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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.

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.

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.

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.

Commitment: Answering the Call

On the beautiful sunny morning of May 5, 2007, 62 CSJ Associates gathered at Morrow Park for the 25th annual CSJ commitment retreat. The theme was “Commitment: Answering the Call.” The keynote speaker was Sister Divinia Pedro, pictured above, who was a CSJ Associate for eleven years before becoming a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. 

Providence Healthcare Commemorates its History with a Eucharistic Liturgy

On May 17, 2007, Providence Healthcare held a Eucharistic Liturgy as one of the key activities commemorating 150 years of service to the community. The presider, Bishop Richard J. Grecco, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, and the concelebrants, Msgr. Brad Massman and Father John Donlin, celebrated the liturgy in the third-floor hospital chapel. Sister Mary Anne McCarthy, Director of Mission and Values at Providence, pictured above with Sisters Patricia Macaulay and Mary Fatta, coordinated this event. Each Sister of St. Joseph was presented with a carnation upon entering the chapel.

Archbishop Collins Describes a Christian's Role

St. Peter's Church, the huge arms reaching out, is the perfect image of Christianity," said Toronto's Archbishop Thomas Collins, pictured above at May 14's Theology on Tap. He described the modern Christian's challenges as living in relationship to others, accepting imperfection, and coming to God through prayer and the sacraments.

He pointed out that the central idea within Christianity is building community: Christians do not travel alone and often come together – like Faith Connection's gatherings.

Sr. Virginia Varley’s Latest Art Exhibit

“I don’t begin with an intent,” was how Sr. Virginia Varley explained her painting process during her latest art exhibit in Toronto on April 21. “I draw a circle. Next, as in other prayer, I ask for growth in intimacy with Divine Mystery. Then I start — I never consciously think spiritual thoughts. As I don’t finish a piece in one sitting, I have time to reflect and come back to it. I place it on the floor and pass it many times a day. Eventually, the painting tells me what it will be called.”

Why Non-Violence is a Priority

On Saturday, March 24, 2007, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto’s JPIC Office (Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation) hosted an afternoon with Fr. Bob Holmes CSB, an active member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams who also provides them with pastoral support. Fr.Bob is seen in the photo above with, left to right, Sisters Janet Fraser, Anne Lemire, Jean Leahy, and Theresa Rodgers. CPT serves various spots around the world, often where there is a conflict.

Shout for Joy

An audience of over app.125 people delighted in the wonderful music of the University of St. Michael’s Liturgical Choir, whose voices were raised on March 29, 2007 at Brennan Hall on St. Mary Street. Father Bob Madden CSB introduced the “Shout for Joy” concert and gave the reason for the evening, “To provide help and hope to Haiti.” The 12 young women and eight young men sang such favourites as “Be Thou My Vision” and “The Storm is Passing Over” accompanied by their pianist. Together, they raised over $1200.00.

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