Archive for November, 2015

Remembering and Celebrating our Loved ones

Friday, November 20th, 2015



On November 15, 2015  Our Lady’s Missionaries gathered at Leander Court accompanied by relatives and friends to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died within this past year.  Father Jack Lynch of Scarboro Missions was the Presider.

In Sister Christine Gebel’s reflection she quoted a poem by Warsan Shire, a Somali-British writer and poet –

later that night

i held an atlas in my lap

ran my fingers across the

whole world

and whispered

where does it hurt?

it answered





Sister Christine continued with her reflection:

There’s pain and confusion all around the world including the recent bombings in Baghdad, Beirut and Paris …

there’s pain in our own corner of the world as we remember family and friends who have died … and there’s all the silent pain suffered by those who will never be known or recognized.

Let us remember our loved ones who have died and may we know that they are resting in God’s heart, filled with peace and love.   May we do the same for all victims of wars, bombings and every form of violence … Dare we also believe and pray that the perpetrators — who were so mixed up, so mentally unfit to believe that what they were doing was justice —that they too are now facing God’s love and mercy.

Submitted by: Sister Joan Missiaen,olm







OLM Christmas Mailing

Friday, November 13th, 2015

On November 8 eighteen volunteers joined Our Lady’s Missionaries in addressing, stuffing, sealing and stamping our Christmas mailing. Since our beginnings we have relied on the generosity of others and we are so very grateful that we can still depend on the help and support of family and friends.



Christmas Mailing 2015

Christmas Mailing 2015


A Quest for Peace

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Hebron – this scarred unhappy land

It is hard to believe that every day kindergarten children trudge up a narrow rocky path to school with a high metal fence on one side baring them from the street, and Israeli armed soldiers waiting at the top to observe them as they pass and that is what happens  to the Palestinian children who move across the landscape of Hebron. Their world looks like an armed camp filled with gates, fences, walls, debris and abandoned buildings. The children have very few places to play and they live in fear.

 I was not there. But, I saw many sad and unforgettable images of this area thanks to the slides which Sister Rosemary Williamson, OLM brought back from Hebron. Last Sunday, November 8, 2015, she showed them to the senior residents of the Toronto Mennonite Community in which I live. She spoke during our regular Worship Service and told her story of serving with the Christian Peace Maker Team in Hebron as a part-time reserve member from August to October this year.

image1 (1)Susiya

 We saw many smiling faces of beautiful children and parents, but we also saw devastation, hatred and the harsh realities of living in an occupied country – now invaded by 500 illegal Jewish settlers. However, her slides also showed the hopeful courageous work of the five CPT workers who have committed themselves to protecting the lives of the Palestinians by their presence and their efforts to document what is going on. It is dangerous work. They are putting their lives on the line each day. The atmosphere is menacing, and it does not take much to ignite violence as events have proved many times over.

 Sister Rosemary counseled us at the end of her talk to tell others what is going on in Hebron, as she was counseled by the Palestinians with whom she interacted. And, finally, she told us to pray for everyone in the region – Palestinians and Israelis (especially those who are working tirelessly with and for the Palestinians). We can only hope that peace will come one day to this scarred and unhappy land.

 Carolyn Murray

Residents’ Council President

St. Clair O’Connor Community


A Reflection on Caring for our Common Home

Friday, November 6th, 2015

God's Creation


I did not want to study the 176 page bound version of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si on my own. So I was happy to discover in late September that Scarboro Missions Centre was offering a free five week lecture series on Pope Francis’ encyclical letter. I attended the presentations of Paige Souter, Education Program Coordinator from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office and Father David Warren, SFM, benefited immensely from their careful, in-depth analysis of this groundbreaking document.

I am used to hearing about global warming and the dire predictions made by ecologists alarmed by rising annual temperatures. I applauded the “Occupy Movements” all over the first world which told me about the super wealthy 1% who were heedlessly destroying the planet and ignoring the plight of the poor. But I had never made the connection between the “cry of the earth” and “the cry of the poor” which the Pope makes so movingly in this document. He tells us that there is really only one crisis having two parts – environmental and social.

Each week the two speakers revealed key points of the encyclical and gave me an opportunity to ask myself some basic questions about humanity’s connection to the natural world, the destruction of our planet and its inhabitants – human and animal – and the spiritual roots of the current crisis. I came to see that the principles of Catholic social teaching for the past 100 years were the foundation of Pope Francis’ impassioned call for social and ecological justice. He not only asks the rich and powerful to take responsibility for their wanton disregard of the sanctity of the earth and the preciousness of each human being, but he also asks ordinary people to accept that they, too, are culpable and need to confront the ways that their lifestyle contributes to the acceleration of “consumption, waste and environmental change”.

In the first pages of Laudato Si the Pope points to St. Francis of Assisi as one “who shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace. (No. 10) And at the end of his letter the Pope challenges people to explore new ways of living “contemplatively, simply, and prophetically”. He asks us to value gratitude, to act with loving awareness and to develop our abilities for the good of others and of the planet.”(No. 229) He pleads for each of us to undergo an “ecological conversion” which will “break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.” (No. 230) Pope Francis challenges us to act as if we really believed that the earth is a God given gift which belongs to all of us – including the generations to come. He tells us that we are all a part of the problem, so we have no choice but to be part of the solution.

I can only hope that parishes around Toronto will invite Paige Souter and Fr. Warren to speak about Laudato Si to their parishioners. As many Catholics as possible should be given an opportunity to study, discuss and appreciate the Pope’s message in this revolutionary encyclical.

Carolyn Murray

MA in Ministry and Spirituality – 2008

Regis College, University of Toronto