countries, that we don’t have.” child abuse, murder... but Sister Eileen doesn’t affiliated departments and outside agencies
toward that,” says Sister Marie Elena, who see the crime, she sees the reasons that led to the to advocate on the women’s behalf.
focused particularly on the issue of international Over time, Sister Marie Elena witnessed a change in crime. She believes that incarceration is often the
debt and finances. “Something happened after how non-governmental input was received. “Initially, result of victimization. False allegations may be
I got the position that I didn’t expect, and that when it came time for the non-governmental But it’s when Sister Eileen walks through the
placed on women coming from human trafficking, gauntlet of women waiting for social services or
was an appreciation for the Federation itself. I organization to speak, a lot of the government
representatives would just leave the room,” she says. immigration and deportation situations, for instance. down the long hallways that you see the immediate
developed a real love and understanding and
knowledge of all the different congregations.” “But over the years we've seen things happen. Now results. Smiles spread across the women’s faces
our statements get into government papers, some “When I look into the women’s faces, I experience as she passes by. Some ask her for prayers, some
Sister Marie Elena identified the need for of our statements get into the final documents. God in so many ways,” she says. “I am humbled simply say hello. A book in her office gives inmates
each of the Federation’s 13 congregations to Some of our committees now give one of the by their openness, by the pain of their lives and by a chance to ask for prayers from retired Sisters. The
have a liaison with her, who would provide opening statements at the government meetings. their courage.” She has learned that when these requests are simple and handwritten. Some ask for
insights and assist with communication. That That was just not so when I first went there.” women ask for something—whether it be a stamp, prayers for their children at home, some ask for
included distribution of monthly action envelope, phone call home, or rosary beads— relief, some ask for hope of a better tomorrow.
alerts, a practice that continues today. Looking ahead, Sister Marie Elena hopes that that recognition of their dignity and attention
Sisters will raise awareness and motivate people to who they are is what they want the most. “I feel the presence of the Sisters of Charity here so
“Every month we would pick something that beyond the congregations to become involved.
was relevant at the time and we would ask all strongly,” she says. Sister Eileen is consoled knowing
For instance, Sister Eileen says, “one day a woman that she can advocate, pray and just be present for
of our Sisters to participate in letter-writing “I really believe it's the world movement of
campaigns,” Sister Marie Elena says. “We got citizens which is going on right now that came for a stamp. I invited her to sit down and asked these women. “The spirit of Saints Elizabeth Ann
a lot of answers back. One time, for example, will bring about changes,” she says. “It’s not who she was. She looked startled but then shared Seton and Vincent de Paul energizes me,” she says.
the director of the International Monetary going to be the governments, it’s going to her story through her tears. At the end of our time, “God’s action, movement and voice are stirring
Fund said to another NGO representative, be the world movement of citizens.” I asked how she would have felt if I just gave her the at Rikers Island with such profound power.”
Space for Change The need for Covenant House is greater than ever.
“I’m a Vancouverite and it’s very sad for me to say our
streets are becoming extremely violent with gangs, not
“Everyone is being
A Safe House
only related to drugs but also to sexual exploitation,” encouraged to be agents
Sister Nancy says.
of change in their own
Twenty years ago, long before "human trafficking"
was part of our vocabulary, two Sisters opened
And it’s very likely that problems will increase with
the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver.
communities, to stop
their home as refuge for women working the
streets in Halifax, NS. It was a simple decision
“At a meeting yesterday, we were saying that the streets
seem to be getting more violent as the Olympics
that made a huge impact on the lives of the women approach. The city is trying to clean up the streets;
who came their way over the next few years. the police are coming down harder on the homeless, based local organization that works with women who
so the violence goes underground,” she says. have been trafficked and provides public education.
Stepping Stone, a local agency, was looking REED’s current campaign, called Buying Sex Is Not
for a safe house for former sex workers. Sisters Sexual trafficking is a real concern. “There’s a a Sport, is a grassroots initiative for education - using
Pauline and Nora Deal (two of three in the group in the city pushing for the legalization everything from public forums to T-shirts and DVDs.
family who became Sisters of Charity-Halifax) of prostitution, pushing for a brothel to be
provided temporary accommodation, until the “We need to make more people aware that the demand
women could be moved to another location. for paid sex fuels the market for women and children
They also offered an environment of respect that to be trafficked,” Sister Nancy says. “Everyone is
many of these women hadn't known before. being encouraged to be agents of change in their
Sister Nancy Brown
own communities, to stop sexual trafficking.”
"When the women arrived, they usually had
their belongings in green garbage bags," a friend Another group working toward change is the
her in a car and on the sidewalk, threatening,
recalls hearing from Sisters Pauline and Nora. One is Too Many Summit. Sister Nancy says her
telling her what she ought to do and not do. It
"When it came time to get them to the airport, decision to become involved with the One is Too
got to the point where we had to relocate her to
we couldn't see them leaving like that. Many Many Summit was directly related to the Sisters of
another safe home away from Vancouver.”
suitcases went on their way! They were always Charity’s Congregational Statement, which speaks
amazed that we all ate together... they never to bringing about “structural change in the unjust
Sister Nancy could relate many stories of the
expected to be treated as part of the family." systems that cause poverty in all its forms”.
homeless young people who come to Covenant
House Vancouver, where she works on the senior
When the location became too well known and It’s a theme which connects all of her work, whether
management team. Her roles includes pastoral
had to be given up in 1991, Stepping Stone staff it’s leading workshops on trafficking for parents, or
counseling, overseeing and working with case
were disappointed. "The Sisters there offered speaking to various groups, participating in postcard
management, and acting as an ombudsperson.
a warm, nurturing environment that gave the campaigns to governments, or speaking one-on-
Sister Nancy says most of those living at Covenant
women who stayed there the space they needed." one with young people at Covenant House.
House are escaping situations of family abuse, drugs,
sex trafficking, or gangs. After a period of respite,
A Voice for the Voiceless each meets with case workers to develop a plan - or “I stay at Covenant House because I think if we
covenant - for going forward and making changes. can change the lives of younger people, there’s a
A young woman living in poverty in the greater chance of change in our society,” she says.
Toronto area is sold into prostitution by her opened just before the Olympics,” Sister Nancy “We need to speak out to governments, to raise
“This is why I like the work we do here at Covenant
mother. Somehow, she escapes and lands in says. “We all know the demand will increase. public awareness, and I believe it is happening.”
House, because it’s all about change,” Sister Nancy
Vancouver, BC, where she receives sanctuary at It’s documented that at any world sports event,
says. “It’s developing ways we can help young people
Covenant House. In time, she feels comfortable trafficking and prostitution increase.” Sister Nancy has no illusions that effecting structural
live more productive and healthy lives. So we might
enough to leave the house on a safety plan. change is a quick and easy undertaking. She
get them back into school or a drug treatment
Sister Nancy is collaborating with others to ensure acknowledges that it’s a very slow process, and one
program; we might get them a job; or we might
“A gang member assaulted her but she escaped,” that the reality of human trafficking is put in which can be disheartening. “But,” she says, “we as
actually send them back home if that home is a
Sister Nancy Brown says. “While walking down the spotlight. She’s a board member of REED Sisters of Charity need to be a voice for the voiceless,
safe environment and that’s what they want.”
the street, another gang member followed (Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity), a faith- we need to challenge the injustices around us.”
Small Change, Big Results:
Sister Cecilia connected
with Oikocredit British
Organizations currently benefiting from the Congregation’s
Columbia after her local Alternative Investments Fund:
Alternative Investments KAIROS group (an
ecumenical initiative BCA Holdings Limited
Located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the
focused on social justice)
invited the organization organization is run by volunteers and
Microfinancing, or microcredit, systems, strengthen the bonds focuses on raising funds for local business
are terms relatively new to of caring communities, and to speak to churches in
small-to-medium enterprises development. Hundreds of jobs have been
many people, as a concept in support all persons in the full Richmond. Sister Cecilia
in the developing world. created with funds raised.
community development and realization of their humanity,” then shared information
in assisting entrepreneurs. But Sister Cecilia explains. about Oikocredit at a
Sister Cecilia says, “In the co- Boston Community Loan Fund
the Sisters of Charity-Halifax meeting of the Vancouver
operative culture of Oikocredit, With a mission of building healthy
have been practicing microcredit She goes on to say: “This Sisters Association, communities where low-income people
people’s initiatives and
for many years. Through its requires the localization and and the group decided live and work, the Fund invests in
participation are central to
Alternative Investment Fund, distribution of power within all their actions and policies. to invest $2,000 of its businesses that create social and financial
the Congregation has made low a framework of responsible Oikocredit extends credit to savings in shares. The returns. It finances affordable housing,
or no-interest loans totalling an citizenship and international marginalized people – irrespective Archdiocese got involved child care facilities, arts programs,
estimated $300,000 over the cooperation. It is wholly of their faith, culture, age and now more than schools, health clinics, youth programs
past 20 years. Currently, seven within our means, and or gender – and favours the $300,000 has been and other community services.
organizations receive support. consistent with our higher initiatives of women, as they are invested in Oikocredit
consciousness, to create such the backbone of their families from that area. Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative
These groups have put the economies. Countless groups and thus of society as a whole.” Open to registered Canadian charities, the CAIC was formed in the early 1980s by
funds to good use in supporting and individuals throughout “There’s a direct link religious congregations wanting to pool financial resources to promote social justice.
business creation, affordable the Earth Community between our monies and They are particularly interested in investments that promote alternative economic
housing development and are moving to partnership the people who need it,” structures and act as catalysts for structural change.
educational opportunities, to models of prosperity.” Sister Cecilia says. “It’s
name a few examples. “Through change happening at the Institute for Community Economics, Inc.
these small loans we can A notable example is roots, so to speak. So The ICE builds the capacity of community land trusts and other locally controlled
effect change and improve Oikocredit, which describes the people who are poor organizations to develop permanently affordable housing and local small businesses,
lives,” says Sister Joan Butler, itself as “one of the world’s are making the decisions throughout the United States.
Congregational Treasurer. “Those largest sources of private about how the monies
are the most powerful dividends.” funding to the microfinance loaned to them can be Leviticus 25:23
sector.” It also provides used in their own areas.” “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but
It’s a sentiment echoed by Sister credit to trade cooperatives, aliens and tenants.”
Cecilia Hudec in Richmond, fair trade organizations and And these decisions can With a service area covering New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, this
British Columbia. She says we be life-changing. As Sister organization’s mission is to provide flexible capital and financial services for the
all need to relearn economics, development of affordable and supportive housing, and community facilities
Cecilia observes: “To the
from the perspective of including child care centres. They have a specific focus on smaller cities and
extent that Oikocredit
building 'earth community'. suburban neighbourhoods beset with poverty.
has financing, they
help more and more
She refers to some of David C. New Community Corporation
people to gain control This New Jersey organization provides community-based services and programs
Korten’s ideas in his book, The of their lives, coming
Great Turning: From Empire to including housing, early childhood education, transitional housing for the homeless,
to grips with their own job training, education, health care, community arts, youth programs and a host of
Earth Community. “The Earth capacities to make a
Community prosperity story social services for children, families and senior citizens.
living and to support
depends on life-serving economies their communities
that satisfy our basic material Oikocredit gives the poor access Oikocredit
to credit through microfinance and their families.” Oikocredit provides loans to about 500 microfinance institutions which have
needs, maintain a sustainable
balance with Earth’s natural institutions. touched hundreds of thousands of families in 70 countries.
In summer 2008, Advancement sent out a
Advancing the Mission special appeal focusing on the Congregation’s
support of water projects in Peru and the
Dominican Republic. Our friends and
For more than 10 years, our Advancement supporters responded generously, donating
program has moved forward with the help more than $26,000. The Congregation has
and support of family members, colleagues, since dedicated those funds to a project in a
alumnae, former members and friends. community called La Guama in the mountains
Our partnerships - and your donations - enable north of Bani, Dominican Republic. Partnering
us to direct needed funds to Sisters ministering in with Hermandad Inc., the La Guama aqueduct
Canada, United States, Peru, Dominican Republic project will feed water from high in the
and Bermuda, and to support the health care mountains to the community’s 28 homes.
and retirement needs of our elder Sisters.
For more information on the Advancement
In addition to raising funds, our Advancement program program, the Sisters’ support of water projects,
strives to keep our donors connected by providing or to make a donation, visit www.schalifax.ca.
an annual newsletter, special appeals and events.
Our Advancement Associates show their dedication In Celebration of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
to mission in their daily work. Below you will read
in their own words how they see their role in the The past year, 2009, marked the 200th Anniversary of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s
Advancement program and with the Congregation. founding of the Sisters of Charity. It’s also the 10th year for the Elizabeth Ann Seton
Awards, given in celebration of the spirit of the Congregation’s founder alive in our
world today. These awards are given out at events in Boston, New York and Halifax.
My daily activities go from planning events to contributing to our publications, interacting Recipients include Sisters and lay people, and they represent many areas – the arts,
with the Sisters and communicating with our great volunteers. The work is challenging, ever- business, education, healthcare, civic service, social service and pastoral care.
changing and gratifying. Our various events raise much-needed funds, and bring together
Sisters and friends in celebration of the work and mission of the Congregation. I find the
warmth and support for our Sisters’ mission expressed at these events nothing short of inspiring. Through changing times and increasing social
~ Rosemary Previte, Advancement Associate (Massachusetts) concerns, Sisters of Charity seek to respond to
the needs of the poor with compassion and loving
service. The Advancement program supports this
Much of the focus of my work involves sharing the great works of the Sisters with our
in two ways:
many friends and supporters. Overseeing the creation and mailing of our fundraising
appeals allows me to speak with Sisters from across the Congregation, collecting the stories by promoting awareness of our
of their ministries to pass along to our donors. From bringing fresh water to poverty- mission and inviting others to become
stricken communities, to fighting human trafficking, our Sisters fearlessly tackle needs and partners in this endeavour; and
issues that most of us shy away from.
by generating new sources of
~ Carrie Flemming, Advancement Associate (Nova Scotia)
revenue to expand our ministries,
and support the healthcare and
It’s extremely rewarding to be in touch with donors, family members, former students and retirement needs of our Sisters
friends of the Sisters of Charity-Halifax. A lot of people tell me that when they read the
Advancement appeals on the website or see information about events in their area, they’re The Advancement program facilitates
excited to get involved with the Sisters. When they share our excitement about the Sisters’ work, opportunities for those with means and generous
hearts to have a real part in changing the lives Sister Marie Sorenson (back, left ) is Director of Advancement for
we’ve done our jobs. the Congregation. Shown here with Elizabeth Ann Seton Award
~ Lauren Manning, Advancement Associate (New York) of the poor and marginalized of our world. recipient Mary McMahon and her children, Evelina and Edward.
Our Financial Picture Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
The Sisters of Charity-Halifax no longer have a Motherhouse, but they’ve ensured
that elements of the building will continue to serve for many years to come.
Congregational Income Congregational Expenses The huge complex was opened in 1959, designed to accommodate 900
Sisters and Academy students. It hasn't served the Sisters' needs
Retirement & for many years, and was deconstructed through the spring and
Health Care, Support of summer of 2009.
Resident Care/ Congregational Canada
Other Income Medical Subsidies Mission/Ministry
Administration (includes Sisters’
(including 3% Materials will be reused to the extent possible. A few significant
Investments) 12% household admin
expenses) elements were incorporated into the new Caritas Residence, and
more than 12,000 items were sold at public auction, with proceeds
A new church for Saint Benedict Parish, designated to support Sisters' projects locally and internationally. But
26% Halifax, NS, will incorporate stained most of the contents of the huge Motherhouse complex found new
(including glass panels from the Motherhouse homes with other nonprofit organizations.
in support of
Salaries & Stipends Retirement Income Retirement &
(Pensions) Health Care,US
Advancement Income Advancement Disbursements
TOTAL $321,049 TOTAL $321,049
$61,044 $27,290 $99,230
Other Elizabeth Ann Seton Support of Retired Sisters
Donations Award Brunch, NS
$26,604 Elizabeth Ann Seton
Water 8.5% Award Luncheon, MA
8.2% Elizabeth Ann
$28,651 8.9% Luncheon, NY
7.2% 69.1% Dedication of Casavant organ, Saint Agnes Church, Halifax, NS
$23,055 The Casavant organ was donated to Saint Agnes Church, Halifax, where local Sisters were invited to a special
Journey of Love dedication Mass in September. Built by Casavant Frères of Quebec, the organ was originally a gift to the
event, MA Congregation by the Boston family of Sister Marie Agnes White.
Seton Hall $72,002 $221,819
Legacy Golf Outing, NY Support of Ministries Stained glass panels went to a new school and church, and to private collections. Pews went to various churches and
event, NY even a restaurant in Bedford, NS. The green plush auditorium seating found new homes with several theatre groups
in the province. Paintings were donated to various collections including the Musée de Kent in Bouctouche, NB
(home town of artist Sister Agnes Berchmans) and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Furniture and hundreds of other
Financial Data from January 1 to December 31, 2008
pieces were donated to other nonprofit organizations, with some items going as far as Ghana.
If you would like additional copies of this Report,
or further information on the Sisters of Charity-
Halifax, please contact:
Sisters of Charity Centre, 215 Seton Road
Halifax Nova Scotia B3M 0C9 CANADA
If you would like details on how you can help
In the logo of the Sisters of Charity-Halifax, the cross support the mission and ministries of the Sisters of
represents Sisters’ commitment to the work of Christ Charity-Halifax, please contact:
and the church. Its position inside the moving globe
represents our place in today’s world: taking a values- Advancement Office
driven, contemplative stance to reach out as part of a Tel 1-800-247-6509 OR
global community. email firstname.lastname@example.org
Close to 1,000 families in Ilo and Cutervo, Peru; San
Pedro de Macoris and San Jose de Ocoa, Dominican
Sister Marie Sorenson, Director of Advancement
Tel 718-424-1813 email@example.com
Republic; and Fondwa, Haiti, have access to safe wa-
ter for the first time, thanks to the collaboration with
local partners in water projects.
Lauren Manning, Advancement Associate
Tel 718-424-1813 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sisters Dolores Michael Sullivan and Judith Rollo
Sisters of Charity-Halifax, 85-10 61st Road
serve in the House of Prayer, Hamilton, Bermuda
Rego Park NY 11374 USA
Massachusetts Sister Catherine Hanlon is among the 80+ residents at the Sisters of Charity retirement residence in Wellesley Hills, MA
Along with the three Sisters who live in Lima and Ilo,
a group of Vicentinas live the charism of charity in
Rosemary Previte, Advancement Associate
Tel 781-997-1210 email@example.com Top Centre
Bert and John Jacobs, founders of Life is Good, were recognized with the Community Leadership Award at this
their own neighbourhoods. Vicentinas are similar to year’s Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards Luncheon in Boston, MA
Associates in North America and Bermuda. Mailing Address:
Sisters of Charity-Halifax, 125 Oakland Street Top Right
Canada Wellesley Hills MA 02481 USA Sister Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick (swinging) was one of three Sisters who picked up the clubs at the August Golf
Four congregations based in eastern Canada collabo- Outing in New York. This annual event raises funds to support Sisters’ ministries, health care and retirement needs.
rate in advocacy (see pg 2). Nova Scotia
United States .
Carrie Flemming, Advancement Associate
Tel 902-406-8114 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sister Jolaine States (right) recently celebrated her 25th year as a Sister.
Sisters Virginia Blend (pictured) and Barbara Buxton
volunteer with St. John’s Bread and Life mobile soup Mailing Address: Bottom Right
The 248th annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York honored the founding of Sisters of Charity 200 years
kitchen in Brooklyn, NY. Sisters of Charity Centre, 215 Seton Road
ago. Sisters of Charity-Halifax were invited to join in the parade with Sisters, Associates, family and friends from
Halifax NS B3M 0C9 CANADA
At A Glance
Sisters of Charity-Halifax
currently serve in:
Dominican Republic 2
British Columbia 11
Nova Scotia 179
United States 253
New Hampshire 1
New Jersey 2
New York 71
Spiritual Development 2.1%
Social Services 3%
Health Care 4.5%
Congregational Service 6.6%
Pastoral Ministry 6.8%
Ministry of Prayer/Other 68.1%
Statistics as of September 1, 2009