Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Solar Eclipse 2017

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Our precious homemade solar eclipse projectors

On August 21, 2017, some OLMs observed the solar eclipse using our neat homemade viewers made of shoe boxes, pieces of aluminum foil and white bond paper, thanks to the CSA for posting instructions on how to make a solar eclipse projector.

The solar eclipse in Toronto occurred at about 2:30 pm.  It was a partial solar eclipse which means that the sun and moon were not perfectly aligned and only a part of the sun was hidden by the moon.

The dimming and the change of the sunlight during the eclipse was an encounter with the mystery of creation!  According to the Canadian Space Agency, the next total solar eclipse to be visible in Canada will occur on April 8, 2024, when the path of totality will cross Mexico, the United States and Eastern Canada.

-Lorie J. Nunez, OLM



Chico and Pedro – Sister Maejanet Mac Donnell, OLM

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017


OLMs remember Maejanet Mac Donnell known as “Elisabete” by the people of Brazil for her deep thoughts about peace and justice she portrayed in this poem she wrote.


Chico and Pedro

Sister Maejanet Mac Donnel, OLM


“Yip, Yip, Va” and a rustling swack

Of palm leaf bough behind his back

Sends his donkey scrambling along the track

“Va”, calls Chico with another swack.


Pedro, the donkey, pulls and heaves

sun beams dance through banana leaves.

The stream trickles slowly and turns and weaves

over stones and long dried mango leaves.


Brown fingers beat a bongo tune

On a round tin drum to be filled up soon

With bananas ripe from the rains of June

And Chico loves his world this noon.


How he loves his world of Brazilian sun

And his sweet-smelling lead on the donkey run

And he wonders if all boys have such fun

As he aims at a hawk with his sling shot gun.


For the world he loves is the world he knows

And he’s never heard of the land with snows

Or a golden autumn with rows and rows

Of flaming maples, or great ski tows.


But he’s a boy who will soon be a man

And his hopes are as yours, no different than,

To be strong and good, an honored man

A generous and loving, and well-loved man.


So you see though his world is miles away

The dreams he dreams from day to day

Are the dreams you dream, for they really say

Teach me to love dear Lord, and to give it away.

Announcing the new Executive Director of Presentation Manor

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

The following is a press release regarding Presentation Manor, a joint project of several religious communities, including Our Lady’s Missionaries:

Fr. George Smith, CSB, chair of the Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Gordon Perrault as the Executive Director of Presentation Manor for Seniors, effective August 1, 2017. At the time of his appointment, Mr. Perrault had been serving as Senior Executive Director of a privately held senior living corporation in Toronto. Prior to this position he had held the positions of Director of Business Development at Compass Group Healthcare–Senior Living; and Regional Director, Operations, Chartwell Retirement Residences (Formerly Allegro Residences). With increasingly responsible positions in the field of Senior Living residences, Mr. Perrault is a distinguished leader in eldercare who brings a wealth of experience in management, marketing and business operations. He also has a demonstrated commitment to the unique Catholic mission of Presentation Manor, which combines with his experience to make him an outstanding leader for an exciting new venture in senior living in Toronto. “Our Board of Directors came to the conclusion that Gord Perrault possesses the right combination of leadership ability, experience and expertise to position him to be an outstanding Executive Director of Presentation Manor” said Smith. “We conducted an extensive recruitment and interview process, and he had outstanding competition, but we are more than confident that we have found our leader”. Presentation Manor for Seniors is a 229-unit eldercare residence in Scarborough, ON founded on the values of hope and compassion and inspired by Catholic religious orders of women and men in Canada. It is scheduled to open in summer/fall 2018.

For more information, visit Fr. George Smith, C.S.B. Chair, Board of Directors Presentation Manor for Seniors (416) 459-4381

-Sr. Chrisitne Gebel, OLM


Monday, July 17th, 2017

Photo credit:

The UN asks individuals around the world to mark Nelson Mandela International Day on the day he was born, 18th of July. This is a commemoration that encourage us to make a difference in our life as a community. Each of us has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.

“In a cynical world we have become an inspiration to many. We signal that good can be achieved among human beings who are prepared to trust, prepared to believe in the goodness of people.”

-Nelson Mandela, 10th years of Democracy address, Cape Town, May 10, 2014

In today’s world of disasters from climate change, the growing gap between rich and poor, terrorist attacks and President Trump, leader of the most powerful nation on earth eroding trust in the integrity of leadership with his constant use of twitter ill-considered comments; yes cynicism is surely present.

Nelson Mandela spent most of his life fighting the injustices of apartheid. And after spending 27 years in prison he went on to win the first fully democratic election in South African history.

In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of work for human equality.  In the quote above, he speaks of trust and belief in the goodness of people.

The following are some quotes when he address and spoke of ordinary people and their participation in governance during a rally in Durban, 25 February 1990:

“Since my release, I have become more convinced than ever that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women of our country. Their participation in every decision about the future is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom.”

In his speech at an event to meet leaders for the Free State, September 17, 1994 he stated:

“Freedom should not be understood to mean leadership positions or even appointments to top positions. It must be understood as the transformation of the lives of ordinary people in the hostels and the ghettos; in the squatter camps; on the farms and in the mine compounds. It means constant consultation between leaders and members of their organizations; it demands of us to be in constant touch with the people, to understand their needs, hopes and fears; and to work together with them to improve their conditions.”

Is this not the very message we desperately need today when so many feel isolated from decision-making and victims of multinationals and market forces they do not understand?

Nelson Mandela is a beacon of hope and inspiration and his words are relevant today. In Canada we also have a related and inspirational document, “The Leap Manifesto which sets out values similar to those of Nelson Mandela.

-Rosemary Williamson, OLM

For further information:

Partners with OLM BBQ

Monday, July 10th, 2017

The Partners with OLM group and Our Lady’s Missionaries gathered on a Sunday afternoon in June to review the past year and celebrate with a potluck barbecue.

We re-read our Mission Statement:

PARTNERS with Our Lady’s Missionaries is a group of women and men who are attracted to our charism, share our concern for social justice and respect our values.

Some Partners have been involved with the community for many years. Others are new friends whom we warmly welcome.

Partners’ meetings are held several times a year during which we address current social justice issues for advocacy, and faith-based action. We recognize that Partners engage in such actions as they are able, considering that many are already involved in a variety of ministries.

We feel that our lives are enriched by interaction with the Partners who have helped us in many ways and we hope that this enrichment is mutual.

We also remembered the questions and concerns we had explored during the past year, and talked about what we would like to address in the coming year.

Since it had been raining off-and-on, it wasn’t until the meeting was finishing up that we could declare that the next part of our gathering, the potluck barbecue, could be an outside event!  Though it was cool’ish, the conversation and camaraderie were filled with warmth and all the edible offerings were delicious!

– Christine Gebel, OLM

Advancing Non-Violence in the Catholic Church

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017


Two of Our Lady’s Missionaries attended this gathering.

It was very inspiring to hear the cry for nonviolence  that our world needs to hear today.

Below is an excerpt from Pax Christi – Toronto on Advancing Non-Violence in the Catholic Church:

Pax Christi Toronto – Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Friday, June 23, 2017 – 12:00pm

Pax Christi Toronto and the Mary Ward Centre invite you to meet members of the leadership team of Pax Christi International, introducing the new Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.

Launched at the 2016 Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference in Rome, it affirms that active nonviolence is at the heart of the vision and message of Jesus, the life of the Catholic Church, and the long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet.

-Sr. Mary Gauthier, OLM

Sacred Water

Monday, June 26th, 2017


Participants of CRC JPIC National Conference. Photo credits to Christina Zha, Mary Ward Centre

Two OLM sisters attended the CRC National JPIC Gathering held last June 6-8, 2017 in Toronto with the theme: “Access to safe drinking water is a basic and human right”.

Elder Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe Grandmother and Water Walker assisted by Sr. Priscilla Solomon, CSJ

The gathering started with Elder Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe grandmother and water walker who described how indigenous nations live with reverence for nature.  She demonstrated why and how she respects water as a way of life by telling us stories and beliefs that women, as life-givers have a special responsibility to protect the water as sacred, as the “lifeblood of Mother Earth.”

Photo credits to

Maude Barlow on Water is “a basic and human right”



Her walking around lakes and rivers as a journey to respect water and the impact of  the second speaker, Maude Barlow of Council of Canadians on Blue Future advocacy, convinced us to protect water for people and the planet forever. Both speakers inspired us to act for this challenging water advocacy.

Water indeed is a basic and human right!

There is a blue community campaign that hopes to raise awareness in the world for free and clean water by encouraging collaborative efforts in local areas to identify actions that can be taken to improve water quality and quality of life in local neighbourhoods.

-Lorie Nunez, OLM

Below are links that help us to learn how to engage in preserving the sacredness of water:


Now into the New!

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The symbols that represent our shared life of service in four directions North, West, South, and East

On June 1st and 2nd, Our Lady’s Missionaries gathered for the community’s annual meeting at Leander house, reflecting on how we can full-heartedly live our future in Presentation Manor.  

Sister Jane McDonell, IBVM guided us to reflect on our transition in three levels:  personal, communal and global. 

Using her own experience she encouraged us to find our wisdom by reflecting on our lives in the context of connectivity and relationship.

Our gathering prayer opened us up to an opportunity to remember the places we shared our life of service.  Thinking back on our own experience as a community and expressing  gratitude helped us to honour our collective past.  This led us into awareness of “Now into the New”.

According  to the data of many professional researchers, “Aging is a natural part of life’s transforming process; a time that we have courage and the awareness to realize and to accept the changing of our bodies, loss of memory as well as our energy levels”.  In this manner, we hope to be more aware of the transformation by being more open to the personal and communal process of transition.

Symbolic lights from four directions; hope, courage,love, and transformation

Sister Jane reminded us that the aging process is not all

doom and gloom.  We can “mother forth our aging into a sacred spiritual journey powered by hope, courage, love and gratitude“.

The blessing cards we received

Please click on photo to read Sr. Marie’s poem

As we concluded, we received several blessing cards from Jane.  These highlighted the spiritual gifts we OLMs hope to hold in our heart as we face the future.  These gifts inspired Sr. Marie Clarkson to offer a poem to express our gratitude to the speaker. 

Sr. Noreen Kearns, OLM






Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

On May 31st, OLMs gathered at Leander house celebrating the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth.  The event was graced with the presence of Jane McDonnell, IBVM and Msgr. Samuel Bianco, officiating the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM shared her reflection on the Gospel reading, stating that Both Mary and Elizabeth were women of faith, prayer, trust and courage.  These gifts, she emphasized,  lived and shared by our founder, Fr. Dan and the sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto, who came to Alexandria to help in our early formation.

Now that most of us are less actively engaged in ministry, we try to be like them, especially believing that prayer is powerful. In our troubled and violent world, prayer can be a profound force for justice and peace.  May our hearts be open to fulfill our mission on earth here and now.

This gathering continued  at the dining table telling stories of hope and courage we experience in life.

May our spirit sing God’s praise as we face the unfolding of our future in Presentation Manor.  May we be more mindful and grateful to all creation as we have yet to witness the new challenge of visitation in our new OLM home.

-Gwen Legault, OLM

CNWE: Honouring The Past Contribution of Women in the Church

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Members of Our Lady’s Missionaries who are also members of CNWE (Catholic Network for Women’s Equality) attended the CNWE Annual Conference and AGM at St. Paul University in Ottawa from May 26 to May 28, 2017.

The theme for the event was “Honouring the Past, Keeping Faith in the Present and Shaping the Future.”

Sr. Christine Schenk           Photo credits to: authors/christine-schenk

The Keynote speaker, Sister Christine Schenk, founding director of Future Church, spoke about her original research into iconic motifs of female authority in early Christian art and archaeology. Her presentation included pictures of many pieces of art depicting women in the first four centuries in leadership roles in their church groups.


Sister Christine’s presentation along with several workshops and a panel discussion gave the participants opportunities for honouring the past contribution of women in the Church, and provided encouragement, inspiration and challenge for the future.

-Sr. Frances Brady, OLM