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February 8: Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita
Josephine was born in 1869 in the Darfur region of western Sudan. She lived a carefree, happy life with her family. At nine years of age, she was kidnapped by the region’s slave traders and sold as a slave several times.
In Good Company Training for Friendly Visitors
In Good Company provides a visiting program for individuals seeking emotional, spiritual and social support in the GTA. On Saturday, March 5, 2016, there will be a one-day training session for anyone involved with individuals who are homebound or isolated. 

Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Welcome Syrian Families
In response to the Pope’s Year of Mercy objectives and the Sisters’ ongoing commitment to addressing social and community needs, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto are sponsoring two Syrian families who will make their way to Toronto within the next few months. 

Faith Alliance Meets with Ontario Premier About Human Trafficking
On January 11, 2016, Faith Alliance to End Human Trafficking delivered 4,208 citizen-signed postcard petitions to Premier Kathleen Wynne, calling for a provincial plan to combat human trafficking in Ontario. Four days later, Premier Wynne met with members of Faith Alliance about the need to take action. 

Sister Mary Rose Marrin on Context with Lorna Dueck
On January 17, 2016, Sister Mary Rose Marrin was a guest on TV's Context with Lorna Dueck. In the episode, called Ageless, Sister Mary Rose spoke about how aging is an opportunity for growth and spiritual development. 
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States. In a U.S. presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama called for businesses, national and community organizations, families and all Americans “to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”   
Salt + Light Interviews the Sisters
On December 6, 2015, Salt + Light Television aired an interview with three Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto: Sisters Thérèse Meunier, Mechtilde O’Mara and Mary Rose Marrin. 

Christmas: The New and Unexpected
Christmas is a time of celebrating breakthroughs of the new and unexpected.  Two thousand years ago, the birth of Jesus was such an event. Through his teachings and example, Jesus brought forth a new consciousness, showing us how to live in relationships of peace, love and openness to each other. 
Prayers for Paris: Action and Reflection
“God of Glory, God of Grace, we lament the destruction that our greed, consumerism, and endless pursuit of 'more' have wrought upon your beautiful creation. 
Lighting the Way to Climate Action
Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto joined hundreds of people at Queen’s Park on November 19 in solidarity of a national day of action against climate change. The Lighting the Way to Climate Action march was an inter-generational celebration with people of every age — little ones in strollers up to seniors using walkers. Inspirational speakers motivated the crowd.
Spiritual Thoughts from Sister Andrea Dumont
Sister Andrea Dumont writes for the Spiritual Thoughts column of the Thompson Citizen newspaper. This is her December 4 column.
Spirituality is comforting in the aging process
The Catholic Register, December 5, 2015 - Coming to terms with aging through spiritual discernment is critical to sound decision making in the second half of life, said Sister Mary Rose Marrin.

Sister Dorothy Speaks at CSUNA
On November 26, Sister Dorothy Schweitzer was one of the speakers at the opening ceremony for the twenty-first Catholic Schools United Nations Assembly (CSUNA).

Mustard Seed: A Supportive Environment
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
For Sister Marie Kilcullen, knitting is a soothing challenge. “It takes patience and tenacity,” she says, “while being relaxing and forgiving.” On Mondays at 1 p.m., she and Kristin Strong, Program Coordinator, welcome volunteers and participants into the Nifty Knitters group at Mustard Seed to enjoy conversation, tea, cookies and their individual projects.
 
One participant, Lorraine, had never knitted before attending.
Visiting the Birthplace of the Sisters of St. Joseph
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
As part of an ongoing pilot formation project, the Leadership Team sent some of their lay staff this past October (2015) to a Mission Effectiveness Workshop in Le Puy-en-Velay, France, where the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph was founded in 1650. 
 
Including me, there were 18 lay staff present from Canada, the United States and Brazil with two facilitators and one Portuguese interpreter.
Fontbonne Place: An Unexpected Community
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
Two years ago, Margo stood outside one of the 18 rent-geared-to-income apartments at Fontbonne Place. She expected her new home to consist of a single room. But Margot was astonished to find her apartment held a bedroom, living room and kitchen. 
 
“I thought the layout was so clever,” says Margo, describing how each of these three areas has two entrances.
Village Mosaic: A Creative Community
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
For three years, Andrea Linton has been the Program and Administration Coordinator at Village Mosaic, a gathering place for seniors on Lake Shore West. “It’s a varied and wonderful role,” says Andrea, “in a joyful and creative environment.” 
 
She remembers the first Halloween party she helped plan at Village Mosaic. “I looked outside and seniors were getting off the streetcar in their costumes.” There were cat outfits, matador suits and more.
In Good Company: Roleplaying for Volunteers
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
When volunteers join In Good Company, they attend a training session to prepare for providing friendly visits to isolated individuals in their homes. A key part is watching two staff members roleplay. 
 
Sister Mary Mettler, Ministry Director, plays a visitor and Anne LeFresne, Program Director, plays a client meeting her visitor for the first time.
Faith Connections: A Spiritual Experience
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
When John-Paul Markides joined Faith Connections staff as Interim Program Director, he was impressed by their approach to young adult ministry. “I was amazed to see how Faith Connections helps young adults encounter Christ without imposing that experience,” says John-Paul. 
 
In his role, John-Paul organizes numerous activities and outings. One event was Christ and Culture, held at Ripley’s Aquarium.
Studio on the Hill: The Joy of Children
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
On Wednesday and Friday evenings, the laughter of children fills Studio on the Hill. Pottery classes for students aged 4 to 12 begin with a demonstration from Sister Helen Kluke, Ministry Director and Teacher. Students observe as she shows them how to make miniature hats, shields, neckties or something else from clay.
Fontbonne Ministries: The Gift of Volunteering
From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
On April 26, 2015, over 80 people gathered at St. Paul’s Basilica Parish Hall to attend Fontbonne Ministries’ Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Volunteers, staff and Sisters of St.
Springs of Hope, Fall 2015
In this issue of Fontbonne Ministries' Springs of Hope newsletter, we reflect on the impact of volunteering as well as the ways in which each of the ministries invites participants, staff and volunteers into relationship and community. 

November 22: Celebrating Mother St. John Fontbonne
Jeanne Marie Fontbonne was born in 1759 in the town of Bas-en-Basset, France. Her biography, Woman of Vision Compassion Unity, describes her as a woman of indescribable charm coupled with good sense and leadership. The Sisters of St. Joseph remember her as Mother St. John Fontbonne, the second foundress of their congregation.
Sisters Make a Habit of Community-Building
“We made it!” says Sister Jacqui deVerteuil, celebrating the Scotiabank Charity Challenge fundraiser which she and a team from Regis College completed last week. 
Unveiling a Monument to Sisters in Saskatchewan

On October 1, Sisters Penny McDonald and Mary Doreen Smith joined over 350 people at the Wascana Centre park in Regina, Saskatchewan. In an audience that included more than 180 religious Sisters, they witnessed the unveiling of Called to Serve, a monument commemorating religious women in Saskatchewan.

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