Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) joyfully celebrated 165 years of grace and gratitude at Ruth Ross Residence Oct. 17-20 among associates, family members, staff and friends.
“May these four days of festival release within and among us a renewed sense of God’s providence, surprise and ever-unfolding presence over 165 years,” said Sister Mary Beth McCurdy as the Festival of Thanksgiving began in Carmel Chapel.
“Let us welcome to this sacred circle the spirit of all those who have preceded us,” added the SCIC congregational leader. “Let us live fully for the sake of the gospel ever-unfolding into the future.”
SCIC were founded Oct. 21, 1854 in Saint John by Honoria Conway and three companions at the invitation of Bishop Thomas Louis Connolly, OFM Cap. Amid many challenges, they responded to urgent needs of Irish immigrants and orphans.
SCIC are active members of the Sisters of Charity Federation. One highlight of the recent celebration was a panel presentation which included representatives of the five Federation congregations based in Canada’s eastern Maritime provinces. In addition to SCIC, these include Sisters of Charity of Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish, Nova Scotia; Sisters of St. Martha of Prince Edward Island and Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur based in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Panelists were asked to address key moments of both grace and challenge in the history of their religious communities. They also highlighted their experience of the June 2019 Federation Assembly of the Whole in Chicago, Ill. Before responding to questions, panelists expressed hopes and dreams for future collaboration among the Canadian-based Federation congregations.