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Living your Faith in a Challenging World

Neil MacCarthy told three funny, inspiring, stories about living your faith now to the young people overflowing the room at Theology on Tap on May 31 at the Duke of York pub. Each story beautifully illustrated his message. The response from the standing-room-only crowd showed that they got it every time.

Fontbonne Recognizes its Many Volunteers

On May 7, 2006, Fontbonne Ministries threw a party to thank the many volunteers for their help. During lunch, a guitar played softly in the background. All volunteers received a green Fontbonne mug filled with coffee beans.

Administrator Joan Breech acknowledged how important volunteers were to the fulfillment of the  mission and ministry of Mustard Seed, In Good Company and Studio on the Hill.

Awards for Sister Sheila

Awards are raining on Sr. Sheila O'Connor. In recognition of her 25 years of ministry there, Lakeridge Health gave her a beautiful clock with a plaque that reads:

"Sr. Sheila brought hope to so many. Chaplaincy."

The hospital system also presented her with a twenty-five-year service pin and a "huge cake shaped like a hockey rink - they know I love hockey," said Sr. Sheila.

Art and Sr. Virginia

Sr. Virginia Varley has been painting for over 20 years. Her recent art show and sale on May 11 - 15, 2005, was entitled Mystery Encountered. Note cards of most of her works are available. What follows are several paintings and Sr. Virginia's words:

Food for children, jobs for mothers

The following article is reprinted with the permission of the Christian Science Monitor.

CAP HAITIEN, HAITI – The sounds and smells of food being prepared drift out of a small kitchen and into a crowded room where about 20 benches overflow with mothers holding small children dressed in their Sunday best. Earlier on this Thursday, the kids ate a free breakfast of milk and boiled eggs. Lunch will soon be served: rice with fish sauce.

Keys for Sister Georgette

On May 11, 2006, at the Sherbourne Health Centre, Sister Georgette Gregory received a commemorative key to the two new health buses that were donated by the Rotary Club of Toronto. Sr. Georgette, pictured above receiving the keys from Sylvia Milne, President of Rotary Club of Toronto, was honoured on behalf of all the volunteer nurses because she has volunteered on these buses since 1997 and at one time chaired the committee that facilitates community input for the buses.

Margaret May Flynn wins Gordon Cressy Award

Margaret May Flynn received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award for taking a leadership role in initiatives that combined human rights and education. Whether working at a legal services clinic, volunteering or preparing a weekly newsletter for residents on her floor, Margaret contributed in important ways.

She has finished her Law course and will be articling with Amnesty International this year. She has been a Don at St. Joseph's Residence for two years and now serves as a resource person to the Dean and Dons.

Let us build the city of God

“Every political discussion is a question of vision and values,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc at Theology on Tap’s April event. “You just need to tease these out.” He urged his audience to use their faith commitment to transform the world. As a city councillor for the past 15 years, with a PhD in theology and social ethics, he is well placed to discuss this topic.

JPIC Report on World Water Day

The United Nations has designated 22 March as World Water Day to be observed worldwide. On the 2006 World Water Day, the World Water Forum, held in Mexico City, came to an end. The Forum brings together major international financial institutions, a number of multinational corporations and different governments. It receives funding from the Canadian government. Forum sponsors believe that privatizing water systems is still the best solution to the world's water dilemma.

The Spirit of Giving

“I wanted to do something more than our usual Mass on Sunday at St. Joseph’s College,” said Justin Jalea, director of the University of St. Michael’s Liturgical Choir. “ I proposed it to the choir, they agreed and we all set to work.” The result was a concert called “The Spirit of Giving” held on March 3, 2006, a benefit for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto’s mission in Haiti.

Two Residents Win Cressy Award

Two 4th year graduating students of St. Joseph’s College were awarded the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards on March 7. On the executive of St. Mike’s Rabanus Project, Julia Lauwers, pictured above with college Dean Anne Marie Marrin CSJ to her left and Annamaria Enenajor to her right, helped promote Christianity as a cultural phenomenon by organizing presentation and planning meetings with others enrolled in the Christianity and Culture program. Annamaria sang in the college’s liturgical choir, and volunteered both for the Chaplaincy Team and the Into the Cold Program.

Women Making a Difference

When Sr. Anne Marie Marrin was called to the front desk at St. Joseph’s College on March 8, she thought it was a routine matter. She was wrong. Three representatives from the radio station Flow 93.5 FM presented her with two dozen white roses. Third year student Tara Muldoon had called the station on International Women’s Day to recognize two women, Sr. Anne Marie and Sr. Conrad Lauber, who had made a difference in her life. “Since the residence will be closing, I thought it was the perfect day and the perfect time to give them flowers, ” said Tara, pictured above between Sr.

Sister Helena Turns 100

With Sr. Mary Catherine Doyle looking on, Sr. Margaret presents Sr. Helena with greetings from the Apostolic Nuncio in the name of the Pope, the Archbishop of Toronto, the Governor General, the Lieutenant Governor, the Premier of Ontario, the Mayor of Toronto and the President of the University of Toronto.

Water: Sacred and Profaned

On Feb. 9, 2006, some 35 Sisters gathered for a celebration of water, and parts of the video, named in the title above, were shown.  A couple of quotes from this wonderful video will make you want to rush to see it:

“What we are trying to do is to deepen our consciousness of water, and by  doing so, hoping to effect a different and more consequent stewardship of this element of water as a purveyor of life.  It is a sacred element.  We must find the sacred in it again.”

“Water is sacred as water, and not just for some human purpose.”

An Unusual Ministry - A Horse Show in Haiti

On Dec. 11, 2005, a wonderful event took place here in Haiti in the midst of all the violence. A horse show with a difference took place at Henfrasa Horse Club. The difference was that many of the participants were handicapped children, most of them from the large orphanage of NPF (Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs).

Working for Peace

In a Mi’kmaq village in New Brunswick, William Payne falls sick while being part of a violence-reduction team sent by Christian Peacemaker Teams. He receives an herbal remedy from the chief’s sister for his flu and recovers. When he thanks Kwegsi at the band office the next day, the chief laughs and says to the young people with him, “ We never learn. For 500 years when they get sick, we give them medicine!”

How the Daily Bread Food Bank Began

Sister Marie Tremblay shares her memories of the beginning of the Daily Bread Food Bank:
At some point I said, “I have to make a statement of some kind. I can’t just be doing this.” I ended up in India in 1975. It was a very positive experience. I went to India out of solidarity with the poor. I did not go as a missionary. Not that I intended to go and save anybody, but at least to have a first-hand view of the hunger situation. So it seemed to flow naturally that I would be interested in starting a food bank here.

Christmas at Hôpital Saint Damien: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

You could feel an atmosphere of anxious waiting on Christmas morning as you walked the halls. The children, especially the older ones on the fourth floor, were filled with joy and expectancy. They couldn’t wait for Papa Noël to come.

Spiritual Spa: Feast of Light

Mustard Seed’s second Spiritual Spa attracted almost 30 people on the evening of Dec. 8, 2005. They came to pray, relax, create art, and just slow things down during an impossibly busy month. Participants chose two of the six different workshops. Here are a few visuals from this soothing and spiritual evening:

 

 

 



Sr. Gwen Smith welcomed one and all to the Spiritual Spa.

Hollywood North at the College

Hollywood North was back in production again at St. Joseph’s College this summer, flooding the streets with huge trailers and blocking neighbourhood traffic. Along with our residence programme, we hosted two movies. The first was a film entitled Four Minutes — centering on the running of the first four-minute mile.

Celebrating 95 Years of Teaching and Residency

The Dons of St. Joseph’s College, soon to be alumnae of St. Michael’s College, take a moment in the sun in the Rose Garden of the Christie Mansion, with the Dean of the College, Sister Anne Marie Marrin, and the Administrator, Sister Conrad Lauber, CSJ. The Dons, respectively from left to right, Annamaria Enenajor, Candice Manfredi, Diana Marsilio, Jacqueline Hogan, Laura Evans, Julia Lauwers, are preparing to make this year, 2005-2006, another stellar academic year — the last year as a college residence. In their Mission Statement, the Dons declare:

Art and Spirituality

Dan Donovan, professor emeritus of St. Michael’s College, wrote recently in the Catholic Register that all serious art is spiritual. That statement describes my experience as an artist. I have used art as the language of my prayer for some years, other people’s art certainly, but predominately my own.

Standing Room Only for Theology-on-Tap

Over 60 people packed the back two rooms of the Foxes Den Pub on Nov. 23 to hear Dr. Moira McQueen (photo right), bioethicist and moral theologian from St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology, speak on “Moral Decision Making.” This was the third Faith Connections event.

Contemplating the Moments of Conversion in our Lives

The Faith Connections event on Nov. 4, "Called to Conversion and Service," was an evening filled with stories, song and time to contemplate the moments of conversion that have occurred in our lives. The guest speaker, Rob Shearer, shared with us his personal journey in faith. In particular he talked about some key moments or turning points that have led him on a life of rich experience. Accompanying Rob was the wonderfully talented Julia who played guitar and sang some well-selected songs that complemented Rob's stories.

Sister Margaret Myatt CSJ awarded Doctor of Sacred Letters

Sister Margaret Myatt, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph, pictured at right, became a Doctor of Sacred Letters on Nov. 5, 2005 for her service and leadership in health care and for her leadership of her congregation. She received this honorary degree from the University of St. Michael’s College at the Convocation for the Faculty of Theology at St. Basil’s Church.

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