Written by Madonna House staff, Restoration is an essential part of our witness to the Gospel. Here we share our personal stories and reflections on the Gospel challenges of today, along with writings from Catherine Doherty and the Catholic Church.
by Christina Milan.
My earliest memories of St. Joe’s are of the toy box and being bounced on the knee of Marie Therese McLaughlin. That toy box held endless wonders for me while the adults chatted. And the bouncing knee, well, that was just plain fun. My siblings and I would stand in line for our turn of "Here’s the bumpy road. Here’s the smooth, smooth highway. Here’s the pothole!"
by Toni Austin.
In the fall of l961, I was assigned to work at old St. Joe’s to help with the preparations for Christmas. I was a young working guest from Toronto, twenty years old.
by Trudi Cortens, first director of St. Joseph’s House.
"Nothing is alien to the apostolate except sin," Catherine often told us, and that left her, and us, wide open to take on just about any kind of work to further our goal of "restoring the world to Christ."
Here are just a few of the works we undertook in response to the needs of the people of the area.
by Catherine Doherty.
Catherine liked to reminisce about her early years in Combermere. Here is one of her favorite stories—and one of ours, too.
The day had been hard. The bed was so wonderful. Sleep was instantaneous and deep. So was the dream deep. Deep but far away. Endlessly someone was calling me. Faintly. Faintly and not so faintly. Someone was shaking me.
by Lorna Tonack.
My memories of St. Joe’s stretch back to the spring of 1980, when my husband Carl and I moved to Combermere from Edmonton, Alberta, with our two young daughters. We were a young family hoping to buy land and pursue our homesteading dream, as well as find a community to grow in.
by Melanie Murphy.
There is movement in the quiet village of Combermere. Cars line Highway 517 on both sides as far as the eye can see. Clusters of people and vehicles are also gathered on the southeast corner where the road meets Highway 62. Everyone seems headed to an old gray-shingled house with blue trim or the brown house behind it.
January, March, May, July, September; the seasons change, the tourists come and go, yet once a week on Thursdays and Saturdays, from 2 – 4 p.m., this scene remains more or less the same. What is the attraction? What’s the draw?
During Eastertide, the Mass readings from the Acts of the Apostles give us a glimpse of the early Christians. Here’s another glimpse.
After a cold winter, we are glad to welcome spring with its warmer days and to be drawing near to Holy Week and Easter.
by Beth Ryan.
I arise and search for my beloved (cf. Song of Songs 3:2)
I have seen Him in the faces of the teenagers in a parish youth group, who came to our house to see our way of living as a witness to Christ. They were remarkably open and interested, asking how we obtain our food, clothing, make-up. I saw Him in their hunger for God.
New Local Directors and Transfers: Steve Héroux & Janet Bourdet, co-directors, Marian Centre Edmonton.
Deaths: Associate Fr. Duncan MacDonnell; Genevieve Enoe’s mother, Sheila
by Paulette Curran.
As I was looking over the events of the past month in preparation for writing this column, I was struck once again by the simplicity of our Madonna House life.