Bridge Group 2023 Assembly

By Sisters Mary Beth Moore

Bridge: a noun and a verb.  The group so named in the congregation reflects that reality. We are the Sisters who entered from 1965 to 1992, when the last woman to remain in the congregation began initial formation. Participation is optional. About twenty-eight sisters have joined ad hoc meetings since we began in 2019.  The Congregational Leadership Team at that time thought it would be good to gather this unique cohort with the goal of creating a space where we could get to know each other better.  At that first brief gathering, we dubbed ourself, “The Bridge Group,” desiring to be a bridge to the future as our congregation aged.

We met as a whole once again on the afternoon of June 1st, taking advantage of the free afternoon before the start of Assembly. We have gotten to know each other better over the years. This time, the planning committee, Sisters Mary Beth Moore, Jolaine States and Mary Sweeney asked participants to prepare a “genogram” or family tree to share with each other. The planning committee hoped that exploring our family history would deepen gratitude for those who came before us. Sharing this detailed personal history would also lead to a greater appreciation of one another. Part of the small group exploration also included a reflection on foremothers in the congregation—Sisters whose witness has strengthened and inspired us over the years.

The hope that the meeting would draw us closer was fully realized. The question for the plenary session was,

We have each constructed our own genogram …  Our ancestors—both familial and religious–have informed us of their powerful contributions to the society of their day and time, as well as to our present cultural, ethnic and religious identities.  In this way, these ancestors have helped prepare us for our own time.  

We constitute a unique cohort of  Sisters of Charity – Halifax. As we face our present–a time of reckoning–what resources do we bring and/or need to meet the challenges now and into the future? 

In responding to the question, ably presented by facilitator Sister Elizabeth Bickar, we focused squarely on the present. We expressed gratitude for the support we have received. We were amazed at our own diversity simply noting the wide variety of ethnic backgrounds that we come from. And we were able to see more clearly the diversity of our congregational backgrounds as well. From 1965, when the last group of American and Canadian Sisters did their formation together, through the brief experience of a double novitiate in Wellesley and Canada, and then on to a plethora of formation locations in Halifax, Ontario, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, we saw how the ground was shifting under our feet, even when we first embraced out vowed commitment to the Sisters of Charity.

We of the Bridge group, ranging in age from early sixties to late seventies; conscious that several of our members struggle with serious health challenges; aware that we have an important role to play in this moment of completion; affirming that our membership in the congregation is deeply cherished–join with the whole in committing ourselves to “give joyful witness to love to our last breath.”

More Charity Alive – June 2023

Assembly 2023

In this issue of Charity Alive, we have asked some of our writers to recapture the Assembly experience from their perspectives.

Bridge Group 2023 Assembly

We met as a whole once again on the afternoon of June 1st, taking advantage of the free afternoon before the start of Assembly 2023.

Associate Assembly Meeting 2023

The best way to describe our Associate gathering on June 2nd is to celebrate it as our first Hybrid Associate Gathering: “Zoom and In-person”.

From the Archives — Immaculata Hospital

The Sisters founded Immaculata Hospital in rural Westlock, Alberta at the beginning of what would be a time of expansion in the community under Mother Mary Louise Meahan.

More Charity Alive – March 2023

Women Working Together

As you read the articles in this month’s Charity Alive we hope that these will just be the beginning  of sharing your own experiences of this gift of love revealed in community.


When looked at from a global perspective, remedies seem daunting. Yet, when focused on individual choices, small things do make a difference.  Sustainability calls each of us to think globally but act very locally.

From the Archives — Sisters helping Sisters

In sharing the history of the congregation, the ministries in education, orphanages, and social services are often highlighted. In this article, I wanted to share ministries within the congregation – Sisters helping Sisters.  

More Charity Alive – December 2022

Bringing light into darkness

The soft darkness of winter night helps us to recall our communal gatherings, our contemplative prayer, our care for each other.

Renewal of Vows and Commitment

On December 7, 2022, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception we joined together (via zoom) as members and associates in a prayer service to renew our vows and  commitment.

Christmas Cards

As the Christmas season approaches, we are filled with gratitude for the many benefactors who have joined us in giving Joyful Witness through gifts in 2022.

Charity Alive – November 2022

Ebony Etchings

I invite each of you to join me in my exploration of my home space, my heart space, my God space where I live my truth as an African Nova Scotian woman and a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul, Halifax.

Associate Retreat May 2022

A sense of peace and serenity welcomed fellow Long Island/Queens Associates Betty Erdos, Helen Ogden, Mickey Madden, Ann Masters and me when we arrived at the tranquil and cozy house on the eastern bay for the weekend of May 20–22, 2022.

Issues of Charity Alive

2023-06-14T16:32:21+00:00By |Comments Off on Bridge Group 2023 Assembly
Go to Top