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Catholic Social Teaching: Respecting Human Dignity

“He has risen indeed! This is the reason for our hope!” read the program cover for a “Day on Catholic Social Teaching.” On March 29, Fr. Jack Costello, S.J. (photo at right) spoke at Morrow Park at the invitation of the Office for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.  After greeting the audience of both Sisters and Associates, Sister Anne Lemire introduced Fr. Costello, who urged us to consider Catholic social thinking rather than Catholic social teaching, since teaching is performed by the few while thinking is the domain of us all.

Good Friday Ecumenical Walk for Justice

On Friday, March 21, 2008, I attended the Good Friday Ecumenical Walk for Justice.   Entitled “Breathe in Justice,” it was focused on air. As a member of the planning Committee for the last three years, I have again seen how the Holy Spirit works to make the whole event come together.

Reflections on Leadership

For the past eight years, Sister Roberta Freeman has been Director of CSJ Associates. She is pictured below, speaking at an Associate retreat. Leadership of the Associates is passing to the Associates themselves on April 13, 2008.  Sister Mary Buckley asked Sister Roberta to reflect on her experience — their exchange follows…

How did you come to take on the position of Director of CSJ Associates?

Art Retreat Experiences

Doreen Smith CSJ shares personal experience of art retreats, and some examples of her work

Oftentimes, during my retreats or at special moments in my life, I have used art to illustrate or express how God has been present to me in prayer.

During the Art Retreat, I experienced art as prayer. My hands, paper and media became instruments of expressing God’s word. I had only to let go and let God speak through them.

Below are a few of my works.

 

 

Workshops for Peace in Haiti

Sister Mary Alban Bouchard created a series of education booklets called Building a Culture of Peace and has been at work giving the workshops with her assistants. She reports on her progress in 2007 in Haiti.

In Jérémie, working with 45 young religious-in-training from six congregations was a delight. I think the seeds will grow.

Good Friday Walk connects air quality with the cross

It’s all around us, always, and can be the breath of life — or it can hurt us or even kill us. A Good Friday “Walk for Justice” through downtown Toronto will focus on the link between the Good Friday story and the air we breathe. Air quality and air pollution are critical issues, especially here in Toronto. Jesus confronted the forces of oppression in his age, and inspires us today to do likewise

Leadership Training for CSJ Associates

Sister Grace Sauvé is one of three Sisters — the others being Sisters Virginia Varley and Marie MacNamara — who designed and implemented a leadership-training program for the CSJ Associates. On April 13, 2008, five associates ‘graduates’ from the course will take on the leadership of the associate program. Here, Sr. Grace answers a few questions about the training…

Who are the CSJ Associates?

Collaboration Enhances the Work of Holy Childhood in Vancouver

The Archdiocese of Vancouver has a long history of missionary involvement. It was our former Archbishop William Duke who, in 1933, established the Holy Childhood Association in English speaking Canada to encourage young children to take an active part in the mission activity of the Church by learning about, praying for and sharing with needy children around the world.

The Sacred Art Retreat: Praying with Art

For a number of years, Virginia Varley CSJ has brought to the Sisters of St. Joseph (and other interested persons) an eight-day retreat centered on sacred art. Here are the questions Mary Buckley CSJ asked her and her responses.

How did the art retreat come to be?

Collaboration: Nobody ever came up with a great idea all by themselves
For our country to succeed requires the combined efforts of all of us, in all walks of life. By working together we can build the country of our dreams. (Then) together let us work with other nations for peace and happiness across our continent and our globe. — Nelson Mandela

This powerful challenge of Mandela’s is a call to a certain group of people to unity of action or collaboration, so as to achieve a greater good for themselves, and ultimately for those beyond their ken.

Return to Prince George

After a 10-year absence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto returned to the Diocese of Prince George this past August. Bishop Gerald Wiesner provided them a warm welcome. Eager to take up their new ministry at the parish and missions of Our Lady of the Snows, Fort St. James were Sisters Patricia Macaulay, Jane Dwyer and Pat Boucher, seen in the photo above, left to right, with Father Frank Salmon, OMI.

The Process of Transformation: Women Religious and the Study of Theology, 1955-1980

The following excerpt is taken from the newly released book Changing Habits: Women’s Religious Orders in Canada. In this introduction to her essay, Sr. Ellen Leonard begins to examine the impact of the study of theology on women religious.

This essay examines the relationship between women religious and theology from 1955 to 1980. This was a critical period for women religious that includes the years immediately before the Second Vatican Council, the years of the Council (1962-1965) and the period following the Council.

Book Launch At St. Michael's

Two Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters Ellen Leonard and Veronica O’Reilly, wrote essays for a newly released book by Novalis entitled Changing Habits: Women's Religious Orders in Canada. The University of St. Michael's Senate Forum Staff Fellowship Committee hosted a special Lunch and Learn on Dec. 3 to celebrate this release. Panellists included the editor and three of the essay writers, all of whom elaborated on their contribution to the book.

St. Augustine’s Honours Sister Annette

Sister Annette Lacroix CSJ, pictured, was awarded the degree of Master of Divinity Honoris Causa on Nov. 19, 2007 at the convocation of St Augustine’s Seminary for the conferring of the Degrees of Master of Divinity, Master of Religious Education and Master of Theological Studies, as well as diplomas in Theological Studies and in Lay Ministry.

Sisters Donate a Statue to Providence

As a bitter November wind blew, a hardy group huddled under a tent on the grounds of Providence Healthcare to witness the unveiling and blessing of a commemorative sculpture donated by the Sisters of St. Joseph to celebrate that institution’s 150th Anniversary.  Facing them was a sculpture covered in opaque gray plastic and red ribbon. Mary Beth Montcalm, Providence Healthcare’s CEO, welcomed everyone.

Fontbonne Ministries Introduces New Logo

This November, Fontbonne Ministries is pleased to launch its new logo!

Joan Breech, Administrator of Fontbonne Ministries, explains,

“All of our activities are directed towards achieving our vision – to be a sustainable expression of the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto in social ministry. One of those activities has been to develop a corporate logo, a visual and visible symbol that distinguishes Fontbonne Ministries from other organizations and helps to define its identity.  

Plaques Celebrate Sisters’ Contribution at the House Of Providence

On Oct. 24, 2007, Providence Healthcare and Heritage Toronto held a "Heritage Plaque Presentation Ceremony" in the hall of St. Paul’s Basilica. Unveiled were two plaques celebrating the founding and operation of the original House of Providence 150 years ago by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. The plaques, which tell the story of the House through text and photos, will be located on the grounds near St. Paul’s.

Sisters Endow Chair in Theology at St. Michael’s

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto have donated $2.5 million to establish a Chair in Systematic Theology at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto.

“Our gift to St. Michael’s is intended to convey our continuing commitment to Catholic post-secondary education,” said Sr. Margaret Myatt, CSJ Congregational Leader, pictured at right with Margaret O’Gara.

How To Be - To Pray - To Act

The CSJ Associates Annual Retreat was held this year the weekend of Sept. 7 – 9, 2007, at Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  We opened with dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and the retreat officially started at 8 p.m.

Sr. Mechtilde O’Mara, CSJ, pictured at left, was the guest speaker.  She began the retreat by explaining to us the great LOVE of God that brought forth God’s work of creation and by illustrating the beauty of this creation through a PowerPoint presentation.

Bearers of Tradition

Betty Lou Knox CSJ shares her experience at a gathering of religious Sisters from all around the world.

This year’s month-long program for all congregations of Sisters of St. Joseph, hosted by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Concordia, Kansas, was attended by 28 Sisters. Three Sisters were from India, one of whom is on the Chambery Council in Rome, another a councillor in Lyons and the third belongs to the province of Lyons and lives in India. Argentina and Canada each had one representative. We gathered on June 27.

The Sacred Heart Centres Work

Rosemary Fry CSJ provides an update on her ministry in Haiti.

The goal of Sacred Heart Center in Cap Haitien is a healthier, more stable family unit, able to function independently within the Haitien society. It is a goal achieved in different small steps over many years and more than one generation.

Sharing the Good News

Paintings, newspaper clippings, pottery, photos, artwork, websites, including a viewing of the new Faith Connections website, all were gathered and on display on June 16. The occasion: a celebration entitled “How do we share the Good News of our time?” Held in the communication office and the archives at Morrow Park, the event drew almost 90 guests, who were warmly welcomed by Sisters and associates. A display celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Associates included articles on and pictures of the many associate groups.

Associates celebrate 25 years

On June 2, 2007, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and the Associates gathered together in the chapel at Morrow Park to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the CSJ Associates. The celebration started with a liturgy by Father Chris Iredale and a reflective homily by Sister Grace Sauvé. After the mass, a reception followed in the dining room. The dedicated kitchen staff of Morrow Park prepared the sumptuous dinner.

Dealing with media muggings

As part of Faith Connection’s Media Month, Joe Sinasac and Sara Loftson held a workshop and discussion on dealing with media on May 29, 2007 at the Pastoral Center on 1155 Yonge Street. Joe is editor of The Catholic Register and Sara is the paper’s youth editor.

Joe outlined how certain stories can be reported factually and then gradually, if they push peoples’ hot buttons, these stories get picked up by others and turned into opinion pieces that can distort the facts. Also, headlines can twist a story and send out a more inflammatory message than the story calls for.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Sets up ‘Sr. Pat Macaulay Service Award’

St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, B.C. has decided to set up the "Sister Pat Macaulay Service Award" for employees who reflect the hospital’s mission and values in their work.

Rev. Gordon Carter, Director of Pastoral Care, Mission, and Medical Ethics at St. Joseph’s, wrote the following in a letter to Sr. Pat, “Over your many years of ministry at St. Joseph's, you gifted our organization with a wonderful example of a life lived out of your congregation's mission.

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