Associate Digest November 2011


Our Providence Associates Annual General Meeting was held at Providence Spirituality Centre on September 30, 2011.

Prior to the 6:30 p.m. Call to Order and Welcome, our Associates and Sisters posed for a group photo taken on the PSC staircase.

Our evening began with a beautiful prayer, “A Time of Happy Transition” (adapted from a Joyce Rupp poem) and prepared by the Catalpa Group. What a wonderful way to invite the Inquirers to Candidacy! Sister Gayle Desarmia, council Liaison, welcomed Doris Lomboy and gave her a small token to mark this important occasion. Barbara Baker accepted the token on behalf of Jane Hayes, who was unable to attend.

Barbara Baker introduced our facilitator Brenda Peddigrew, Sister of Mercy, who gave a presentation on Communal Discernment. We should be listening, understanding (seeking), remembering (dreaming) and then acting (make a choice). This was a wonderful presentation and many of us will be seeking out the DVD “Of Gods and Men” to further our knowledge of communal discernment.

On Saturday morning the AGEM began with the inspirational Mantra, “Open to You” by Joyce Rupp and a prayer prepared by the Rainbow Group. Sister Brenda Peddigrew worked with all present and helped us to understand that we would “grow into” our Mission Statement. The Associate Mission Statement was unanimously accepted by everyone present. Sister Brenda gave us instructions on the “World Café” and we shared ideas on how we could bring this challenging Mission Statement to life when we return to our groups.

The Chapel of Mary Mother of Compassion was a beautiful setting for the Commitment Ceremony of Sheila LaRush as she made her commitment as a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. The ceremony was celebrated within the Liturgy of the Hours. Sheila was surrounded by family, friends, Associates and Sisters. Sheila said she felt accepted, inspired and united by the charism of the Sisters of Providence. She can now live out this charism of compassionate service, trusting in Providence and walking in Hope.

Photo: Joe Demedeiros
Sheila LaRush makes her Commitment as a Providence Associate.

Photo: Joe Demedeiros
Participants at the AGEM. left to right: Elizabeth Cowperthwaite, Barbara Baker, Dianne Dutcher and Sr. Judith Lee


NACAR Workshop on the Ins and Outs of Associate Formation

Sister Catherine Cannon, Associates Barbara Baker and Cathy Bryan attended the NACAR Professional Development Workshop for Associate Directors held June 10-12, 2011, in the Providence Spirituality Centre, Kingston, Ontario. Facilitators were Carol Gariano and Mary Jo Mersmann.

NACAR workshop participants.

Topics included: Inquiry and Application Process, Interviewing, Ritual of Welcome and Commitment, Formation and Initial Integration, Discernment, and Withdrawal and Termination. This excellent workshop was well worth the time.

Feb. 14, 2011— A mid-winter bake sale for Peruvian Missions was organized by Providence Associates with assistance of the C.W.L. and St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary and staff. Sr. Bernadine Bokenfohr and Debbie Muise spoke to these groups about mission and its needs.

The amount raised was $5480.00. Funds were used to build the emergency evacuation stairs needed at the school.

April 1, 2011— Sister Rose Marie Bokenfohr missionary Sister from Peru, spoke to the Associates about the Mission and thanked them for their donation. Part of the bake sale funds were given to Sr. Rose Marie who operates a health clinic for the sick and those needing assistance with medications.

June 6, 2011— Sister Patricia Amyot facilitated a Retreat for the Associates with a focus on Joyce Rupp’s book “Cup of Life”. The various forms of prayer used by Sr. Pat during the prayer periods were much appreciated.

Associate Pat Niehaus provided hospitality in her beautiful Camrose home. A delicious lunch was enjoyed by all.

The day left everyone spiritually renewed and uplifted by the spirit of the group.

Back row left – right: Audrey Heck, Miriam Hanoski, Connie Prost, Sr. Bernadine Bokenfohr
Front row left – right: Kathy Liebel, Sr. Rose Marie Bokenfohr, Debbie Muise, Bernice Schlunt-Macfarlane