The series contains photographs, biographical material pertaining to her election to General Council, her MA in Sacred Theology from Regis College in 1983, her Doctor of Ministry degree from Toronto School of Theology in 1990, her employment at Regis College as Director of the MA in Ministry and Spirituality Program, various news-clippings, a hand painted Feast Day album, a hand painted card from the Precious Blood Sisters in 1979, and various Jubilee memorabilia. The series also contains different versions of Sister Cathleen’s curriculum vitae, a report by her about a pilgrimage she made to Europe and the Holy Land, and a paper written about Sister Cathleen by her grandson, Brandon Graham, in 2017.
Much of this series is made up of reports to the General Chapter from various Sisters in 1979. There is extensive material on the topic of catechetics, religious education and the future for Sisters in parish ministry. In a letter to the Secretary of State, Vatican Apostolic College, Mother Mary Brendan reported on the success of literacy programs provided to Portuguese immigrants in London. A report from the Archdiocese in Edmonton describes the need for a five-year National Religion Program consisting of teams of Sisters providing instruction in Catholic schools, and the involvement of lay people to provide instruction to adults.
A report on the activities of the St. Joseph’s School of Music 1975-1979 discusses the renovation of the Recital Hall, instruction in piano, singing, violin and music theory for 390 students annually, participation in the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and the Western Conservatory, a scholarship fund, professional development for the Sisters and the hosting of and participation in local music festivals. A report by one Sister in April, 1979 expresses uncertainty as to the future of the music school.
In early 1979, Mother Mary Brendan wrote to Sisters across the country seeking their views in response to the promulgation of Vatican II, the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World. One Sister wrote with concern for the socio-economic interests of the Third World and rising tensions within the Christian communities about how to respond. In another report, Sister St. Patrick Joyce outlined what were novel recommendations for the treatment of alcohol addiction and the concept of detoxification centres. Sisters committed to the continuation of work of the Boulee Street mission which served the needs of a low income neighborhood in London and support for those in jail. In another report, a Sister wrote on the topic of evangelization and Christian renewal in a climate of diversity, pluralism and the attraction to Eastern spiritual disciplines. In another report, one Sister called for an increased commitment to youth and adults through solid religious instruction and the teaching of prayer. There is also a survey, report, and recommendations prepared for the Most Reverend J.N. MacNeil by the Ad Hoc Committee for Pastoral Assistants in the Archdiocese of Edmonton, February 1979 outlining the scope of work and hiring of pastoral assistants to aid priests in their work.
On the topic of the higher incidence of divorce and the Marriage Tribunal, Sisters recommended that more women study, teach and write about the Canon law conventions and procedures in jurisprudence. There are several reports outlining emergent changes within the healthcare system related to governance, administration, funding, personnel, medico-moral issues, medical treatments, and technology. Sisters confirm there was a common need for continued pastoral care at the hospitals in London, Sarnia, and Windsor. It was observed that there were increasing needs for retreats for Sisters and lay volunteers offered by the Medaille House in London and for societal formation, or a reorientation to religious life.
This series contains sixteen speeches written by Mother Mary Brendan and a paper she wrote for the Synod on the role of religious women in the community through teaching, hospital care, administration, and social work. Certificates of her educational achievements and professional memberships dating from 1947 to 2001 are included along with a certificate she received with a medal from Queen Elizabeth.