50th Anniversary Celebration in Peru

50th Anniversary Celebration in Peru

BY SISTER SANDRA SHANNON Today is December 10, 2017 and the temperature is 24°C, hot and sunny. How can this be? It is possible as I am in Peru. Today has been a long anticipated day by the Sisters, Associates, people of El Progreso, Carabayllo and yes by Sisters Gayle Desarmia, Joey Doiron and myself, Sister Sandra. We are here to celebrate with everyone the 50th Anniversary of our Sisters coming to this area of Peru. Our Associates took...

Mission in Peru: Reflecting on the First Year

Mission in Peru: Reflecting on the First Year

BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST The Archives has some wonderful descriptions of the Sisters’ first years in Peru. The Annals of the first year of the mission in El Progreso, letters and reflections written by the Sisters at the time provide a glimpse into their lives and ministries. Here are a few excerpts: December 11, 1967 - A walk around the barriada with Father Duncan. A rather depressing experience. Our inability to converse well – very...

Solving a Small Mystery

Solving a Small Mystery

BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST We came across this photograph from St. John’s School, Gananoque in the Archives. It didn’t have a date, or a good explanation of what is going on in the photograph. Based on the clothes and the cars, it might be the 1920s, and the dignitary is clearly a high ranking church official. Let’s look at a few different sources for clues… According to Sr. Mary Faustina in her history of St. John the Evangelist Parish,...

Holy Family Hospital remembers its roots

Holy Family Hospital remembers its roots

Attendees of the November 29th event. Photo courtesy of Holy Family Hospital.BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST In March 2000, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul transferred sponsorship of Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver, BC to Providence Health Care. Even though the Sisters haven’t been involved with the governance of Holy Family Hospital for 18 years, and the last Sister to live in British Columbia returned to Kingston five...

Commemorating 20 Years of Healing Violence

Commemorating 20 Years of Healing Violence

BY SISTER FRANCES O'BRIEN Sister Frances O’Brien, a member of the Healing Violence Committee, recalls the great works of the committee. For the past 20 years, a standing committee established by the Sisters of Providence has been working hard to raise awareness about violence and its underlying causes, and to move to concrete actions to eradicate violence especially against women and children. In the first 10 years, we held major conferences...

Alphonse (Al) Meloche, Providence Associate

Alphonse (Al) Meloche, Providence Associate

BY SISTER IRENE WILSON Al Meloche was born in Windsor, Ontario. As a young man he worked for Broughton’s Religious Goods Store in Toronto. He became a married deacon and was very committed to this ministry in the Catholic Church. Al eventually moved to Kingston where he became involved in Prison Ministry. He initiated many workshops both for the deacons of this diocese and those involved in prison ministry. Al and his wife, Rollande became...

PeaceQuest at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

PeaceQuest at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

From left: Beth Pater, Sister Pauline Lally and Murray Thompson. Photo courtesy of Joe Gunn, Citizens for Public JusticeBY SISTER PAULINE LALLY “It is rare for a Canadian to be presented with the Nobel Peace Prize,” said Joe Gunn, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Justice and friend of the Sisters of Providence. “It is also rare for women to be the recipient of such an honour.” Along with my fellow PeaceQuester Beth Pater, I joined Joe...

Sacred, Secular, Indigenous Women Gather to Steward Seed Inheritance

Sacred, Secular, Indigenous Women Gather to Steward Seed Inheritance

An historic moment is marked by deep connection “It was truly a wonderful experience to hear the energy and heart in each of the people present who have the life of the seed and its future held gently in their heart and hands.” These are the words of Sister Jeannette Filthaut to describe her experience of a gathering to mark the passing along of a valuable and rare inheritance. For 19 growing seasons the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de...

Sister Muriel teaching at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing

Sister Muriel teaching at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing

Sr. Muriel Gallagher teaching anatomy at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing, Montreal.BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST Sr. Muriel taught at Sr. Mary’s School of Nursing from 1955 to 1965. The School was opened in 1925, and the Sisters of Providence ran it from 1943 until it closed in 1972. Stop by the Archives to see our display on the five Nursing Schools run by the Sisters of Providence!

Community Harvest Kingston celebrates farmers markets 150+ years in Ontario

Community Harvest Kingston celebrates farmers markets 150+ years in Ontario

From left: MPP Sophie Kiwala, Sister Gayle Desarmia and Sister Diane Brennen.Sister Diane Brennen spoke at the Community Harvest Kingston’s second Canada 150+ event on August 30, 2017. Sister Gayle and I are pleased to be part of this celebration commemorating Canada’s 150th anniversary, sponsored by Community Harvest Kingston. The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul were founded in 1861, six years before confederation. Right from...

Catherine McKinley’s Letters and Archival Online Outreach

Catherine McKinley’s Letters and Archival Online Outreach

BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST In the Archives of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul the majority of our early records are handwritten and are not always easy to read. Since the 1980s numerous Sisters and archives staff have transcribed many of these records by deciphering the handwriting and typing out copies of these documents. These transcriptions are an invaluable research tool and an amazing resource. The “Our Story”...

Daylight Savings!

Daylight Savings!

BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST Daylight Savings Time (DST) was first instituted in Canada on April 14th 1918, but was canceled at the end of WWI by the federal government. Certain municipalities, including Kingston, continued with DST. The Congregation was unsure about changing the clocks and in certain years it seems as if they only followed the new time during the school year. From the Congregational Annals of the Sisters of Providence of...

A September for Remembering

A September for Remembering

September 24 in Peru: Feast of St. Vincent de Paul in El ProgresoBY SISTER GAYLE DESARMIA 2017 is a special year in the history of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. Fifty years ago they opened their mission in Peru – in El Progreso, Carabayllo. While the official celebration takes place December 10 in Peru, Sisters and Associates began to commemorate the event in September. The Peruvian Associates have dedicated their whole year...

Transformative liturgy

Transformative liturgy

Sister Miriam Martin, PBVMBY ALBERT DUNN, COORDINATOR OF PASTORAL LITURGY & MARIOLA GOZDEK, LITURGY COORDINATOR ARCHDIOCESE OF KINGSTON Fellow beggars and pilgrims on the journey… This was one of many provocative descriptions of the liturgical experience used by Sister Miriam Martin, during an afternoon of reflection and renewal hosted by the Congregational Liturgy Committee.  Approximately 60 Sisters and members of our Sunday assembly...

Fall Gathering: letting go through contemplation

Fall Gathering: letting go through contemplation

Marie Larkin (right) talking with Sister Gayle Desarmia.BY SISTER SHEILA LANGTON Thirty-nine Sisters of Providence assembled at Providence Spirituality Centre for their annual Fall Gathering from 9:00 a.m., September 21 until 5:00 p.m. on September 23. This was an intense but significant experience in the Sisters’ journey as they continue future planning for the community and coming to completion. As the planning processes have unfolded, there...

Providence Associates AGEM

The major event in October was the AGM and the AGEM with Sister Frances O’Brien leading us through a process off Evolving Governance. The sisters are very supportive and encouraging as we begin to look at how we will manage an autonomous life bringing the Charism, Mission and Spirituality into our church and world. This is a topic we will continue to address with Sister Frances over the next year. She will present in April and again at our 2018...

Clementina Torres Rodriguez, Providence Associate

Clementina Torres Rodriguez, Providence Associate

On Wednesday, September 27th, the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, our dearest Associate Clementina Torres Rodriguez left to go to Our Father in heaven.  The Sisters that got to know Clementina, have fond memories of her and the many ways she lived the Associate Mission statement as one of the first Associates in Peru.  She helped welcome many of the Sisters that visited or missioned in El Progreso, Peru. “Clemi” as Sister Josephine Doiron called...

Teaching in Batawa

Teaching in Batawa

Farewell for Sisters in Batawa in June 1975.BY VERONICA STIENBURG, ARCHIVIST Batawa was established as a factory town by the Bata Shoe Company in 1939. Initially the children of Batawa attended public school in nearby Frankford. Father Dostol, s.j., the parish priest, wanted to set up a Catholic school in Batawa and in 1946 he asked for two Sisters of Providence to staff the school. Sister Mary Dorothea, Superior and Sister Mary Constance were...

Betty Haymans, Providence Associate

Betty Haymans, Providence Associate

Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Haymans became an Associate in May 2002 and was a member of the Catalpa Group for many years. Betty was very shy when she joined but over time her voice became stronger as members encouraged and loved her. In 2016, she was transferred to the Covenant group, along with her close friend Cathy Bryan. Having come out of herself, Betty offered much to the Covenant Group.  Before Betty’s health began to erode, Betty and Cathy...

Sister Monica Whalen’s career in helping vulnerable and at-risk students

Sister Monica Whalen’s career in helping vulnerable and at-risk students

Sister Monica helping one of her studentsBY KRISTA JOHNSTON Building student confidence and preserving Catholic education are top priorities for Sister Monica Whalen Sister Monica Whalen has spent her career as an educator helping vulnerable and at-risk youth to reach their highest academic potential.  Since joining the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario 22 years ago, she has spent the majority of her time working directly with...