Sister Elizabeth Lynch has been a member of the Sisters of St. Ursula of the Chatham Union for 63 years. Growing up in what is now called the district of Cliff Bungalow, she attended Holy Angels Elementary and Junior High School and St. Mary’s Girls’ High School in Calgary. Since her profession and training to be a teacher, she has been missioned to Ridgetown, ON, Rockyford, AB, and Edmonton. She taught elementary grades over a course of 19 years and then moved into pastoral ministry in Stratford, ON, Drumheller, AB and Calgary. In Calgary she also served as a diocesan chaplain in long term care and worked with AHS in Chaplaincy at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
It was 1921 when the first Ursuline Sisters came to the Diocese at the request of Bishop McNally. Two were from the USA, one from Chatham, ON and a postulant was from Toronto. The superior was Sr. Angela Sidley. The order was independent of other Ursuline communities and was officially called Calgary Ursulines, a corporation unto themselves. They established the first English speaking novitiate in Western Canada.
The Sisters taught in St. Anne’s, Holy Angels and Sacred Heart Schools and in later years at St. Charles, St. Paul, Forest Lawn, St. Margaret’s and St. Francis High schools. They also had a music school in Calgary. In 1929, they were asked to send Sisters to Rockyford. There they taught at St. Rita’s and had boarders from the country during the week.
In 1934, the Calgary Ursulines were amalgamated with the Chatham Union of Ursulines. Young women who entered from the West travelled to Chatham for their religious formation. The Sisters in our diocese opened a convent in Drumheller in 1935 to respond to the bishop’s request for social workers in that town. They also taught music and kindergarten. For many years Ursulines gave catechism classes to students of public schools on Saturdays and did the same in various country places during the summers.
Sr. Elizabeth, the last Ursuline of Chatham in our diocese, will be leaving Calgary in mid-November. We thank Sister and all of her congregation who so generously served southern Alberta.
Please join us congratulating our women religious jubilarians of 2017 for their years of devoted service. They have been a joyful witness to all!
Sr. Helen Hengel, SCSL (75th Anniversary)
Sr. Mary Spence, SCSL (75th Anniversary)
Sr. Clemence Liboiron, SCSL (70th Anniversary)
Sr. Marjorie Perkins, FCJ (65th Anniversary)
Sr. Theresa Parker, SSM (60th Anniversary)
and Sr. Patricia Derbyshire, SCSL (50th Anniversary)
The women religious of the Diocese of Calgary are looking forward to participating at One Rock 2017. Please stop by and say hello!
Vocations to the religious life might seem to have been dwindling in recent decades, but we appear to be in a new springtime of interest now. Several young women attended a recent Lenten vocations retreat at St. Joseph’s parish in Calgary, adding to the growing evidence that young people are still drawn to an experience of living the life of Christ in today’s world. Woven throughout the day was the theme of Thirsting for Mercy, and the 10 discerners had a chance to interact with several Sisters from various religious communities within the Diocese.
The day kicked off with Mass, followed by a Scriptural reflection on Isaiah 55. Next was a presentation by Fr. Luan Pho, a Dominican priest, who graciously shared his faith journey: From the poverty of a post-Vietnam War life to that of a ridiculed immigrant in the United States, to finding merciful love and acceptance in a youth group at his local parish. This loving acceptance eventually led him to consider the priesthood, enflaming in him the desire to share God’s love and mercy with others in the way he had experienced them.
Once the discerners had a chance to meet and talk in small groups, the morning continued with a musical interlude. Songs and hymns that focused on the theme of God’s infinite mercy were played and sung, such as There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy, and a beautiful recording of Cece Winans’ Mercy Said “No.”
For the second half of the day’s proceedings, the retreatants listened to and shared their thoughts on the story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, and how Jesus’ merciful approach transformed her life.
After viewing What is a Vocation? by Fr. Mike Schmitz, the participants assembled in groups of two or three to engage in eight-minute sessions with each of the religious communities in attendance. They had an opportunity to learn about the charisms of the communities along with personal stories of the Sisters. Present for the retreat were Sisters of Providence, Dominicans, Seeds of the Word, Faithful Companions of Jesus, Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, and the Society in the Image of the Triune God.
The day concluded with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, along with an opportunity for receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. Feedback from the participants was both positive and encouraging, giving the Vocations Planning Committee responsible for the event valuable information for future vocations events.
Young women considering a vocation to religious life are encouraged to contact Sr. Lucille Field, S.I.T.G., at (403) 461-1094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/AveMariaDiscernmentHouse.
Additional events will also be announced on the Calgary Vocations Retreat Facebook page, found at facebook.com/calgaryvocationsretreat.
Vocation means a “call”. Everybody is called by God to know, love and serve him. The difference is how each one does it. You want to put God first in your life and find out what His plan is for you but you don’t know where to begin.
Discernment is necessary.
The Ave Maria House of Discernment is dedicated by the Diocese of Calgary to help women discern their vocational call. Ave Maria House offers time in prayer, silence, learning, listening, sharing, and community. These elements are essential to hear God’s voice and respond.
At the Ave Maria House time is planned so God may have a chance to answer your questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? How is God calling me to use my gifts and talents to serve Him and others?
Look at Christ’s love and see what stirs in your heart. When you stop and think about his sacrifice, are there times you want to follow him, to be totally his and give yourself to him without reserve and to put everything you have into bringing him to others?
The true key to discerning is listening to Christ and telling him that you trust him totally and simply want to do whatever he asks of you.
Setting up a simple spiritual plan based on self-knowledge to remove any obstacles to God’s grace will help in the discernment process. The Ave Maria House of Discernment is designed to help you to hear and respond to Christ’s call.
Come and join us:
- Mass every Tuesday at Ave Maria House at 6:30pm
Scriptural presentation or Adoration will follow Mass.
- Open House every Friday from 5:30-8:30pm
Join us and share in conversations, prayers, community, presentations, recreational activities, food and refreshments.
For more information & events, please download our brochure here.
For inquiries or more information, please contact:
Sr. Lucille Field, SITG, Director,
Ave Maria House of Discernment
3011 29th St. SW, Calgary, AB T3E 2K9
Vist us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AveMariaDiscernmentHouse
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