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Sr. Ellen Leonard: Woman of Distinction

On International Women's Day, March 8, Sister Ellen Leonard was announced as one of the women who will receive the YWCA 2005 Women of Distinction Award in the category of Religion and Education. The award is given to women who "have made extraordinary contributions to improving the lives of other women and girls."

Celebrating the Feast Day

"As Sisters of St. Joseph, we aspire to be like our patron. We desire to be open, trusting women guided by the Holy Spirit. Gifted with a mission to nurture community and to grow in our love for God, each other and our sisters and brothers whom we call "the dear neighbour," we make every effort, along with our vowed members and our lay associates, both men and women, to build communities of healing and compassion."

She's 99 and still answers the call to serve

Sr. Helena McCarthy has received the call of religious life many times over. The 99-year-old Sister of St. Joseph received her first call when she followed in her sister's footsteps to enter the convent in 1932. But now, calls come daily, as McCarthy uses the phone to pray with friends, family and people needing a listening ear.

"People say life begins at 40. I think it begins at 90," McCarthy said of her years at her new apostolate in telephone ministry.

Sisters of St. Joseph win the Niagara Catholic Education award

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto received the Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction on Feb. 4, 2005 at the Bishop's Gala in Niagara Falls's Club Italia. The Niagara Catholic District School Board has inaugurated this award, given to recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to Catholic Education in the Niagara region. Representing the Sisters of St. Joseph at the awards ceremony were Sisters Margaret Myatt, Pat Conway, Loretta Rollheiser, and Kathleen Conway (pictured right).

Sr. Marie Zelie Receives Legion Appreciation

Sr. Marie Zelie Gignac CSJ and the Sisters of St. Joseph received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Royal Canadian Legion in Missisauga, Branch 582, for contributing to the legion's Wheelchair Project. Sr. Marie has been collecting the pop tabs from pop cans at Morrow Park for the past four years.

Christmas comes to Haitian Children

In her letter from Haiti, Sr. Lorraine Malo describes a special party...

On Christmas morning, Canadian UN Peacekeepers came to host a wonderful party for the sick children in Hospital St. Damien, Port au Prince, Haiti. Captain Laurie Bourque from New Brunswick and five other peacekeepers had a wrapped gift and a small bag of candy for each child. They also brought some games and toys, including a board hockey game that the older children quickly learned.

How My Thinking Has Changed

Formerly, I assumed that we humans were centre-stage and all else in creation was a backdrop to serve us. Then I had a change of heart. I saw that if humans were to disappear, the Earth would get along just fine. But if the earth were to become too polluted or devastated to continue, we humans wouldn't last at all. I'm developing a new sensitivity about who we are in the scheme of things.

It happened like this. In 1997 one of our Sisters sent us a kit called "Earth Covenant - Earth Charter: Ecological Wisdom and Action for the 21st Century." She suggested we pass it along.

Exhibit Sale Brings Many Visitors

Between Nov. 26 - 28, 2004, Studio on the Hill was transformed from a pottery studio into an elegant exhibit and sale area, where 16 artists displayed and offered their creations for sale. Many came to both look and buy.

This was the studio's second transformation this year: in August the gray walls were painted burgundy, teal and pixie wing pink.

Participation in the Empty Bowl Project

Sister Helen Kluke and students at the Studio on the Hill participated in the Empty Bowl project in May 2004, donating 57 soup bowls. This event, sponsored by the Gardiner Museum, assists the hungry and homeless in Toronto through the Anishnawbe Street Patrol program. The bowls represent a donation of $2,280 raised from tickets sold for the event.

Sister Virginia Varley CSJ Nominated for Jesuit International Honour Society

Sister Virginia Varley has been nominated for honourary membership in Alpha Sigma Nu. This honour society of Jesuit institutions of higher learning is comprised of those whose lives have shown an adherence to the values of scholarship, loyalty and service which mark Ignatian education.

Celebrating 150 Years of Excellence in Education

Sr. Mary Buckley shares her experience at the St. Joseph's College reunion on Sept. 24 - 26, 2004.

"Celebrating 150 Years of Excellence in Education" — so read the banner and celebrate we did! It all began Friday evening. The invitation said "six for seven" but by six the Brule Room of the Old Mill was already ringing with cries of joy and recognition:
"After all these years..."
"You haven't changed a bit..."
"Your granddaughter is in the school now?"

Sister Ellen Leonard Twice Honoured

On June 10, Sr. Ellen Leonard received the Ann O'Hara Graff Annual Award in Reston, Virginia at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The Women's Seminar in Constructive Theology, the awarding body, looks for "women whose accomplishments include both womanist, feminist or other woman-defined scholarship and liberating action on behalf of women in the church and in the broader community." The award honours the late Ann O'Hara Graff who made significant contributions to women both in the academy and beyond.

National Religious Vocation Conference

From Sept. 9 - 13, 2004, Sisters Pat Boucher, Thérèse Meunier, Mary Mettler and June Dwyer joined over 500 vocation ministers and accompanying community members for the National Religious Vocation Conference's biennial convocation held in Chicago, Illinois. Two keynote speakers, Sister Mary Maher, SSND, and Reverned Timothy Radcliffe, OP, addressed the gathering on the theme of the convocation, "Fidelity to Jesus: a Paradigm of Hope."

Cosmic Dance

"Once upon a timeless time, out of the heart of Mystery (God), the Universe was dreamed into being. Some 14 billion years ago, time, space, matter and energy came billowing out of the great cauldron of creativity. From pregnant mysterious darkness, everything that was needed for us to be here now came as a single, precious perfect gift.

This is the story of the Universe. This is the story of the Sun, Moon and Earth. This is the story of all life. This is our story."

ARCCC Annual Conference

From May 27 - May 30, 2004, 31 members of the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada gathered in Belleville, Ontario, for their yearly conference. ARCCC brings together communicators in dioceses, religious orders and Catholic institutions. This year the focus was pictures. Participants enjoyed the grounds of Loyalist College: (from left to right) Sr. Conrad Lauber, Gisela Côté, John O'Donnell, Fr. Tom Kurudeepan, Br. John Frampton, Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz, Eric Durocher and Pat Stortz.

Art Exhibit

Sister Virginia Varley CSJ has been painting for 15 years. She sees art as a "nurturer of spirituality." Attracted by art as a vehicle of prayer and of change in consciousness, she has found the blending of these two elements of her life through Sacred Art Retreats directed by Elizabeth Rosson of Nashua, Connecticut. Sister Virginia's use of art as an expression of prayer and growth in intimacy with God finds particular expression in her use of coloured pencil on black.

Dr. Ellen Leonard Honoured

Dr. Ellen Leonard CSJ will receive the Ann O'Hara Graff Annual Award for 2004 on June 10 in Reston, Virginia at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The Women's Seminar in Constructive Theology, the awarding body, looks for "women whose accomplishments include both womanist, feminist or other woman-defined scholarship and liberating action on behalf of women in the church and in the broader community." The award honours the late Ann O'Hara Graff who made significant contributions to women both in the academy and beyond.

April 22: International Earth Day

The CSJ Cherish the Earth Group invites everyone to celebrate this day through deeper reverence and care for life on our planet. Join millions of people in the world as they engage in peaceful thoughts and prayers to nurture neighbour and nature.

Here are some actions to celebrate creation:

As on the first day of creation:

St. Joseph's College Students Lend a Hand

A number of the university women who live in residence at St. Joseph's College volunteer for the Out of the Cold program sponsored by the University of St. Michael's College chaplaincy department. Every Tuesday for November to March, between 70-80 homeless people receive a meal.



Every Saturday, three or four students go to a bakery to pick up fresh submarine sandwich bread for sandwiches.

Morrow Park Recruits New Volunteers

The Morrow Park Volunteer Association is currently winding up a very successful recruitment campaign. Throughout March and April, several new volunteers will join the association. Two of our new members will be helping on Thursday afternoon in the craft program in the infirmary. Julie Assad (seated right) brings with her years of experience and lots of new ideas for projects. Marta Lou (seated left) is finding a new outlet for her creative energies.

Sister Nida's First Profession
I promise to love tenderly...
I promise to act justly...
I promise to walk humbly with God...
— Sister Nida Fe Chavez

On Jan. 24, 2004, in Morrow Park's chapel, Sister Nida Fe Chavez made first profession, joining the Sisters of St. Joseph and taking vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for the next three years.

Here I am, send me!

World Day for Consecrated Life: a day to recognize and give thanks for those who have consecrated their lives to God, to learn more about the consecrated life and to pray for future vocations to this life. Feb. 2, 2004, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, commemorates the day that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the Lord. This is the day that we associate with the celebration of consecrated life in the world.

Retreat For Busy People

During Advent, a "Retreat for Busy People" was offered to 17 parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Toronto. For this five-day retreat, people continue with their usual schedule and agree to spend approximately 30 minutes in prayer daily and to meet with a Prayer Guide each day. In this way, it is possible to make a retreat without going away to do it.

Six Morrow Park Volunteers Honoured

The Ontario Government recognized volunteer services and volunteer achievement in an award ceremony held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003.

Sandra Desjardins, Mary McDonald, Lolita Gallardo, Rita Mendes de Franca, Laura Keegan and Christine Rentschler received Ontario Service Pins and Certificates from Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Children's Services. She was assisted by George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

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