Photos by Associate Candidate Joan Murray
BY ELIZABETH COWPERTHWAITE
On May 28th and 29th the Associates held their Spring Retreat. On Friday evening at a beautiful and meaningful Commitment Ceremony, Regina Lannon made her Commitment as a Providence Associate.
On Saturday a lovely, pink blossoming plant stood in front of the podium in the Providence Spirituality Centre. This plant has grown from the tiny seeds the Associates planted at their Spring Retreat with Sister Irene Wilson a year earlier. During the year, many of us experienced the spiritual growth that the plant symbolized.
Sister Sarah Quackenbush, a Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, was our dynamic facilitator for the day. A handout she provided quoted Sister Muriel Gallagher at the first Commitment Ceremony in 1987 speaking to the new Associates:
“You have been nurtured in the Providence Garden …now your various colours and characters harmonize with the plants that have been in that garden for years.”
Sister Sarah used a colourful expanding circle to symbolically demonstrate how the mission goes out to the broader community—the home, the parish, the workplace and the earth.
One retreatant wrote, “We had been underway only a few minutes when I sensed an atmosphere of peace, a deep sincerity among those present and a genuine interest in what we were about to do.”
Many commented in their evaluations that they were looking forward to our October gathering when we will continue this journey with Sister Sarah.