Archive for December, 2016

Christmas Blessings

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

This year as we celebrate the joy of a new birth that is Christmas, Our Lady’s Missionaries cannot help but also hold in our hearts the sadness of the sudden loss of our sister, Susan Moran, last December 18.  We are grateful for all the love and support we have received at this time.  As many have said, this is a particularly difficult time to lose a loved one.

And yet – we also know that life is eternal.  Passing from this life is not the end.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel, into this world, we also find hope and joy in the awareness that our loved ones who have passed away, are not really gone.  Rather they are experiencing the fullness of eternal life.

As we worship and celebrate this Christmas Eve and Day, please know that we hold all of you in prayer – most especially those who have recently lost a loved one.

Christine Gebel olm

Merry Christmas from Our Lady's Missionaries!

Merry Christmas from Our Lady’s Missionaries!

Service to Mission

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016


Service to Mission

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Sisters Mary Deighan and Mary Gauthier celebrated the 60th anniversary of their membership in Our Lady’s Missionaries on Saturday, December 10.

The two sisters and many other OLM s gathered with family members and friends at our central house, 2 Leander Court. The celebration began with Mass at 4:00 pm at which Father Brian Swords of Scarboro Missions presided.

The theme for the day was thanksgiving for the service to mission to which the two sisters had dedicated themselves for the past 60 years. Sister Mary Gauthier served in the Philippines, Guyana and Canada. Sister Mary Deighan was missioned in Brazil, Nigeria and Canada.

After the liturgy a festive supper prepared by members of Sister Mary Deighan’s family provided an opportunity for everyone to enjoy some relaxation and conversation.

By Frances Brady, olm


Friday, December 9th, 2016



Partners are friends of Our Lady’s Missionaries who share our values and concern for social justice.  On Sunday, December 4th we met to discuss the Leap Manifesto.

“Things are going to slide,

Slide in all directions

Won’t be nothing

Nothing you can measure anymore

The blizzard, the blizzard of the world

Has crossed the threshold

And it has overturned

The order of the soul.”

Leonard Cohen

Mary Ann Barnes read this poem and suggested we recall and hold in our hearts and prayers all the places in the world where this is the experience of people.   A few moments of silence followed.

John Riddell and Suzanne Weiss were our presenters on the theme of the Leap Manifesto.  Members first offered questions as John wanted to shape his talk around these concerns.  Those which surfaced were, unemployment, the economy, subsidies for the oil industry and carbon taxes.

In opening John posed his own question; “Why is it so difficult for us to make the shift which is needed?”  He went on to remark that there is a link between the values of the Leap Manifesto and the recent encyclical, “Laudato Si” in which Pope Francis urges us to come together in our care for one another and the earth.  In Genesis we are called to be stewards not masters of creation.

Exon Mobile initially employed scientists for research until they realized their findings would endanger their profits.  It has been obvious since the first Kyoto agreement that we are facing a crisis and yet since then our emissions have increased by 2/3.  Yes the Paris agreement was significant but it did not include any measures for accountability or to ensure implementation.

Beneath this reluctance to make the necessary changes is the belief in endless growth for the economy.  This leads to a false conflict between the economy and the environment.  Naomi Klein in her book, “This Changes Everything” states that there has to be a creative fusion of the environment and human society; thus the Leap is underpinned by care for each other and the earth.  It is in building mass movements of citizens who want change that hope for the future will come.

In the open questions and discussion following John stated that International Trade Agreements which surrender rights to powerful corporations for arbitration with international tribunals when they conflict with local priorities need to be resisted while other trade agreements are healthy.  With regard to expanding pipeline infrastructure, John stated that this is incompatible with commitment to a green economy.  Ensuring job security is essential and the oil workers themselves have formed a group for this purpose, called “Iron/Earth” and this has a web site.

On the issue of carbon taxes, he said that it is good for those who produce more carbon to pay provided that the income is used to fund public transport.  Then we face the issue of which groups will be exempt for example farmers and those living in rural areas.

Cap and trade agreements are of dubious value as they grant permission to pollute.

Currently the Chippewas of the Thames and the Inuit of Clyde River have cases in the Canadian Supreme Court regarding lack of consultation on pipelines and seismic testing which could set important precedents.

Suzanne commented on the Black Lives Matter group as an important social movement of those who have been oppressed rising up and effecting change.  It was a member of this group who pointed out that Climate Change is also racist in that, those who are directly affected are the poor in the Developing World.  Yet another significant event is the current resistance of Indigenous peoples and their allies in Standing Rock in the U.S.  Shortly after our meeting it was reported that the pipeline they had been resisting would be rerouted and not enter their territory.

We continue to have so much wisdom to learn from the Indigenous Peoples as evidenced by a quote from Bob Lovelace, “The only way to own is collectively which the Indigenous Peoples have done for hundreds of years; then ownership is inalienable.”  The oppressed are coming forward and will lead us into the future.

Closing Note:  We are happy to announce that Mary Ann Barnes and Joanne Duff are now part of the core group planning our future meetings.

By: Rosemary Williamson, olm