Archive for March, 2011

A CHALLENGE TO BE GRATEFUL

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Still relatively new to Brazil, Sr. Anie Montejo continues to learn Portuguese.  One way in which she does this is by teaching a group of children how to make macramé bracelets.  Once the children learn the technique, they are able to make a bit of money selling what they have made.  In this way, the children and Sr. Anie are able to help each other out.  Below, Sr. Anie writes about how she learns more than just Portuguese from the children.

Sometimes it takes a child to remind me of the importance of remembering to take the time to stop and give thanks to God. 

At this point in time one of the ways in which I am learning and practicing Portuguese is by accompanying a group of children and teaching them how to make bracelets.  Communication can be a real struggle between us.  It is a real challenge for me to teach them in Portuguese they also find it challenging to understand my half-baked Portuguese.  One girl was having a particularly hard time.  At every session she would ask, “Tia, certo?”  (Auntie, is this right?)  And it would just about break my heart to have to reply, “Nao” (no).  Finally, she finished her first bracelet and brought it over to show me asking, “Tia, certo?”  She had done well and I replied, “Sim, certo e muito bonita, e legal!” (Yes, it is right, very beautiful and nice.)  With great joy in her heart, the girl knelt on the ground and thanked God saying, “Gracas a Deus terminei.”

Seeing the joy in her heart after so much struggle reminded me of my own struggle to learn Portuguese.  It also reminded me to be grateful for all I have received, especially through the kindness of the Brazilian people.  Yes, God is very good.

 

International Women’s Day March 8, 2011

Friday, March 18th, 2011

by Joan Missiaen OLM

To celebrate ‘International Women’s Day’ 16 women – including 6 members of Our Lady’s Missionaries, gathered at the corner of Bay and Bloor between 4:30 – 5:30 PM carrying placards that read – – –

‘SAY NO TO SEXUAL SLAVERY EVERYWHERE’

‘BRING HUMAN TRAFFICKING OUT OF THE SHADOWS’

‘HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS MODERN SLAVERY’

‘HUMAN TRAFFICKING SHAMES US ALL’

A young man walked back and forth on Bay St, then reticently came over to me.  “I may not look it”, he said pointing to his long hair, “but I do care what happens to women.  I don’t want them hurt.”  As I thanked him for the courage to stop, he smiled then walked away with his head held high.

Others greeted with “‘Happy International Women’s Day”, or thanked us for taking a stand.

Every year members and friends of CNWE – Catholic Network for Women’s Equality – gather at Bay and Bloor to protest violence against women in its many forms.  All are welcome!

Today is Ash Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Would you like to experience Lent as a time for reconciliation with all of creation?  You may be interested in the Lent 4.5 program:

The Lent 4.5 program is developed by the Passionist Earth & Spirit Centre based in Kentucky, USA.  Through the program, we approach the Lenten season of purification and repentance with a particular focus on how our lifestyles affect creation, as well as the poor of this world.  It gives the traditional Lenten practice of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving a whole new meaning.

Our thanks to Fátima Lee of St. Gabriel’s Parish in Toronto, Canada for informing us of this excellent program.

Why is it called Lent 4.5? 

Imagine if the Earth were divided equally among all of us.  Each person would receive 4.5 acres.  Now imagine everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres.  But it takes 14.2 acres to maintain the average Canadian lifestyle.  There is a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources.  Moving in the direction of 4.5 is essential for anyone walking in the footsteps of Jesus today.

From the Lent 4.5 website

To learn more, click on the link below:

www.lent45.org

 

 

  

The People Rise

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The sisters of Our Lady’s Missionaries are watching closely the developments around the world as people stand up and demand their dignity and freedom.  Sr. Marie Clarkson O.L.M. has written the following poem from her reflections on the situation.

 

 

The People Rise

 

by Sr. Marie Clarkson O.L.M.

 

                  It is 

               the time 

         the shining star

            of freedom

         sears the mind

            inflames the heart

               breaks the bond

         the people

             rise

 

        the yoke of fear

           is cracked

             is shattered

       the people

           rise

 

     the voice

        must be heard

          must penetrate

     a greater wall

        of practiced

           deafness

              unknowing

      the people

         rise

 

     how can 

       a  balance come

           compassion outweigh

              revenge

 

     the shining star

        of freedom

           inflames the heart

     it is

       the time

 

     the people rise.

 

Earth Hour 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Earth Hour 2011 will soon be upon us.  The following is from the Earth Hour global Site:

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.

To learn more and pledge your participation in Earth Hour 2011, please look at these links:

Earth Hour Global Site:  http://www.earthhour.org/Homepage.aspx?intro=no

Earth Hour in Canada:  http://wwf.ca/earthhour/