Archive for April, 2016

Climate Change

Friday, April 22nd, 2016



The Partners with OLM group gathered once again at our Central House on Sunday, April 10.  The theme was Climate Change and we were delighted to have Stephen Leahy as our speaker.

Stephen Leahy is an independent environmental journalist and co-recipient of the 2012 United Nations Global prize for Climate Change Reporting.  His book, “Your Water Footprint” also won the National Book Award for the Best Science Book in 2014.  His articles have appeared in the Guardian, National Geographic, Al Jazeera, the Toronto Star and MacLean’s to mention only a few.


He began with a simple explanation of how the earth’s atmosphere in the past served as a blanket trapping the heat from the sun.  With a graphic to illustrate, he showed how the massive increase in CO2 from use of fossil fuels has destroyed this beneficial balance causing an alarming increase in temperature on the earth. This excessive build up of heat is the cause of the violent weather world wide since heat is a form of energy. Any CO2 we emit today will continue to warm the planet for hundreds if not thousands of years.

The recent meeting (Dec 2015) in Paris on Climate Change was the first time all countries agreed immediate action is needed to address Climate Change he said.

On an encouraging note he commented that some Canadians have already put downpayments on the new electric car, Tesla even though they will not be ready for purchase for another two years.  This is a sign of hope and confidence in the future of this alternative source of energy but also requires awareness of the source of electricity.

During the question period in relation to the Leap Manifesto he remarked that politicians are reluctant to support it despite the fact it presents the vision we need to effectively address Climate Change.  The short electoral terms exacerbate this as of course politicians want to be re-elected.

In responding to a question about political will he said it’s mainly the politicians who speak about this!  Change can come from public pressure when people become mobilized about an issue which touches their lives.


The spread of agribusiness and deforestation led to a suggestion of eating less meat perhaps choosing onemeatless day or for some becoming vegetarians.  In relation to this Stephen remarked that even choosing chicken in place of beef would also help as raising chickens is less harmful to the environment.

The current release of the Panama Papers is an amazing example of how effective a new form of journalistic collaboration can be.  Stephen Leahy was instrumental in founding just such a Community Supported group for Environmental Journalists some years ago.


031Paul Woodcroft in thanking Stephen said how inspiring Stephen’s own commitment knowledge and integrity were.  This was affirmed by many who found his presentation energizing and were eager to buy his book.

Further Information:

Stephen’s website has over 600 of his articles and information about Community Supported Journalism

His book: Your Water Footprint:  The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use To Make Everyday Products

Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) provides numerous articles written by Stephen Leahy.


By Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM

Basketfull of Blessings

Sunday, April 10th, 2016


Each birthday is an opportunity to ponder the amazing miracle of being alive, as well as to reflect on how one is part of the Universe Story.  On April 5th, Sr. Mary Hughes celebrated her 95th birthday with family and Our Lady’s Missionaries at Leander.


The event was highlighted with a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s overflowing love and blessings.  During the prayer, Ray, (Mary’s nephew)  gladly pointed out a basketfull of delightful treats as a symbol of rich diversity of gifts and opportunities for growth, hope, and gratitude for Mary’s life.