Archive for April, 2013

PEACE PIES & PROPHETS

Friday, April 19th, 2013

On Friday April 12, 2013 the Toronto United Mennonite Church on Queen Street East hosted an evening of entertainment and education in support of the Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT). Several of Our Lady’s Missionaries attended at the invitation of Sister Rosemary Williamson OLM who is a member of CPT.

Ted Swartz and Tim Ruebke of “Ted and Company” presented a series of hilarious skits which had the audience laughing uproariously and at the same time paying attention to some of the dysfunctional and unjust aspects of our society.

Political and economic systems, food production, militarism and racism were all brought to our attention in ways that allowed us to simultaneously laugh, recognize the truth and gravity of what we heard and feel challenged to be part of action for change.

Interspersed through the evening Ted and Tim led an auction of pies made by supporters of CPT. Proceeds of the auction will support the work of the Christian Peacemakers Team in Iraq, Kurdistan, Palestine, Columbia and Canada.

 

Sr.Frances Brady,olm

Peace, Pies & Prophets

Peace, Pies & Prophets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meeting Place

Friday, April 12th, 2013

 

The Meeting Place is an adult drop in centre at the corner of  Bathurst and Queen Street.  A large number of those who frequent the centre are Indigenous People and this was my reason for volunteering there after my experience at Grassy Narrows in Northern Ontario with Christian Peacemakers Team.  The facilities include a pool table, laundry and showers, computers and free coffee.  The staff provide case management to address mental health and addiction issues and assist those seeking housing.

Every two weeks there is a dinner for those who are applying for compensation for their experience in the residential schools.  Resource persons are invited to speak at these gatherings which open and conclude with Indigenous rituals.  Frequently Leslie who is the Co-ordinator of the Meeting Place makes a presentation on the process.  Those who attend find encouragement and mutual support in this painful procedure.  I feel privileged to help prepare and serve the food.

Most of my time I just “hang out” initiating conversations or sometimes responding to greetings and comments.  Some are persons with mental health issues who are lonely while others are guarded or unpredictable.  Fostering trust takes time and rightly so with the trauma many have experienced.  Their compassion and generosity to one another is inspiring but it’s also tragic to see their struggles with addiction.

On one occasion an elderly man offered me tips on the shelters which serve the best meals.  Another who had never before responded to my greetings came and showed me how to hold the stick properly for shooting pool.

Leslie and her staff are compassionate listeners and respond to situations with patience and humour but when necessary show the door to those who are ignoring the rules or causing trouble.  Later that same day the person who was asked to leave is welcomed back if they wish.  The dynamics in the relationships between staff and members is for me “Gospel Living” among those disregarded  and dismissed by mainstream society.

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, olm

A Day at the Camp

Canoeing at the camp