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100 Years of Women’s Education at St. Michael’s College: Library and Online Exhibit

On Sept. 27, 2011, three institutional archives, the University of St. Michael's College, the Sisters of Loretto and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, partnered to mark the 100th anniversary of women's education at St. Michael's. Originally, women were not admitted to St. Michael's College. The Sisters of St. Joseph and the Loretto Sisters, however, were committed to offering young women an education, and in 1911, they opened two women's colleges: St. Joseph's College and Loretto College. They were the first to offer women a university education under Catholic auspices through St.

Cloister: St. Joseph’s College School Art Installation for Nuit Blanche

On Oct. 1, 2011, the teachers and the students of St. Joseph's College School will be presenting Cloister as a part of Nuit Blanche events in Toronto from 7 pm until 7 am. St. Joseph's College School, pictured at right, was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph 156 years ago.

Re-enacting the Story of God’s Love for Us

Sister Helen Kluke describes her involvement in a play where she used her pottery skills onstage in front of a live audience.

Sisters Move their Business Offices

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto moved their Leadership Team and business offices from 3377 Bayview Avenue to 101 Thorncliffe Park Drive on Aug. 25, 2011. The Sisters renovated a two-storey office building in the East York area, making it accessible. The building holds the offices of their Leadership Team, business office and some ministry offices.

Missions at Home and Abroad

Father Médaille looked for a missionary spirit in the hearts of the women who joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in the seventeenth century. In his Maxims, he encouraged others to "... embrace by desire the salvation and holiness of the whole world with a spirit full of generous courage which will move you to want to do everything, to suffer everything, and to undertake everything for the advancement of the glory of God."  (Maxims of the Little Institute, # 7.)

A Legacy Of Health Care

Father Médaille wrote that God had inspired the foundation of the Congregation "precisely for the relief of the sick poor." In Toronto’s early days, the Sisters cared for the sick at home and in the fever sheds.

Blessing of St. Michael's Keenan Research Centre

On the afternoon of June 10, seven Sisters of St. Joseph attended a special blessing event. His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Collins blessed the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, a part of St. Michael's Hospital. The Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute is home to researchers whose areas of expertise cover a wide variety of disciplines and methodologies.

Nourishing Body and Soul

Dating back to the 17th century, the founding constitutions of the Sisters of St. Joseph urge them to assess the needs of communities in which they live and find ways to help their most underrepresented and needy neighbours. The Sisters opened the House of Providence in 1857 to fulfill this responsibility at a time when social services in Toronto were virtually non-existent and the city’s elderly, terminally ill, poor and disabled residents had few options for care.

Opening doors through education

Within a year after their arrival in 1851, the Sisters responded to the desperate need for teachers in Catholic schools for Toronto and the neighbouring towns and villages. By 1900 the majority of Toronto Catholic elementary schools were staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Christian Brothers.

Fontbonne Ministries Honours its Volunteers

Sixty-seven people attended the Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at Fontbonne Place and celebrated with the Sisters involved in the ministries, pictured above. The event offered the volunteers of all Fontbonne Ministries programs a chance to socialize, gather for brunch and hear from Fontbonne Ministries' Board Chair, Sister Thérèse Meunier, and the Sister-Directors of each program. Another cause for celebration was the fact that the Sisters of St.

Reflection on World Day of Prayer for Vocations: May 15, 2011

How and where do I find God in my life as a Sister of St. Joseph of Toronto serving the people of Fort St. James, BC?

After taking my final vows on Oct. 7, 2010, I have been blessed to share our congregation’s charism or gift of unifying and inclusive love in my ministry with our people at Fort St. James, where I continue to deepen my personal relationship with God present in creation, in the ordinariness and busyness of my life — in good and difficult times.

Sister Virginia Varley with her art. Art on the Park

Between May 5 − 8, over 250 people viewed the creations of seven artists who have been painting together for the last eight years, a group that includes Sisters Virginia Varley and Betty Lou Knox.

Sister Virginia explained the benefits of working together this way, "The advantage of painting together is that we are guaranteed a day of painting a week and during the sessions we pick up the energy of the others who are painting. We have a sense of an art community and fondly see ourselves as The Toronto Group of Seven."

A House of Compassion

When the Sisters of St. Joseph arrived in Toronto on Oct. 7, 1851, their first concern was for orphans and the sick poor. As Irish immigrants swarmed into the city — hungry, sick, in need of housing and care — Mother Delphine and her companions responded. From the orphan asylum, they went out to nurse the sick and comfort the dying.

Jubilarians 70

In September 1940, 12 young women, hoping to become Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, arrived at 89 St. Alban's Street from across Canada: one from St. Patrick's in Vancouver, B.C., three from St. Joseph's in Rosetown, Sask., and the rest from Ontario — one from Whitby, two from St. Catharines and five from Toronto.

Jubilarians 60

Sister Marguerite Walters
Sr. Marguerite was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was taught by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in both elementary and secondary school. In high school, she studied commercial courses in preparation for a career in the business world.

Jubilarians 50 - My Journey As A Sister of St. Joseph

Sister Anne Marie Marrin
"Home was the foundation of my vocation where faith was lived, not necessarily talked about, and living in the community has given me great opportunities to express that love in ministering to others. In 1970 Sister Mary Zimmerman asked me to open the first Hospital-based Storefront Clinic. That was a great challenge to me, and her confidence in me encouraged me to move forward.

Sisters Ellen Leonard, Jean Leahy, Clare Garcillano and Theresa Rodgers. Telling a Story of Peace and Justice

On April 1, 2011, Sisters Ellen Leonard, Jean Leahy and Theresa Rodgerswelcomed Sr. Clare Garcillano into their home. Sr. Clare, a Sister of St. Paul of Chartres, came here as a Development and Peace Solidarity Visitor from Timor Leste (East Timor), the world's newest nation (2002). It is found between Australia and Indonesia.

2011 Haiti Newsletter

The 2011 Haiti Newsletter is now available to download as a PDF.

Please download Foxit Reader if you require a free PDF reader.

Responding To Unmet Needs Of The Day

In the "Règlements" (rule of life) for the Sisters of St. Joseph established in France around 1650 we find this statement of purpose: "to lead others to union with God and with every kind of neighbour by undertaking all the spiritual and corporal works of mercy of which women are capable." There were no limits to what they could do.

Sister Jacqueline, far right, joins the bridge walk. Sisters Join The Bridge Walk for International Women's Day

The day was chilly and Sister Jacqueline de Verteuil was shivering in the cold, but she didn't let it stop her from joining Sister Jean Leahy for the Join Me on the Bridge event. For March 8, International Women's Day, thousands of women around the world gathered on bridges to draw attention to women's issues and their struggle for equality, rights, safety and freedom.

The Art of Friendly Visiting

On Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, a group of 14 women and men gathered at Mustard Seed on 791 Queen Street East. Their goal: to learn about the particularities of friendly visiting in homes of people who, through age or disability, have limited ability to interact and socialize with others.

Participants included volunteers from several different parishes, from the In Good Company program and from other agencies. Also present were people interested in exploring friendly visiting.

Sister Delphine Fontbonne: Five Groundbreaking Year

On Feb. 7, 1856, Sister Delphine Fontbonne, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, died in Toronto. In her last letter, written on Jan. 18 of the same year to Sister Felicity, she sounded besieged, alluding to the typhus epidemic that had claimed some Sisters and laid others low, of another Sister dying of tuberculosis, of being far too busy to write.

She had arrived with three other much younger Sisters of St. Joseph in 1851. Yet during that short time, she:

World Day of Prayer for the Sick

We celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sick on Feb. 11, 2011. The date was not randomly chosen; it is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. And while there are many shrines around the world noted for blessings and healings, Lourdes, pictured at right, is the most notable.

Feb. 2: World Day for Consecrated Life

In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. In the Catholic Church, the consecrated life is lived by members of religious institutions like priests, brothers, and sisters. The Holy Father asked that we take a moment to give thanks for those who have taken vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.

Haiti: Remembering and Rebuilding

Jan. 12, 2011 marked the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that claimed the lives of over 300,000 people in Haiti. We are constantly reminded of that day by the sight of collapsed buildings, streets full of rubble, people with missing limbs and more than 1.5 million displaced families.

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