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Associates Assembly Day on February 21, 2015

Forty-three CSJ Associates gathered for an Assembly Day at 2 O’Connor Drive on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The guest speaker was Father Peter McKenna. Under his able guidance, the Associates reflected on the theme, Celebrating What is Right With the World.
 
After a video presentation, Father Peter spoke about how perception controls our reality and how our vision transforms the way we look at the world. Throughout the day, he repeatedly asked the questions: “How is God speaking to you?” and “What is the request that God is making of you at this particular moment?”
 
He urged Associates to step outside their comfort zone and to make an effort to find a perspective that would transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
 
For Lent, Father McKenna invited the Associates to focus on:
  • Treating each other as God’s beloved ones;
  • Forgiving each other instead of holding on to grudges;
  • Cultivating a grateful heart;
  • Living simply so others can simply live.
In the afternoon, Associates learned of how refugee families live each day with uncertainties as to whether they will be able to stay in Canada or when they will have to leave. It is disheartening to know that many have been deported because their country of origin is deemed “safe” by our government for the purpose of dealing with refugee claims, even though their individual circumstances prove otherwise.
 
We watched a video prepared by one of the refugee families who was assisted by Becoming Neighbours. The expression of gratitude is overwhelming in spite of the difficulties they are facing. Our refugee brothers and sisters find consolation in the love and care that they receive from this ministry.
 
Many Sisters and Associates are currently involved with Becoming Neighbours as Companions or as Prayer Partners. There are many other ways to help, such as donations — monetary or gently-used clothing & household items, toiletries, nonperishable food, etc. Coming together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters during special celebrations is very much appreciated.
 
It was a wonderful day filled with sharing and enlightened awareness of how we live our lives impacts those around us.
 
Doris Veloso and Carol Lombard

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