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Love justice and walk humbly with the Lord

The CSJ Associates of the Toronto Sisters of St. Joseph held their annual Assembly Day at Morrow Park on March 14, 2009.  The focus of the day was ‘Justice and Peace’ while the topic was ‘Love Justice and Walk humbly with the Lord.’ (Micah 6:8)

Day of Reflection for Lay Ministers

On Feb. 24, 2009, the Toronto Archdiocese’s Office of Lay Ministry, Chaplaincy and Parish Social Ministry held a Day of Reflection. The main speaker was Dillon J. Woods. Other speakers were invited to make short presentation through videos. Sister Jacqueline de Verteuil (pictured above, far right) was among those asked to speak about the Diploma in Ministry Program offered by St. Francis Xavier University and to bring along a display featuring her ministry. She was pleased to do both.

Niagara School Board Recognizes Its Pioneers

It was an evening of accolades and tributes. On Feb. 24, 2009, the Niagara District Catholic School Board officially dedicated each of the meeting rooms in the Education Centre to a different religious community — all were pioneers in beginning Catholic schools in the area. Eight communities, including the Holy Cross Fathers, had between three to eight representatives present. We Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto were named and asked to stand.

On the Ministry of Prayer

You will find Sister Marie Zelie Gignac in the Morrow Park chapel well before mass begins.  She told me she uses that time to say her morning Office and make her meditation. (The Divine Office is the official public prayer of the Church: hymns, psalms, readings and prayers that vary according to the liturgical season. Priests, most religious, and many of the laity use a form of morning and evening prayer that is said daily.) "But what do you do?" I asked.

Clauda Chastel: One Of The First CSJ Sisters

One way to gain a new perspective on history is to listen to the voice of someone who was there. Sister Marie McNamara has fashioned the following story in the first person and used historical texts as sourcebooks. She helps us hear the voice of Claua Chastel, one of the first Sisters of St. Joseph.

"My name is Clauda Chastel. I am an ordinary 17th century French woman. But I am also one of the first women to become a Sister of St. Joseph. Let me tell you how this came about and what it means.

Parish mission with a difference

A parish mission is generally considered to be a time of renewal for the people of the parish. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish is preparing for a mission from March 29 till April 1. But this mission will be a bit different. Instead of one speaker, Fr. Jim Hannah, the pastor, has invited Fr. Steve Vasek, OMI and Sr. Jean Fitzpatrick, SSC from Buffalo NY to assist 50 volunteers from the parish to prepare for the mission. Committees were formed and have been busy since last October.

Celebrating the Year of St. Paul

June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009 marks the Year of St. Paul, in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of Saint Paul's birth. In particular, we celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on Jan. 25, recalling the conversion of Saul of Tarsus from a persecutor of Christians to Paul, the Christian we have come to know as St. Paul.

Paul's conversion, which took place on the road to Damascus, may be one of the most moving experiences recorded in the early annals of the Church. (Acts 9,1-19; 22.3-16) Following his conversion, St. Paul became the greatest missionary of his time.

Jesuits honour Sisters with Magis Award

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto will receive the Magis Award at the Third Annual Jesuit Provincial’s Dinner on April 22, 2009.

”Magis is a key word for Jesuits: it means doing more in our service of God’s people, more compassion, more effectiveness, more relevant wisdom for our difficult times,” adds Fr. Webb. “When the Jesuits established Regis College in Willowdale in 1961 and again during this past year with the move of Regis College to the Wellesley Street location the Sisters previously owned, they showed us how generous their friendship was.”

World Day for Consecrated Life

On Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, the Church celebrates World Day for Consecrated Life, to recognize and give thanks for those who have consecrated their lives to God and the Church through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  Some of us give public witness to our consecration by joining a religious congregation or secular institute, and others remain single and make profession to God through the local bishop.

The symbol worn by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto is a pendant, pictured at right, or a pin of the same design.

Remember Me

Since 1992, the Catholic Church has celebrated World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11, Feast of Lady of Lourdes.

On this day:

Dr. Margaret Myatt ΑΣΝ, CSJ

Sister Margaret Myatt, pictured right, received a Doctorate in Sacred Letters from Regis College at the Convocation Exercises on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. The ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of Hart House, University of Toronto.

True Friendship Leads to Service

This year, the CSJ Associates' annual retreat was held on the last weekend of October at Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls. Although this was later than usual, the weather was good and the drive provided an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall colours.

Another Chapter in St. Joseph’s History

The afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 26, both marked and celebrated one more step in the ongoing history of St. Joseph's College School. Of the many schools founded by the Sisters of St.

Honouring a Very Special Visitor

The Retired Teachers’ Association of Ontario has recently honoured Margaret Durkin of Oshawa, an Associate with the Holy Family Associate Community.

After a varied and distinguished teaching career, which brought with it many awards, Margaret Durkin retired in 1990 and immediately became active in the Retired Teachers' Association. She has held many offices but is best known for her work with the Goodwill Committee, a group that maintains contact with retired teachers living in retirement or nursing homes. Margaret's particular interest has been the ‘over 90s.’

Happy Anniversary, Furniture Bank!

There were three large cakes, one shaped like a ‘10.’  There were balloons and flowers and crowds of people and City TV’s Breakfast Television arriving early to interview Sister Anne Schenck and tape the action at the Furniture Bank. The Open House carried on till 2 p.m. with tours through the building.

At the 10th anniversary celebration on Oct. 15, after the cakes were cut and shared among volunteers and well wishers, the Executive Director, Peter Prior, presented Sister Anne with an award, which read, in part:

Morrow Park Volunteers are Terrific

A mass and luncheon marked the Volunteer Appreciation Day for Morrow Park volunteers on Sunday, Sept. 21. Using a PowerPoint presentation, guest speaker, Sr. Catherine McCarthy, pictured at right, gave volunteers an inside look at the struggles the congregation’s first four members faced when they arrived in Toronto in 1851.  

Sister Andrea Dumont: Pastoral Work In the North

Sister Andrea, pictured at right, lives and works in Thompson, Manitoba, population: 15,000, located nine hours north of Winnipeg by bus. She has been in “the hub of the north” for the past 18 years, working with a population mainly composed of First Nations and Dene and miners.  Thompson is a company town, built around INCO.

Fr. Chris Iredale celebrates 50 years as a priest

On Thursday, the July 10 Mass at Morrow Park had a "substitute" celebrant:  Fr. Chris Iredale. In the photo above, he is thanking the Sisters and others who were clapping after Sister Mary Catherine Doyle spoke a few words of congratulations and thanks to him.

Ministry with L’Arche in Honduras

After years of responsibility in the L’Arche community, Sister Pat Dowling has become more of a resource person. As is L’Arche’s practice, local people now administer the program. Now she visits families, makes herself available for advice based on her experience, helps with the formation of assistants and volunteers and prepares for the weekly radio program, which reaches out to the country people.

Celebration of a New/Old Rite

The Rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity dates back to the fourteenth century. Revived by Vatican II, but still not well known in today's church, the rite was celebrated for Mary Huan, a CSJ associate, at Epiphany of Our Lord parish on Saturday, June 28 during a Eucharistic liturgy. Most Reverend John A. Boissonneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, presided at the liturgy and received Mary's vow. Christopher Iredale CSB and Domenico Rettura CFIC were the concelebrating priests.

Highlights of the Eucharistic Congress

Fourteen Sisters of St Joseph of Toronto, some pictured above, participated in the 49th International Eucharistic Congress from June 15 - 22, 2008. They joined 11,000 delegates from over 50 countries in Quebec City for a truly remarkable week.

Sunday June 15 was a travel day. After a long bus ride, 471 Toronto pilgrims arrived at Mont Ste. Anne, a ski resort dedicated for this week to pilgrims from the Toronto Archdiocese.

Supporting the Faith Development of Maturing Adults

Something new is happening in St. Mary's Parish in Barrie, Ontario. Within the past year, a whole cluster of programmes has begun under the heading "Ministry With Maturing Adults." Sister Mary Rose Marrin CSJ is the animator; she is pictured above in the second row, third from right, with participants from her spring "Positive Aging" group.

At the official opening, 80 participants received the programme's welcoming handout telling about:

Our Vision: Maturing Adults continue to grow into the fullness of Christian life.

Feminist Theology within the Canadian Mosaic Feminist Theology within the Canadian Mosaic

Sister Ellen Leonard describes the essay she contributed to a collection of writings on feminist theology.

Call for Government Action on Human Trafficking

The Office for Systemic Justice of the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada has written to the premier of British Columbia on the need for strong government action to deter human trafficking at the 2010 Olympics. There is much evidence that human trafficking increases during international sporting events. Therefore, the Office for Systemic Justice calls on the B.C. government to create awareness concerning human trafficking, including its root causes such as poverty, gender inequality, unemployment and demand for exploitative sex.

Annunciation Parish Celebrates The Sisters' Contribution

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto are fondly remembered in Prince Rupert, B.C for their 76-year contribution to Catholic education in the city. An invitation was extended to the Sisters’ Leadership Team to have representation at the Annunciation Parish Centennial Celebration held from May 25 to June 1, 2008. Sisters Mary Macoretta and Bernadette Robinson, who had both served in Prince Rupert, flew from Toronto to join the festivities.

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