Summary produced for the 30th anniversary (1964).
The Great Martyr Catherine Sisterhood was founded in 1934 by a group of Russian Orthodox women with Mrs Catherine Loos at their head. The main goals which the Sisterhood set itself were the care and beautification of the church and the provision of help to needy Russian people (this was the time of the Great Depression). Membership in the Sisterhood increased rapidly and by 1964 it counted 102 sisters.
The activities of the Sisterhood grew with the membership, and now included care for the church vestments and fund raising. Not only did the Sisterhood sew numerous vestments and icon table coverings but they also purchased carpets and candle stands. On every one of the Twelve feasts the festal icon is decorated by the Sisterhood with fresh flowers and they provide the floral arrangement for the “plashchanitsa” on Holy Friday.
The household committee cares for the proper equipment of the main banquet hall, and all projects, such as bazaars, concerts, banquets and Sunday coffee hours are achieved with donations and the labour of the sisters.
During World War II the sisters helped the Canadian Red Cross and helped individuals who found themselves in need. With the arrival in Montreal of new Russian immigrants, requests for such help have grown, and the Sisterhood endeavors to respond to all requests to the extent that their resources permit them to do so. This is especially true around the time of Christmas and Easter. For these Feasts the Sisterhood provides help locally and also sends small sums of money to lonely and needy people in Europe.
Twice a year, on Christmas day and on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, the Sisterhood holds a lunch for all parishioners.
With the arrival in Montreal of Bishop Sylvester the Sisterhood’s work has become even more peaceful and intense.
Members of the Sistehood are strongly resolved that a new parish hall will soon be built with the help of all the parish. The existence of such a hall will help to eliminate many of the technical difficulties that the Sisterhood presently experiences when organizing bazaars and other projects in the existing hall.