Toronto, Canada| 416-226-2201|convent@ssjd.ca

Posted on: March 5th, 2020

Dear Associate, Oblates and friends of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine,

At a meeting on February 26, 2020, Bishop Logan McMenamie informed Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas that, due to budget constraints, the diocese would have to radically reduce its financial support to the Sisterhood of St John the Divine going forward. At that meeting, Sr. Elizabeth acknowledged that the Sisterhood is finding it increasingly difficult to provide appropriate staffing for St John’s House. Considering these circumstances, the Sisterhood of St John the Divine had a special chapter to consider the situation and regretfully made the decision to close the branch house in the Diocese of British Columbia in June, 2020.

The Diocese of British Columbia and the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine have enjoyed a truly blessed relationship for the past 18 years and we are saddened to see it come to an end. However, the Sisterhood will seek ways to visit the diocese regularly to offer retreats, quiet days, and workshops. The Sisterhood also hopes that other dioceses will invite the sisters to visit from time to time. We look forward, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, to continuing to strengthen our bonds of affection in new ways for years to come.

There will be an opportunity to say farewell to the sisters at St. John’s House in the early part of June. More information to follow. 

BACKGROUND

In November 2002, at the invitation of the Diocese of British Columbia the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine came to the diocese to be a praying presence in its midst. Living temporarily at Queenswood with the Sisters of St. Anne, in May 2003 the sisters opened a branch house, St John’s House, in Victoria, B.C. This invitation from the diocese included financial support to cover the costs associated with the branch house (i.e. room and board), and it has remained part of the diocesan budget since 2003.

Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas,

Reverend Mother