Associate Digest June 2009


Celebrating Spring
A Time to Grow in the Spirit

Associates and Sisters attended the Associate Spring Retreat in the Providence Spirituality Centre on May 29 and 30. Sister Irene Wilson was the Retreat Leader. The Retreat was book-ended by two lively Social Hours which gave us all the opportunity to become re-acquainted.

The theme of the Retreat was Spring and Renewal. Periods of relaxing silence were interspersed with times of deep sharing.

Using art, music, poetry and drama Sister Irene created an atmosphere in which the participants could grow in the Spirit. The décor of the room was described by one participant as “beautifully symbolic and inviting.” Sister Irene’s opening prayer asked the question:

“Tell me, Wise Awakener
Why is it easier to believe in a stem of new grass,
Or the opening bud of a fresh purple crocus,
Than it is to believe in the greening of me?

Prayers to Sophia by Joyce Rupp

Inquirer Sheila LaRush plants a seed during the Associate Spring Retreat held in late May.

As participants planted seeds in a pot of earth, they reflected on the wisdom or insight the seed held for them. This planting experience encouraged us to move closer to the Divine Gardener and to tend our spiritual gardens. We asked ourselves: What is flourishing in our garden? What kinds of weeds are growing? What must we do to foster new life? One participant described the seed planting as a time of grace, and “a slow and profound allowing of lots of memories and reflections to surface.”

During times of silence, we were free to go outside and rejoice in the beauty of Creation and the colours of spring. We are all grateful to Sr. Irene Wilson for offering us a time of healing, renewal and celebration. By the end of the Retreat, The Wise Awakener had restored our belief not just in the believing of new grass and opening buds, but more importantly in the greening of ourselves.

Sister of Providence Irene Wilson, retreat facilitator.

Camrose Associate Receives Sisters of Providence Award

Covenant Health St. Mary’s Camrose has announced that Associate Dr. S.A.(Suna) Smith will be this year’s recipient of the Sisters of Providence Award. This award honors an individual who continues the ministry of the Sisters of Providence in Catholic Health Care. Dr. Suna Smith has exemplified the ideals and spirit of the Sisters during her 30 year career at St. Mary’’s Hospital. Dr. Smith is especially recognized for designing and establishing the Psychiatric program at St. Mary’s Hospital 20 years ago. She has continued to champion for the needs of those living with mental illness. We congratulate her on receiving this award and for the contribution she has made.

photo courtesy: Camrose Booster
Sr. Bernadine Bokenfohr and Gordon Self, VP mission, ethics and spirituality for Covenant Health, present Dr. Suna Smith, with the St. Mary’s Sisters of Providence Award.

Brockville Associate Retires

Debra Wade is retiring after 33 years in health care in Brockville – 22 years as a Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist, and the past 11 years in the ministry of Spiritual and Religious Care, as the Coordinator for the programs and services for the hospital. She spent her entire career at St. Vincent de Paul hospital, currently called the BGH. We congratulate Debra on her retirement and wish her well as she begins a new chapter of her life.

Coming Events: Associate Picnic July 31, 2009

Summer Greetings from the Associate Office Team! We approach this beautiful and life-giving season with deep gratitude. The promise of Spring, which we celebrated so meaningfully at the Associate Spring Retreat, has been fulfilled, and we now savour the many blessings of summer. Summer nourishes both our bodies and our spirits. We look forward to seeing many of you at our summer picnic. It is always so good to get together with our companions on the journey. Speaking of journeys, many of us have opportunities in the summer to go on vacation. Some plan to travel afar and others who need to stay closer to home plan “stay-cations” or mini-holidays. These may consist of taking a few minutes to go for a walk, a few hours to re-read a cherished book, some additional prayer time or simply just time “to be”. Wherever you go, the Associate Office Team wishes you many blessings on your sacred, summer journeys.

Providence Associate Team: left to right, Carol Groten, Sr. Catherine Cannon, Director and Elizabeth Cowperthwaite

Sr. Dianne McNamara leads a Day of Reflection for the Inquirers and interested Associates.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009