Saturday, December 10, 2016
   
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Portraits of Faith Book Launch

On November 15, Faith Connections launched its first book, Portraits of Faith, a collection of essays from young adult Catholics. At the launch party, guests and authors mingled and enjoyed refreshments together. Please click here to see photos of the event.

Paint Nite with Sister Virginia Varley
What a lovely evening I had with some Catholic women studying at Ryerson University. I had been invited by Susan Goncz, the newly hired Catholic chaplain, to lead an evening of painting. 

CSJ Associates Annual Retreat 2016

On September 16, 2016, the CSJ Associates assembled at the Queen of Apostles Retreat Centre in Mississauga for their annual retreat. This was a time for reflection, prayer and reunion with fellow Associates. Thirty-five people were in attendance. The theme for the weekend this year was Laudato Si', Welcome to the Garden.

October is Significant for the Sisters of St. Joseph
In October, the Sisters commemorate two key dates: the day the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph was born in France and the date on which the first Sisters arrived in Toronto. These periods in the Sisters' history were rendered in two beautiful paintings by the late Sister Geraldine Thompson, CSJ.

A Legacy of Caring: Health Care Institutions Founded by the Sisters
This online presentation highlights the Sisters' role in health care. Between 1857 and 1925, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto set up six health care institutions across Canada. Click here to view historical photos and information illustrating how the Sisters have always responded to serve the sick, poor and vulnerable.

Mother Teresa Remembering Mother Teresa

In light of Pope Francis proclaiming Mother Teresa a saint on September 4, Sister Gwen Smith was featured on CTV News.  Here, you will find links to the two TV interviews as well as a previously published story Sister Gwen wrote regarding her own experiences with Mother Teresa.

Sister Enid Selke: A Lifelong Teacher
As early as age 13, Sister Enid Selke knew she wanted to be a Sister of St. Joseph of Toronto. But, even before that time, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. When she was 4 years old, her favourite game was playing school with her four sisters and her brother using the chalkboard in their home.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto Commends Province on its Human Trafficking Strategy
Press Release, July 5, 2016 — Faith Alliance to End Human Trafficking (Faith Alliance) is pleased to learn that the Province of Ontario will invest up to $72 million in a human trafficking strategy aimed at increasing awareness and coordination, reforming justice-sector initiatives and improving access to services. 
A Journey Through the Doors of Mercy
Faith Connections, the young adult ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, hosted a Hike and Prayer event entitled “A Journey through the Doors of Mercy” on April 26, 2016. Thirty participants had the opportunity to reflect on the wisdom of our Holy Father. Together we prayed, discussed, and entered into the mercy of God.
GIFT Box in Sarnia

Faith Alliance to End Human Trafficking, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, in collaboration with the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada, the Ursuline Sisters in Chatham, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, the Sarnia-Lambton Committee Against the Trafficking of Women and Children and the Sexual Assault Survivor Centre Sarnia-Lambton brought GIFT Box to Sarnia, Ontario from June 3 to June 7, 2016.

June 8: World Oceans Day
"Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet" is this year's theme for World Oceans Day. June 8 is a United Nations recognized day of celebration and action for the oceans. I was happy to hear of two initiatives in particular to protect the oceans from pollution by plastic.

GIFT Box in Sarnia, ON: June 3 - 7

Faith Alliance to End Human Trafficking (Faith Alliance) is working with Sisters of St. Joseph, London Neighbourhood and Ursuline Sisters of Chatham to bring GIFT Box to Sarnia.

Springs of Hope Newsletter
Fontbonne Ministries is pleased to present the Spring 2016 issue of Springs of Hope. We trust you will enjoy this fresh look as well as our reflections on the diverse ways that the six ministries live the call to mercy. Please click here to see it. 
Reflection on International Day for Biodiversity
May 22 marks “International Day for Biodiversity.” What is biodiversity and why is it important? The term refers to the diversity and variety and interconnectedness of the biological world.
CSJ Associates Renew Commitments
The sun shone brightly on the annual Associates Commitment Day on April 16, 2016. Gathered were 58 Associates renewing their promises and approximately 22 Sisters who received and supported our commitments for the following year. 

Reflection on World Communications Day, May 8

As World Communications Day approaches, it provides an opportunity to reflect on my (rather new) role as Communications Director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

Fontbonne Ministries: Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon
On April 24, over 80 people attended Fontbonne Ministries' annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Volunteers, staff and Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto assembled at the Famous People Players dining hall and theatre to enjoy socializing, an afternoon meal and a variety of musical performances from puppets and their puppeteers.

Reflection for Earth Day, April 22

For several years I was involved in ministry as a hospital chaplain. My role during this time was to be a listening, compassionate presence, to offer support, comfort and spiritual guidance when appropriate to the patients and their families who were struggling with issues of loss, grief and hopelessness. 

April 17: Feast Day of St. Kateri

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656 – April 17, 1680), was known as “Lily of the Mohawks.” April 17 marks her Feast Day as a patron saint of ecology.

Sisters of St. Joseph Honoured at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Event
On Thursday, April 7, a number of Sisters attended a special tribute at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in west Toronto. That evening, the hospital unveiled a legacy wall and video documentary. The wall has three sections: Past, Present and Future. 
Greening Sacred Spaces - Sacred Connections Through Water

In mid-March, CSJ Associates held their annual “Assembly Day” — a workshop to increase awareness of current social issues and apply what is learned in daily life, into our families and into the different communities to which we belong.

Easter Reflection: A Portal into Love
This week, I was surprised to see that the tulip shoots are already greening in my garden. As I stood in awe of the mystery of new life unfolding before me, I contemplated the gift of wonder that I believe is at the heart of Easter. 

Reflection on St. Joseph, March 19
For the Feast of St. Joseph, Sister Dorothy Schweitzer shares this reflection on how St. Joseph trusted his faith in God when learning Mary would give birth to the Saviour.

Feeding the Hungry in the Year of Mercy
From the teachings of Jesus, we derived the corporal works of mercy, which are concerned primarily with meeting the needs of others. 

Furniture Bank: A Ministry of Mercy

From the outside, Furniture Bank looks like one of many warehouses located in South Etobicoke. But upon entering, visitors find themselves in a brightly lit waiting area of comfortable chairs with toys and a play table for children. As they move further through the building, visitors soon discover a warehouse filled with furnishings, decor, chairs and more.

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