Western Companions Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Seventy sisters and companions from Tacoma, Portland, Spokane, and Klamath Falls gathered at St. Ann’s Convent in Tacoma on June 18 to celebrate the companions’ 25th anniversary.

Companions and sisters gathered in Tacoma to celebrate the 25 years of mutual blessings with which we have been graced through the companion relationship.

Sr. Bernadette Brazil, who coordinated the hospitality for the celebration at St. Ann’s, and the other sisters and companions at St. Ann’s graciously welcomed each person. Lovely azaleas and the new companions’ prayer card commemorating the 25th anniversary graced the gathering room and dining room tables. The celebration began in chapel which was adorned with an abundance of flowers.

After we prayed grace, we headed out for our picnic lunch.  Everyone enjoyed delicious hamburgers and hot dogs barbequed by Colin Brown, a Portland companion, and Paul St. Clair who is Pat St. Clair’s husband. Both Pat and Paul are Tacoma companions. The Portland companions provided salads and desserts. After a delightful lunch, we had time to visit with one another and enjoy the lovely environment at St. Ann’s.

At 2 P.M. everyone gathered in the chapel for a group picture and a prayer on the theme of journey which was prepared by the Tacoma companions. During the prayer, we had the opportunity to reflect both in small groups and with the whole group on the questions:

  • How has your life been impacted by journeying with the companions?
  • How has being a companion supported your sense of compassion for each other/for the world?
  • What are your hopes for the companions for the next 25 years?

The prayer service concluded with everyone writing prayer intentions and placing them in a bowl on the altar. We all gathered in a circle, prayed the Our Father, and exchanged a greeting of peace before travelling back home, carrying in our hearts an abundance of gratitude for the grace of being companions on the journey with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

Mary Jo Chaves, OSF

The celebration in Tacoma provided opportunities for both companions and sisters to reflect, to share experiences, and to socialize.