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Forward to the Fullness of Time

We are quickly moving toward the climatic week of Lent with the great celebration of the Triduum – three holy days, marking the mystery of death and resurrected life. Here in my religious community our Lenten journey has called us to a huge experience of surrender as we have bid farewell to 6 of our Sisters during these Lenten days.

Our hearts ache, and fond memories are related at the meal tables. Prayers of gratitude are voiced and a conviction of faith is expressed in song and gesture.

The scripture readings for this Fifth Sunday of Lent will indeed help us contain this experience. Jeremiah assures us that we are tenderly loved by God, just as we are. Whimsically there is even a promise that we will no longer need to teach our friends and relatives about God – because all will know God. It is that deep, deep sense of loving relationship that holds our community together during this time of loss. The mystery of death is gathered up in the compassionate love of the Holy One who places the stark absence within a promise written on our hearts.

In the gospel passage one person states “Sir, we would like to see Jesus”.  And Jesus responds that to see, one must totally surrender. Just as a grain of wheat dies in order to bear fruit, so too our surrender opens us to an awareness of the One Great LOVE within. The promise is held out: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

As our dear Sisters are drawn home into the heart of God, one by one, our experience as a Congregation widens to hold the tender mystery of Christ’s passage, from being a loving presence among humanity, to a glorified radiance calling us ever forward to the fullness of time.

And with deep gratitude we honour: Sr. Theresa Carmel Slavik, Sr. St. Edward Grace, St. Beta Gagnon, Sr. Clare Sullivan, Sr. Nicole Aubé, and Sr. Bernadette Boyde.

Sr. Theresa Carmel Slavik

Reflection by Loretta Manzara, CSJ




Sr. St. Edward Grace

Sr. Clare Sullivan





Sr. Nicole AubeSr. Bernadette Boyde


Sr. Beata Gagnon


The Answer Is In Nature

The UN World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 every year. World Water Day aims at focusing our attention on the importance of water. Globally, we are faced with many water challenges.

Headline facts

2.1 billion people lack access to drinking water.

1.9 billion people live in potentially severe water-scare areas.

An estimated 64-71 % of natural wetlands have been lost since 1900 as the result of human activity.

Over 80% of wastewater generated by society flows back without being treated or reused into the environment.

1.8 billion people are affected by land degradation and desertification.

1.2 billion people are at risk from floods today.

The 2018 World Water Day theme, “The Answer Is In Nature” highlights nature-based-solutions (NBS) to meet the water challenges we face today. Nature-based solutions help the management of water availability and quality. Examples of NBS include restoring forests, grasslands and natural wetlands, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, creating buffers of vegetation along water courses. From www.worldwaterday.org/



Weekly Pause & Ponder

God is …the ground and source of the world. God is not a being in whom we should believe, but the breath of life in every being that exists. God is not a possibility within reality, but reality itself. To say yes to God is simply to trust reality; it is to acknowledge that reality is good. This sounds simple, but it is not easy. It means affirming the basic trustworthiness of things in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Faith in God is nothing more or less than this.

Sallie McFague.  Life Abundant, p.127.


How Could I Ever Forget  

The liturgical readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent begin with the retelling of the Jewish people being forced into exile in Babylon. The Chaldean king destroyed Jerusalem, burned its palaces and destroyed all its precious possessions. As I listened to this age-old account, I was reminded of the millions of refugees, faced with atrocities, who fled to foreign lands. Thugs took their money and set them afloat on dangerous seas in makeshift boats and rafts.

Unlike the exiles of old, the refugees who survived, set foot on dry land in safety, not captivity. Most were welcomed warmly. However, many experienced the hostility of citizens who considered the newcomers a burden on their shores.

Throughout the following months, we witnessed copious expressions of gratitude from refugee families who were settled generously by a plethora of churches, agencies and private citizens. I wonder if we realized what impact leaving a beloved home had on these refugees. Their birthplace was radically different from this new country. At home, they had experienced peace and prosperity but all was lost in the ruins and rubble of war and hatred. What would the new land hold for them?

Sunday’s responsorial song, Psalm 137, moved me deeply as I thought of our refugees:

How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right-hand wither.

As we accompany our refugee friends this Lenten season, let us encourage them in their broken English, to share their memories of their beloved homeland. They will continue the difficult work of integrating themselves into our Canadian way of life. May their children grow strong and healthy as employment is realized and friendships abound. May their tears of lament become songs of joy.

Jean Moylan, CSJ





Weekly Pause & Ponder

The mercy of God does not come and go, granted to some and refused to others.  Why? Because it is unconditional – always there, underlying everything. It is literally the force that holds everything in existence, the gravitational field in which we live and move and have our being.

Cynthia Bourgeault.  Mystical Hope, p. 25


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.