Archive for February, 2015

Family Day February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16th, 2015

sarah sandra mayou

Noreen Mll





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On October 12, 2007 the Ontario government established the Family Day holiday that would fall on the third Monday of every February.  The inaugural holiday began in February of 2008.  Widely embraced, it offered a respite from the short cold days of winter and an opportunity to spend some time with loved ones. 

 I’ve spent the first seven Family Days battling on a crokinole board with about 45 family members, young and old, in the hopes of winning the ‘championship belt’.  Some of us enjoy exaggerating the importance of winning the games while others remain vaguely aware that games are taking place let alone understanding the rules.  On the surface everyone seems to take something quite different away from the day’s activities. Not so readily apparent is the sense of belonging that subtly binds the participants together.

 Remembering back to the 1970’s it seems strange that fifty years later we would have found a need to set aside time for a family day.  After all, advancements in technology were going to free us from the burden of work.  The eight hour, five day week would soon become a four hour, four day work week.  Leisure time would soon be abundant.  Things didn’t turn out the way many had predicted.  Our perceptions of the way things are and what they will become is often skewed.  This is important to keep in mind as we look at our understanding of today’s family.

 It seems fashionable to herald the demise of the family in the face of the onslaught of our fast paced technology driven world.  No surprise then that we would try and slot in a day so we can check off ‘spend time with the family’ from the to-do list.  Maybe we’ve got it all wrong though.  Maybe the family unit that we all too often hearken back to in our memories simply wouldn’t help to sustain us in today’s world. Somehow we have allowed technology to set the pace of our lives. The family dynamic has changed just as rapidly as the world around it.


Many of the descriptors of the modern family would have seemed quite remarkable in the 70’s. Single parents, same sex parents, mixed race family, mixed religion family, international adoptions, childless couples, sandwich generation, late-life parenthood, combined families and working mothers are all common topics in today’s discussion of the family.  The family unit seems much more diverse, as are our perceptions of the world.

 Family Day is an opportunity to enjoy some time with loved ones and it might just be an occasion to celebrate the marvel of the modern family. Constantly changing and adapting with the world around it and still providing the basis for interaction with the larger community.  Our families might look and feel different but the importance of its role in society has not diminished.  We should savour the opportunity to spend some time with our family on this day, even if it means crushing their hopes of ever wearing the championship crokinole belt.

 Submitted by Joseph Flynn

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 Brendan Char Pat


Pope Francis meets with Popular Movements

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Judith Marshall  Pope Francis

Judith Marshall           Pope Francis


At the invitation of the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice, Judith Marshall spoke to a group at the Mary Ward Centre on January 29, 2015 about the World Meeting of Popular Movements. Ms. Marshall was the only Canadian delegate at the meeting that was held in Rome October 27 to 29, 2014. Ms. Marshall told the group that Pope Francis was a central force in creating this gathering. Before becoming Pope, Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina was a strong supporter of workers and their organizations,

The gathering in Rome was comprised of 150 delegates. Thirty of them were bishops from various countries, where their ministries included support for movements of the poor. The other 120 were members of popular movements organized around the themes of land, labour and housing.

During the three day gathering members spoke about the purpose of their organizations, the root causes of the issues around land, labour and housing and some of their hopes for the future.

The second day of the meeting was held at the Vatican, where it began with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Turkson of Ghana.  Pope Francis addressed the gathering and each delegate had the opportunity to meet personally with him.

In a written report Ms. Marshall states that “ the time of dialogue in Rome has served to strengthen the conviction of both the church and the popular movements that these are the right battles to be fighting”. Several members of Our Lady’s Missionaries were present for Ms. Marshall’s report. They saw the meeting in Rome as a hopeful and encouraging step towards the values related to land labour and housing that are the focus of the popular Movements.

Ms. Marshall’s report is available through LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal at:     


Sister Frances Brady, olm