Archive for September, 2010

CELEBRATION OF OLM SISTERS’ ANNIVERSARIES IN TORONTO

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

On  the lovely afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 11, Our Lady’s Missionaries hosted the celebration of the anniversaries of 4 of their members at 2 Leander Court in Toronto. Sisters Mary Hughes, Cecile Turner and Myra Trainor were all honored for their 60 years of membership in the congregation and Sr. Christine Gebel for her 25 years. We also remembered Sr. Clarice Garvey, presently in Brazil, for her 60 years.  The Sisters of the Toronto community, and their associates together with  family and friends of the four Sisters gathered to celebrate the Eucharist and share a luncheon.  Each one of us shared the joy and gratitude that filled the hearts of our celebrants on that memorable day.

by Sr. Patricia Kay

Prayer Vigils Continue

Monday, September 20th, 2010

On Wednesday, September 8, a group of 15 people including OLM sisters Susan Moran, Rosemary Williamson, Cecile Turner, Frances Brady and Mary Hughes gathered to pray for the Chilean miners who have been trapped underground since a cave-in at the beginning of August.  Prayers were also offered for those affected by the earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand.

On Tuesday, September 21, the United Nations International Day of Peace, there will be another prayer vigil as part of the Million Minutes for Peace movement.  This vigil will take place at 11:15am at   6 St. Joseph Street.  The vigil is sponsored by 6 St. Joseph House and Lazarus House.

     To learn more about A Million Minutes for Peace, go to:

Reflection at a Jubilee Liturgy

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Sisters Mary Hughes, Cecile Turner and Myra Trainor recently celebrated their 60’th anniversary of entrance to Our Lady’s Missionaries, and Sister Christine Gebel celebrated her 25’th anniversary.  The celebration included a Mass with the following readings and a reflection:

Colossians 1:3-6

John 2:1-11 (The Wedding Feast at Cana)

 

  • When Sisters Mary Hughes, Cecile Turner, Myra Trainor and I first met to plan for this liturgy, we decided to start with choosing a Gospel and let everything else we planned flow from that.  When we each had made a suggestion, I noticed that they were about wine, bread, and bearing fruit.  As I tried to find the meaning in that, I thought…  don’t go to a meeting hungry & thirsty!
  • But really, it’s about our desire to be a nurturing presence in the world.
  • Cecile was quick to point out that even as this is so, we have so often been nurtured by the very people we thought we were nurturing!  She mentioned the friend in Guyana who sent a pot of soup to the OLM’s every Sunday despite the fact that she was raising five grandchildren singlehandedly.  And Cecile stressed that this is only one of many, many people who have been so very generous to OLM’s in Guyana and in all the places where OLM’s have lived and worked around the world.  We can say that we agree with Paul in the first reading that we have seen the Gospel bearing fruit among the people with whom we have lived and worked.
  • Mary Hughes told me a story about visiting patients in a hospital in Fortaleza.  One man shouted at her, “Don’t talk religion to me!”  So what did Mary do, she asked him to explain to her the rules of soccer football.  He was happy to talk about that, and for the next three months, Mary visited him regularly and they engaged in all sorts of small talk.  Throughout this time, Mary’s heart ached for this man because he was angry at God and very bitter about the fact that he was suffering from cancer in his leg and could no longer walk or work.  One day he asked Mary to send a priest to visit him.  After the two talked together, the priest asked Mary to come to the mass he was about to say so that she could then bring communion to her patient-friend.  In fact, when Mary arrived to offer him communion, he was already unconscious and he died soon after.  How wonderful that before he died he must have come to some sort of healing and reconciliation with his God.  Mary’s story speaks of the kind of mission we’ve just sung about in the song “As A Fire Is Meant For Burning.”  We’re meant for mission, but not a mission of preaching our creeds or customs, but a mission of care and gentle loving actions in a humble listening spirit.
  • Myra mentioned that the miracle in the Gospel we’ve heard today reminds her of the many miracles she has witnessed while working in the Provincial Jail in Cagayan de Oro.  Many of the prisoners she knew were innocent and many more of those who were truly guilty had committed their crime out of poverty and desperation.  Just about all of them arrived at the jail as angry bitter victims and amazingly, many of these slowly transformed themselves into friendly caring community builders.  One of the most memorable was Apollo.  A teacher, he arrived at the jail feeling victimized like all the others, but somewhere along the way he was able to make the decision not to remain so.  He became one of Myra’s best helpers… letting her know which prisoners were most in need of medical care, material help, a bit of follow-up on their case, or some other thing.  Eventually, I think it was Myra who became Apollo’s helper as he practically ran the prison!  It was a bittersweet day when he was finally released.
  • One of the things that caught my attention in today’s Gospel is how after Jesus said, “My hour has not yet come.”  Mary replies, not through words but through her actions, “Yes it has, Jesus… it is time.”  Through our actions, I hope we are also able to say, it is time.  Time for everyone to experience a life of fullness and joy.  Time for all of creation to drink deeply of the best wine.  These days are a sacred time.  On Wednesday the Jewish people began to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  Yesterday Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadam with Eid al Fitr.  Today, September 11, a small minority of people are saying it is time for us all to fight this out and see who the winner will be.  But as even a reporter on the CBC said last night, perhaps the silver lining in the cloud of threatened Qur’an burning is how so many people of all faiths have cried out in support of Muslims these past few days.  In my work in Muslim-Christian dialogue in the Philippines and with Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream here in Canada I feel great hope in all the people I meet who agree, it is time for us to honour the truths we all share, time to live out the love, peace and compassion that all faiths profess and all people long for.
  • I think I can say I speak for all of us, Cecile, Mary Hughes, Myra, Clarice and myself when I say that we look back at our combined 265 years of living mission with great gratitude and thanksgiving for everyone who has been a part of our journey, including all of you.  Thank you for coming to celebrate with us today.

You are invited to A Prayer Vigil…

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

A Prayer Vigil for the Chilean Miners trapped underground will be held on Wednesday, September 8, at 11:00am at the Peace Gardens, Toronto City Hall.

Come join us in a Prayer Vigil for the people of Chile and their miners, who are trapped underground awaiting rescue.  Join us as we pray for their help and for suffering people all over the world.

This Vigil is supported by:

6 St. Joseph House * Lazarus House