Steadfast Charity

Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Halifax 1972–2002

by Mary Sweeney SC, Martha Westwater SC, Elaine Nolan SC & Julia Heslin SC



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/16/2019

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 290
ISBN : 9781480870482
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 290
ISBN : 9781480870505
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 290
ISBN : 9781480870499

About the Book

Steadfast Charity covers the history of the Sisters of Charity of Halifax during the years 1972—2002 as the congregation met the challenges of Vatican II and created new models for living vowed religious life. New ways of praying, of being community, of giving service, of understanding the vows—all required trust, openness, risk and a willingness to let go of security. As the congregation responded to the call to renewal, little did the sisters realize how much would change.

In this book, Sisters of Charity Mary Sweeney, Martha Westwater, Elaine Nolan and Julia Heslin explore these times by examining the life and practices of the sisters and by contextualizing decisions that were made by the governing bodies during those years. They tell the story of an organization and its evolution as a part of the “Church in the Modern World.” The authors offer an inside view of a congregation which, in navigating its transformation through a time of upheaval in the Church and in the world, remained faithful to its purpose, as stated in its Constitutions: “to give joyful witness to love.”

About the Author

Mary Sweeney is a Sister of Charity who lives in Massachusetts. She has served as a teacher and administrator in Catholic schools in Boston. Following theological studies, she entered the field of campus ministry, serving at universities in New England. Mary has written and presented on topics of spirituality and ministry and has contributed to the overall editing of this book.

Martha Westwater, SC is a lifelong educator. She is the author of three books related to English literature and most recently her memoir, More than Enough: Seeing Change as Blessing (Archway, 2017).

Elaine Nolan, SC is a retired educator and artist, who after years of teaching in the US and Canada continues to share her love for art, poetry and a deep appreciation of nature with sisters in the local retirement residence.

Julia Heslin is a Sister of Charity who resides in Brooklyn, New York. After many years of ministry in education at every level, she served at St. John’s University as Executive Director of Special and Opportunity Programs, where she assisted students with academic potential who wished to go on for further studies. She completed her full-time ministry there and continues to minister part-time as a consultant for grants and scholarships.

Dr. Heidi MacDonald is a historian of twentieth-century Canada with specializations in Atlantic Canada, the Great Depression, women religious, and youth. Her current project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is on Women Religious in Atlantic Canada since 1960. Heidi graciously agreed to write the introduction to this book.