Monday, September 21, 2020
Text Size

Sister Penny’s Response for Receiving the Award for the Value: Sanctity of Life

Thank you for the honour of receiving the award for the value of Sanctity of Life: that every life is a sacred gift and has meaning and value.

How fortunate and blessed am I to be in the Adult Day Program with our Club Members who are among the most vulnerable in our society.
I learn from them the importance of the here and now — the gift of the present moment.

I learn to enjoy the simple things of life:

  • a friendly hand
  • a loving smile
  • a reassuring  response
  • a warm hug
  • a quiet walk in the garden
  • a celebration of a special day
  • the fun of a joke
  • the happiness of a familiar tune and song
  • the joy of being smarter than a fifth grader
  • the taste of a chocolate ginger cookie 
  • the aroma of baking bread and pizza
  • the smell of peppermint
  • the beauty of a flowering Christmas cactus
  • the energy of a dance
  • the soothing feel of a lavender scented foot bath
  • the peaceful calm of colored lights
  • the sound of bubbling water
  • the zesty taste of freshly juiced fruit and vegetable
  • the fun of throwing the ball for Monty to chase and the comfort of reaching out to pet him.


How blessed and fortunate am I to be with you, the Staff of the Adult Day Program, where I witness the living of this value in the relationship among yourselves as a team and in your relationship with our Club Members.

I see the Sanctity Of Life lived

  • in your loving care and tender compassion
  • in your competent, innovative and intelligent service
  • in your creativity and fun, and
  • in your dedication and commitment. 

The truth is that each of you and together as team live this value and that you inspire me to provide for our Club Members the most important service of a caring and compassionate  presence and a listening and loving heart.

I thank you for including and supporting me in your steadfast commitment to the value that every life is a sacred gift and has meaning and value. 


I am grateful that my sister Paddi, that my Sisters and friends in community, and that my dear friend Mary Beth (and yours) are here to celebrate this occasion with me.

I am truly grateful to both Mary Anne and Mary Beth who five years ago encouraged me to come to the Adult Day Program and to Anne Spalding who welcomed and affirmed me.


As a Sister of St. Joseph it is truly satisfying and a source of joy to be at Providence Healthcare. It was one of our original ministries. The joy and the satisfaction is that the ministry of being a welcoming community of compassion, hope, and healing continues through YOU, the staff, the volunteers, the physicians, and the donors of Providence.


It happens that this year I celebrate 50 years of being a Sister of St. Joseph.

To receive this award for the value of Sanctity of Life at this time is a rare, remarkable, and meaningful honour and gift.

I borrow the words of Shakespeare to express my gratitude:

"I can no answer make
but thanks and thanks
ever thanks."

Penny McDonald CSJ
Providence Healthcare: Adult Day Program
Jan. 28, 2010


© 2020 Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto  |  E-mail:  |  Phone: 416-467-8070  |  Website by Poverello Media