Change is a constant part of life, and as time seems to move at an ever greater clip, changes also appear to come faster for the Ursulines of Prelate, Canada. Sr. Dorothy Bertsch turned 101 in April, and Sr. Helen Hoffart will do so in November.
We are all slowing down with age, but life continues to be busy.
Community days in April involved the whole congregation in serious discussions and input about justice for the earth (Laudato Si’) and about refugees, including developments in the city of Saskatoon. What can we still do with our diminishing capabilities? Prayer is always an option, as is advocacy—speaking out against the injustices done to all of creation.
“Contemplatives in Action: Journeying with Angela Merici, Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis,” was the theme of a five-day retreat in June for thirty sisters at St. Angela Merici Residence. Sr. Michelle L’Allier, a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota, gave the retreat, weaving together the words of these three figures regarding justice for people and creation.
June was also the time to celebrate as nine new associates were accepted—men and women who had expressed their desire to commit themselves in a special way to living St. Angela’s charism in their daily lives. We have over a hundred associates, many of whom are very active locally and globally in the field of justice.
We recently sold a large institutional-type house to a local hospital. It will be renovated and expanded into a hospice. The Sisters are all waiting for this to come to fruition as the need for palliative care is great. Everyone deserves to die with dignity and hopefully a hospice will facilitate that.
Some of the Sisters who had lived in that house have moved into a seniors’ residence which was built with the help of a number of religious communities of both women and men. There, laity, sisters and priests live in their own small apartments with meals in common and many activities offered daily. The Ursulines may be aging, but they are not rusting!
Felicitas Drobig, OSU