March 12, 2007

Sister of Mercy of Newfoundland Receives Order of Canada

On February 20, 2007 the Governor General of Canada announced the appointment of Sister Kathrine Bellamy, RSM, to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour. The Order recognizes the outstanding achievement and service of individuals in various fields of human endeavour. Sister Kathrine is receiving the honour for her achievement in the field of music and for her outreach to the poor and needy.

In the field of music, Sister Kathrine’s contribution is noteworthy. In the schools of Newfoundland she served as director of choral music, taught instrumental and vocal music, theory and history of music. In 1965 Our Lady of Mercy Glee Club, under Sister Kathrine’s direction, won the award as the best junior choir (nineteen years and under) in Canada. In 1978 her choir took first place in an international choral competition in Toronto, Ontario, while she received the award for best director. Sister Kathrine co-founded and served as first vice-president of the Music Council of the Newfoundland Teachers’ Association. In acknowledgment of her contribution to the Kiwanis Music Festival Association, she was inducted into its Hall of Honour in 2002. Sister Kathrine had been central to the music ministry of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, having served as music coordinator, choir director and organist for parish functions and parish liturgies for twenty-four years.

In 1980 Sister Kathrine became director of Outreach to the Poor of the Basilica Parish of which one division was the Family Care Centre. In 1994 she initiated an ecumenical endeavour whereby two Roman Catholic and three Anglican parishes united in their efforts to form Emmaus House, an interdenominational Centre serving the poor of the area. She co-founded Voices for Justice in Housing, and the Community Food Sharing Association, serving as its first vice-president on its Board of Directors. Recently, she authored the story of the Sisters of Mercy in Newfoundland, Weavers of the Tapestry.

In acknowledgment of her contributions, Sister Kathrine has received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Papal Honour of the Cross, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sister Kathrine will receive the insignia of the Order of Canada at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa later in the year.

Messages to Kathrine Bellamy rsm

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