Antigonish, September 21, 2020 – The Sisters of St. Martha unveil plans for Bethany Centennial Garden, the site on which Bethany, their Motherhouse stood for almost 100 years. This date, September 21, marks the anniversary of the Congregation moving from their original Motherhouse on the Campus of St. Francis Xavier University to Bethany in 1921.
“We Sisters of St. Martha believe Bethany Centennial Garden is a fitting name to commemorate this sacred place and significant date, as the planned official opening on September 21, 2021 will be 100 years, to the day, that we moved to this beautiful property which we still call home” said Sr. Brendalee Boisvert, Congregation Leader. “In the spirit of Gospel Hospitality, the dream for Bethany Centennial Garden came about from a desire to continue to share with the larger community of Antigonish Town and County, and beyond, this place of beauty which we are blessed to call home.”
The garden will include a heritage walk that will highlight significant moments in the Congregation’s history through a series of story panels. “Our Martha value of Collaboration is integral to our evolving story that we look forward to telling in a creative and contemplative way”, said Sr. Boisvert, adding that “recognition that the Bethany property is part of the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq Nation will be given.”
A focal point of Bethany Centennial Garden will be the Steeple that once stood atop of the Bethany Chapel, and will once again be a sign of the Marthas’ desire to bring a contemplative and compassionate heart to our fractured world. Incorporating pieces of the Motherhouse foundation, places for sitting, accessible walking paths, a reflecting pool, and other features, it is the desire that Bethany Centennial Garden will be a place of peace where we seek to deepen communion among ourselves and those we encounter.
Construction will be ongoing through to the summer of 2021. Until its completion, people who regularly walk the Bethany Property are asked to continue to pay attention to all signage. It is the desire of the Sisters of St. Martha that everyone stays safe. For the period of 2 weeks, beginning on September 21st, only authorized vehicles are allowed on the property. Parking is limited to our staff only. Walkers are still welcome but need to park elsewhere. We apologize for the inconvenience!
On the picture: Sr Brendalee Boisvert, CSM, Congregation Leader, unveiling the new sign of the project.