Dr. Margaret Myatt ΑΣΝ, CSJ
Sister Margaret Myatt, pictured right, received a Doctorate in Sacred Letters from Regis College at the Convocation Exercises on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. The ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of Hart House, University of Toronto.
Professor Margaret P. Lavin read the citation, part of which said, "Sister Margaret continues relentlessly to plan a variety of ministries, including encouraging other partners and other religious communities to increase their commitment to affordable housing, and to a growing ecological consciousness. When asked about the energy that keeps her going, she consistently refers to her original commitment to the Sisters of St. Joseph, central to which is the nourishment that she finds in the Congregation's spiritual life, liturgy, and in personal prayer."
The citation outlined the many accomplishments of Sister Margaret, pictured right with Sisters Veronica O'Reilly, Theresa Rodgers, and Annette Lacroix, starting with her years at St. Michael's Hospital where she served four years as Assistant Administrator. She merged two hospitals in 1979 when hospital mergers were uncommon. She was the Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto for ten years; and finally served as CEO of St. Joseph's Hospital and Home in Guelph for eight years.
Elected Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto in 1998, Sister Margaret has guided the creation of the Sisters of St. Joseph's Fontbonne Ministries, which offers a wide variety of services to the economically disadvantaged, and Faith Connections, a ministry to young adults. She has encouraged partnerships, taking an early leadership role in the creation of WRP Neighbourhood Housing, in which 40 women religious congregations are partnering with Habitat for Humanity Toronto on an affordable housing project in the city. She initiated the creation of Becoming Neighbours, the first joint ministry like it in Toronto, in which 19 Roman Catholic men and women religious congregations come together to assist immigrants and refugees as friends, guides and mentors during their initial adjustment to the country.
Sister Margaret is a member of the Jesuit honour society, as indicated by 'ΑΣΝ' and in 2005 received a Doctor of Sacred Letters from the University of St. Michael's College for her service and leadership in health care and for her leadership of the CSJ congregation.
Sister Margaret summarizes her commitment in the following way, "The life that I have led has been one of attempting to live the gospel myself and to bring other people to see what's really important. It's not social status, wealth or poverty. It is who we are in God's eyes. We are loved as God's creation. We are all precious to one another. We have a
responsibility to live that out."
The award was also made in recognition of the generosity of the Sisters of St. Joseph to the Jesuits of Upper Canada in ensuring that the Jesuits have the future home of Regis College in Toronto. At the March celebration of this new location, Regis President Father Joseph Schner thanked the many people who made the move possible, starting with the Sisters of St. Joseph:
"Thank you to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto who have so graciously and generously welcomed us to their home of many years," said Father Schner. "It was here that the first women students at St. Michael's University first made their home as well - a wonderful sign of things to come. In the years ahead, this chapel of St. Joseph and the Holy Family will be our reminder each day of your goodness to us and of your far-seeing wisdom."