group pictureWe were happy to host the Women of Providence in Collaboration V/F/L Gathering at Providence Renewal Centre in Edmonton March 30 – April 3, 2016.  We were 25 participants, from various parts of Canada and the United States.  The theme of our gathering was: “Living Providence in an Intercultural Community and World”.

The Prayer Rituals were very well prepared and connected to our theme.  Sister Elizabeth Kaczmarczyk’s Opening Prayer set the theme by incorporating a prayerful ritual using different coloured sand, as the name of each foundress/founder was named.  At the conclusion of the ritual, we had a beautiful multicoloured clear vase, which remained in the centre of beauty throughout our days together, as a reminder of our “intercultural” reality.DSCN1737

 DSCN1589Sister Karin Dufault, SP, was our presenter for these days.  Sister Karin’s first presentation was on “Providence weaving the threads of our intercultural Community and the Challenges of being Intercultural”.  Sister Karin interspersed personal reflection, weaving activities, and table sharing. This was followed by a panel of three responders.

Sister Karin’s 2nd presentation was on “Our intercultural and multicultural world”, which took it one step further.  Both presentations, as well as the panelists, were videotaped.

 That same evening, we watched the movie “A Hundred Foot Journey” which addresses assumptions we make regarding different cultures, and how that can be changed.  It certainly offered us much food for thought, reflection, and discussion.

 Sister Theresa Falkenstein, CDP prepared a beautiful closing ritual “The Blessing of Our Time Together”. As part of the ritual each participant received a small bag of the “multicultural sand” as a reminder of our theme and time together.  I quote from her closing prayer:  “God of Providence, bless us as we leave this space to go out as your transforming witnesses… Open us to new ways of being Women of Providence which are inclusive, welcoming and accepting of those who seek to join us.  Together, help us to weave communities of unity and love.” 

Germaine Chalifoux, SPDSCN1741