Sunday, March 18, 2018
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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.

Becoming Neighbours Walking with Newcomers

Nineteen Roman Catholic Men and Women Religious congregations have come together to assist immigrants and refugees as friends, guides and mentors during their initial adjustment to the country. They have established Becoming Neighbours, a "joint apostolic ministry" — the first such effort in the city of Toronto.

"As religious congregations, we have always cooperated in many ways," said Father Peter McKenna SCJ, Director of Becoming Neighbours, "But we have never before collaborated in this way on a program."

Nature And Art As Meditation

During the month of February 2007, Betty Lou Knox CSJ is displaying her artwork at The Faculty Club of the University of Toronto at 41 Willcocks Street. (One of her paintings, Openings, is shown to the right.) Here is how she sees her art…

The beauty of the Ottawa Valley and the wonder of British Columbia’s mountains, where I lived for many years, inspired me with an appreciation of God's work of art. Becoming aware of nature led me to the realization of our interconnectedness with all of creation.

Theology on Tap – Monday, Jan. 22, 2007

The topic was “Dying to Live:  Desperate and Dangerous Immigration on the US-Mexico Border”. Hilary Cunningham and Stephen Scharper, Associate Professors at the University of Toronto, seen above, presented an insightful talk on their experiences at the border and the underlying theology in border issues. Below, a participant shares his thoughts on the talk:

A Sponsorship Success Story

Throughout the past year, I have searched for signs of light in the midst of darkness in Haiti. The sponsorship program to help children start or continue school was one bright light. In 2006, amid the more than 166 students in school, seven were successful in national exams to complete primary school. This may not seem like a major accomplishment; however, just one of their stories will show that it is.

A New Haitian Hospital Opens its Doors

Sr. Lorraine Malo, a Sister of St. Joseph of Toronto who works with the organization Our Little Brothers and Sisters tells us of an exciting day…

In Port-au-Prince, on Dec. 4, 2006, the joy and excitement was palpable as everyone rejoiced for Haiti and for the organization of Our Little Brothers and Sisters!  The new pediatric hospital is really a small miracle!  It is a beautiful building, bright and spacious, with modern equipment and up-to-date programmes. 

Working for Peace in Haiti

Mary Alban Bouchard CSJ provides an update on her current work with educational programs in Haiti for Building a Culture of Peace.


During the month of January, the pub of the University of Toronto's Faculty Club displayed a collection of 20 mandalas created by a group of Sisters of St. Joseph. One by Virginia Varley CSJ, called Carnival of the Stars, is shown at the right.

To quote Elizabeth Rosson, the artist and retreat facilitator who led the retreat at which these mandalas were created, "Mandala is a Sanskrit word for 'circle', a symbol of wholeness, perfection, unity and eternity… a place where the invisible is made visible."

Sr. Jean DeLuca Receives Archdiocesan Medal

On Dec. 19, 2006, Sr. Jean DeLuca received the Archdiocesan Medal from Cardinal Alyoysius Ambrozic at the annual Christmas Mass and luncheon for staff at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. Sr. Jean was honoured in appreciation for her 30 years of dedicated service to the separated, divorced and widowed as director of New Beginnings. Sr. Jean, a Sister of St. Joseph, created this program in 1976.

The Church's Teachings and Catholics

On Oct. 23, 2006, Fr. Tom Rosica filled the house at Theology on Tap! Participants pondered and discussed "When The Church Teaches, Where Do I Fit In?" with respect to three current issues: same-sex marriage, Islam, and AIDS.

Sr. Kathleen Conway's Jubilee

Sr. Kathleen Conway's Jubilee was celebrated with a Mass on Nov. 12 at St. Julia church in St. Catharines. Concelebrants at the service were, l to r, Monsignor Vincent O'Donohue, Bishop Emeritus John O’Mara, Bishop James Wingle, Monsignor Wayne Kirkpatrick, and Monsignor Dominic Pizzacalla. Sr. Kathleen stands between them in the photo above.

During the service, the congregation applauded the mention by Bishop O’Mara of the 150 years of continuous committed service of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the St. Catharines area.

He Flies Though the Air

Faith Connections' Nov. 27 Theology on Tap was abuzz with images of circus stunts. Sr. Sue Mosteller shared with us reflections on her experience of living with and learning from trapeze artists.

Listening to Sr. Sue, images of scary heights, exciting flight, hopeful expectations, and dreadful falls flashed through my mind. Rodney, one of the flyers Sr. Sue met, said he was always excited about flying,

Celebration at Our Lady of Mercy

On Nov. 29, 2006, St. Joseph's Health Centre hosted an event in celebration of more than eighty years of service to the community of Our Lady of Mercy Wing. Prior to their merger in 1980, Our Lady of Mercy Hospital stood on its own, next to St. Joseph's, both in the charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

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