Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jerusalem Is For Peace!

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Some children creatively made posters to show their support

On December 9th and 10th groups of people in Toronto rallied to say “NO” to the idea of the U.S. Embassy moving to Jerusalem. This event for peace was to express support and solidarity  for Palestine.

The “Jewish Voice for Peace” posted on facebook the following reasons why this is a bad idea; “It’s occupied territory, It’s intentionally provocative, Cement US as Israel’s partner in ethnic cleansing, Gives a green light to annexation, and Throws dirt on the two state solution.”

Since Israel’s occupation Palestinians had been oppressed, impoverished and separated from their people and land. Jerusalem is the only remaining symbol of Peace and of Palestine’s dignity.

 – Lorie J. Nunez, OLM

 

 

Wake Up, and Wait!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Advent…. The messages of Advent can seem a bit contradictory. We are asked to wake up, and wait! And yet, this is perhaps a message that our world needs now more than ever. We need to be awake and aware…

…of all the wonderfully good things that are happening all around us

  • acts of kindness and generosity
  • the love and support of family and friends
  • the beauty of creation
  • and so much more…

…and of all the awful and difficult things in our lives and in our world

  • acts of brutality and greed
  • divisions and strive among people and nations
  • the threat of global climate change
  • and so much more…

Once we are awake, how could it ever be a good thing to wait? And yet, it is true that knee-jerk reactions are not helpful. Decisions on how to move forward are best made with clear heads and peaceful hearts. Discernment rather than jumping to conclusions will lead us to the world of which we dream, especially at Christmas time – a world of peace and love and joy.

Indeed, may your Advent be a time of waking up and waiting! Together may we see the world with newly awakened eyes and together may we begin the slow and steady work of renewing the face of the earth.

 

Christine Gebel, OLM

Guadalupe Circle: Taking Action Together

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Photo from The Catholic Register on Guadalupe Circle

Two OLMs attended the JPIC (Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation) Ontario gathering that was held on November 22-23, 2017 at  Providence Spirituality Center, Kingston.

The theme of the gathering was focussed on “How can we as Catholics engage Canada’s First Nations in our efforts to further reconciliation?”

Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle is a Catholic coalition of Indigenous People, bishops, clergy, lay movements and institutes of consecrated life, engaged in renewing and fostering relationships between the Catholic Church and Indigenous People in Canada.

This circle has a fourfold purpose:  “First, To provide a forum for its members to dialogue and encourage deeper understanding of the relationships between the Church and Indigenous people and Indigenous spirituality in Canada. Second, To serve as a united Catholic public voice on relations and dialogue between the Church and Indigenous people and Indigenous spirituality in Canada. Third, To assist Catholics in engagement with the Truth and Reconciliation process and its Calls to Action. And the last, To carry out agreed upon initiatives and concrete actions.”

A documentary film entitled “The Doctrine of Discovery” which was shown during the gathering was a powerful tool for reflection that deepened our understanding of why reconciliation with Indigenous People is an urgent matter for the Catholic Church to take action.

Now that a coalition is created, let us lend our support and hope that this remarkable step for our Church is proven to be a serious response to the call for Truth and Reconciliation.  May justice and peace flourish for all.

 

-Lorie Nuñez, OLM

A Community of All that is Loved by God

Monday, November 20th, 2017

 

On November 19th , OLMs, friends, and family gathered at our Leander house to express gratitude for the special way those who have died in the past year have blessed our lives. At the mass, Sr. Frances Brady, OLM shared her thoughts with us:

Each person we have known and loved, and who has loved us continues to be a gift for us. We know that this relationship does not end in death.

In a manner that we cannot fully understand we are still connected in God. We can say that we are all members of the Communion of Saints.

Elizabeth Johnson, in her book “Friends of God and Prophets describes the Communion of Saints as ‘All persons of truth and love'”.

She points out that while the term Communion of Saints comes from within the Church it is not limited to church members.

On the contrary, God calls people of every nation and tongue, culture and religion and of no religion. Indeed the Communion of Saints embraces all women and men who hear the Spirit’s call and follow the path of righteousness, all people of good will whom Paul refers to in the second reading as “people of light”.

This includes those who have died because we are connected with them, together in communion with God who created all of us.

This connection of course is affirmed by our own experience. We know in our hearts that those we love are still a part of us, in our memory and love and in ways they have influenced our lives.

Elizabeth goes on to say that the natural world is also part of the Communion of Saints. It has been created by God, the community from which everything that exists has been given life…the communion of holy people, she says, is connected to the communion of holy creation. As we have come to understand more clearly in recent years, everything is connected to everything else and all flourishes or withers together.

Today, has been designated by the Church as the World day for the Poor. The first reading and the Gospel focus on how we use our gifts for others. It is up to us to decide for ourselves how we can best fulfill our responsibility within this one community of which we are a part, a community of all that is loved by God.

If we think of our world today, certainly many images of need easily come to mind: The many victims of violence, oppression, poverty and injustice around the world; The natural world that is suffering from injustice and abuse.

Because we are all part of one community in God, we feel that we are a part of all the pain and suffering. It is not them, it is us.

A couple of weeks ago when we read the Gospel about loving our neighbour, I remembered reading an insight expressed about this passage. I now know it came from Cynthia Bergault, an Episcopalian priest, author and speaker on topics related to spirituality.

Bergault suggests that Jesus’ Great Commandment of “love your neighbour as yourself” does not mean “as much as yourself” as we usually tend to interpret it, but rather as one and the same interchangeably with yourself in the one Communion of Saints.

We are all one, those still living, those who have died and the natural world, held together in the love of God who creates and gives life.

Keeping in mind this community in God that we share together how do we honour the memory of those who have died?

When we think of our Sister Susan Moran that question is easy to answer. Susan dedicated herself to being a voice for the homeless. I’m sure that when we think of Susan we think of the homeless. When we do something for someone who is homeless we remember Susan and in this way honour her memory.

As we think of those we remember today, who were the “poor” for whom they had a particular concern? Who or what need was dear to their hearts? What can we do in their memory for some person or group or part of the created world that was especially important to them?

Whatever we choose to do in memory of our relatives and friends who have died, to pray for someone in need, help them or speak out on their behalf we fulfill our role as members of the Communion of Saints… and we honour the memory of those we love and with whom we are united in God’s love.

 

60 Years of Life in Mission

Monday, November 13th, 2017

On Sunday November 12, 2017 we held a 60th Jubilee celebration for three of our sisters who entered Our Lady’s Missionaries in 1957.

Sister Joan Missiaen served in Mexico, the Philippines and Guyana, Sister Doris MacDonell in Brazil and Guyana and Sister Gwen Legault in Mexico and Nigeria. All three sisters have also served in various ministries in Canada.

At our central house, 2 Leander Court, a Mass of thanksgiving for the lives of service of the Jubilarians was joyfully celebrated. Father Michael Traher of Scarboro Missions presided and gave the homily. Following the Mass we, along with our guests, enjoyed a buffet lunch prepared and served by family members and friends.

By: Sr. Frances Brady, OLM

Rohingya in Crisis

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Sr. Rosemary, OLM raised her voice with a poster.

Sr. Frances, OLM holding a poster.

An interfaith group rallied in Toronto to raise awareness for the Rohingya Muslims who are a stateless minority group in Myanmar Burma who have been subjected to systematic persecution and grave human rights abuses by authorities for decades.

These placards, posters, and banners that describe the ongoing conflict that created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. There are over half a million families in desperate need of food, shelter, and water.

-Lorie Nunez, OLM

Waiting In Hope

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Those who have been accompanying refugees in Canada know how grateful they are to be feeling safe and even hopeful that Canada may grant them the right to stay.

During a Thanksgiving Mass celebration recently held at Scarboro Missions, Fr. Peter McKenna, scj invited us to reflect on what we are  most grateful for?

Some shared their gratitude for friendship, recognizing the ever-supportive companions who make themselves available each time there is a need.  Others were grateful for feeling safe while living in Canada and waiting for their status.

All of us simply hope for a life where peace and harmony are possible.

 

 

 

-Lorie J. Nunez, OLM

 

 

 

THANKSGIVING

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

 

Our Lady’s Missionaries celebrated Thanksgiving this year with morning Mass and evening dinner together with friends. We were able to name many blessings for which we thank God, for family, friends, nature’s abundance, good food shared, the comfort of home and so much more.

These happy and grateful thoughts could not fill our hearts. They left room for the many people who have less to be thankful for these days, for victims of famine and war, fires and floods and earthquakes, the sick and homeless.

We know it is not enough to give thanks for what we have. If we are blessed, it is with gifts to be used wisely and with respect until we can say that land and air and water, food and energy and shelter, peace and joy and freedom are there for everyone.

Only then will we be able to say that we are truly grateful.

 

 

Frances Brady, OLM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ride For Refuge

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Group photo of some of the FCJ Team walkers.

On September 30, 2017, I walked a few miles to support The Ride for Refuge, a charity event that supports displaced people from other countries.  This  took place in major cities across Canada.  In Toronto it was held at the Beaches and at Ashbridges Bay.  It included both cyclists and walkers who were fund raising for a variety of organizations assisting refugees.  I was a member of the walkers team for the FCJ Refugee Centre.  It was a bright crisp morning and I enjoyed meeting the other team members many of whom work at the Centre.

I want to thank all those who sponsored me on this walk.

Rosemary Williamson, OLM

If you wish to donate please click the link below:

https://rideforrefuge.org/home

 

Great Lakes Water Walk

Monday, September 25th, 2017

A Great Lakes Water Walk streamer, an expression of our connections

Ontario’s Indigenous Peoples launched a Great Lakes Water Walk held on September 24th, at the Waterfront.  This event raised awareness that water, according to Elder Josephine Mandamin, an Ojibwe Grandmother and Water Walker, is a sacred gift.  “It is the same water we all depend on, bringing healing, and uniting cultures.”

Organizers explain their commitment:  Because of Water

Expressing awareness through sign language

The participation of diverse groups of people, with a strong interfaith element, gave the event a profound sense of reconciliation. By raising awareness of the Great Lakes water as a source of life, all are called to honour and protect water as sacred.

 

 

The Legacy boat was present, printed with colourful waves

 

A symbol of the deep connection between water and women

-Lorie Nunez, OLM

To learn more about the walk please see links below

:http://Great Lakes Water Walk