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A Woman of Distinction for Health and Healing

Over 1400 people applauded Sister June Dwyer CSJ as she and seven other women received the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards at a gala evening on May 12, 2010 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Sister June, pictured right, received the award for health and healing.  She described Nazareth House, where she has served as executive director for the past 16 years, as “a place of love, non-judgment, and great compassion which enables women to become their best selves.”  Through various programs of education, job training and stress management, as well as a lot of support, the women develop new ways of dealing with their lives and slowly begin to experience a new kind of growth and happiness.

A video showed Sister June with some of the residents and their babies. In this video, Sister June spoke about giving women a voice, and giving them back their dignity in a  “healing place” where the woman prepare a plan of care which allows them to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. A resident spoke about how Nazareth House has supported her and given her an opportunity for healing.

The Sisters who attended were very proud of Sister June and the congregation for being honoured in this way by the YWCA.  For the past 30 years, the YWCA has been recognizing the wonderful ways in which women empower other women and make this world a better place for all.  A beautiful meal, astonishing videos summarizing the accomplishments of each winner, and inspiring acceptance speeches which told of the surprise and gratitude felt by each of the candidates made this a night to remember.

By Sisters Georgette Gregory and Lorraine Malo

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