Celebrating 125 years of FCJ presence in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
September 8th, 2013
One of our main focuses this year was preparation for the celebration of 125 years of FCJ presence in Edmonton Alberta. The preparation was extensive ... setting the date, the place, the time, advertising, invitations, banner, music, presider, ushers, guests, involving the School Board and Mother Margaret Mary fcJ High School, planning the displays, interviews with the Catholic press, etc.
Finally the day arrived. Bonnie Moser fcJ, our Provincial, was here. We were delighted that so many FCJs from Calgary had come.
There were last minute nerves ... would our friends be lost in the large nave of the Basilica? Then we welcomed so many ... other Sisters in the city, School Board members, clergy, family, former FCJs, past pupils, parish members, St. Joseph College personnel, friends from near and far until the Basilica appeared reasonably full!
Sister Bonnie welcomed everyone and gave the historical setting for the occasion (click here to read welcome address), then a trumpet fanfare began the liturgy. Unexpectedly the Archbishop had arrived ... straight from the airport! He, along with Bishop Emeritus McNeil, Auxiliary Bishop Bittman and about a dozen clergy concelebrated. The entrance procession was led by the beautiful banner that Ita Connery fcJ had designed and made and the entrance hymn was 'Companions on the Journey'
Pat Halpin fcJ and Marilyn Matz fcJ were the readers. Elizabeth Poilièvre fcJ and Pat Desnoyers fcJ led the Prayers of the Faithful that Margaret Benoit fcJ had prepared. The Offertory Procession was led by Laura Krefting CiM who carried a picture of Marie Madeleine; Mary Shea fcJ presented our Constitutions and Jan Dunnigan, a former teacher, brought the book, Journeying Through a Century. Margaret Mary fcJ and Donna Marie Perry fcJ offered the bread and wine.
The Archbishop had done his research and gave an inspiring homily linking our name with the invitation of Bishop Grandin OMI to come to Canada outlining the difficulties to be endured, and the Sunday readings.
After Mass, Sister Yvonne invited all to the hall below for refreshments.
Downstairs there were many heartfelt greetings and meetings and much gratitude was expressed for each one's presence.
The caterers provided a very
enjoyable lunch. Archbishop Smith made his way from table to table chatting with the guests.
The displays were well attended, the commemorative pens disappeared, and the powerpoint presentation (prepared by Doug Krefting CiM played on a large screen as people enjoyed each other’s company.
All in all, it was a wonderful celebration; we are more than pleased.
For your interest:
Edmonton Catholic Schools: Celebrating 125 years of Catholic Education (Do have a look at the video; you will see Pat Halpin fcJ and Yvonne McKinnon fcJ and learn that Margaret Mary Hickey fcJ was the first woman to receive a Master of Education degree from the University of Alberta)