facebook icon twitter icon

Sharing the KAIROS Christmas video 

“This Christmas, let’s settle only for great joy—not for the few, the powerful, the privileged—but for all. Peace and goodwill for   all     peoples.”

Dear Friends,

With Christmas approaching, I would like to share with you a short video message and invite you to take a moment to watch it and share it with your family, friends and community. 

In the last few weeks I have been honoured to be with people who know all too well that peace and goodwill don’t arrive in tidy packages.  Our global partners have heard the message and choose to believe peace is possible. They dedicate their lives to the journey. We stand with them, as well as many partners in Canada who seek justice, and hope you do too.

We are always deeply grateful for your support—in your action and with your    donations.

On behalf of the KAIROS community, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, peace and goodwill to all peoples.       

Jennifer Henry, Executive Director

View the Christmas video from Kairos by clicking here




Weekly Pause &  Ponder

1 Corinthians calls us to wait expectantly for the revelation of the Christ.  The revelation of the Christ comes in time, through evolution, but it’s not automatic.  We’re also called to think.  Advent calls us to re-pent; the actual meaning of which, in Greek, is re-think.  Our conscious expansion of awareness of the divine presence – how God lives and acts among us in our time – helps incarnate the Mystery we call Christ. 

Ilia Delio.  “Advent in the New Universe Story 2014,” 



“Joy is the echo of God’s life within us.”

How wonderful to hear those Advent refrains of “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”  This third Sunday of Advent the whole chorus of readings seems to awaken in us the spirit of exultant joy. The prophet Zephaniah proclaims God singing loudly, dancing and exulting over his beloved ones, promising them renewal and restoration, embraced in God’s great love. “Rejoice and exult with all your heart.”

The apostle Paul reminds the Philippian community to relax, rejoice inwardly, for you do not need to worry about anything. Trust the nearness of God. Let the peace of God be ever present, guarding your minds and hearts from darkness, discouragement, anxiety and worldly concerns. “Shout aloud and sing for joy; great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Even John the Baptist steadies questioning hearts with his simple exhortation to just do your life with honesty and integrity and be filled with holy expectation for God is very near to you. John proclaims that the One who is coming is greater than he and will guide all believers by the fire of the Spirit into a brand new way of seeing and being. John proclaimed that a way of justice, peace and love was coming upon the earth. The new Way was going to be given in the person of Jesus, the Christ. The One coming was God incarnate in human flesh. Such a miracle of love! Truly, this is joy to our world.

These Scripture readings got me pondering about JOY as it manifests in our spiritual lives. Deeper than emotions, beyond pleasant outer circumstances, transcending knowledge and insight, there arises this quiet, profound sense of joy. It is pure gift. As one’s contemplative spirit grows, so does the awareness that our joy proceeds from the inner realization of one’s union with God. As Jesus promised, God who is overflowing in abundant joy, longs to share that joy with us: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

As we walk our faith journey, this deepening of freedom, peace and joy become more and more participative and transformative, so much so that the indwelling Treasure within our soul overflows into loving service and compassionate presence. Amazingly so, this union endures even in the midst of struggles and sufferings for “nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39).

Over the years, we just seem to grow into this way of ‘knowing things’. Experience has taught us this wisdom. Faithful listening and receptivity to grace have guided us gently and steadily into becoming generous partakers in God’s very own life. Our spiritual father, Jean-Pierre Medaille SJ, understood that it was in self-emptying that we most truly found God indwelling us and sharing that fullness with us. “Be loving Love and let God’s love love through you” (M.P., Part 2).

As I understand it now, God’s true nature is joyful, expansive, inclusive, love. God is overflowing with abundant joy. So, our whole spiritual life, founded on Jesus’ invitation, is to “enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt. 25:21). Humbly trust that your joy is the echo of God’s life in you. In the midst of a world weighed down by troubles, we Christians, possessed by this divine joy, can be contagious, attractive and shining examples of the Joy of the Gospel that Pope Francis exhorts us to be. “Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls, for the one filled with joy, preaches without preaching” (St. Teresa of Calcutta).

                                                                                                                                                            - Rosemary O’Toole, CSJ



Last August while in Ireland, I met for the first time the granddaughter of one of my cousins. Eve is her name. When I asked her how old she was, she said in her Irish brogue and without hesitation while throwing her arms up over her head so spontaneously and joyfully, “I’m ‘tree’ and I’m going to be four in December!” I am still enjoying that delightful encounter with Eve and SHE is my way into Advent this year.

Advent is all about the already and not yet. Just like Eve, we are already something and not yet something else. We are already in God through the great gift of the Incarnation and yet we are not yet filled as fully as we can be with all that this great mystery of Christ’s birth has in store for us. At one and the same time, we carry with us both joy and longing, both rootedness in God and a certain yearning for more to bloom in us.

Advent calls us into gratitude for what we already are and have and at the same time these weeks also invite us to open up even more. “Rejoice!” this Sunday’s entrance antiphon proclaims to us! Throw your arms up over your head and enjoy the presence of our loving God who is always with us! At the same time, though, “do not let your hands grow weak” (Zephaniah) or your hearts be satisfied. Make your needs known to God (Philippians) and be generous with your food and your clothing (Luke) for that is the way we show who God is.

We know well all in our world today who need our food and our clothing and so many other gifts that we have been given so that they too can “throw their arms up over their heads” in joy. Maybe they need our food of kindness and acceptance, and just as they are. Maybe they need our coats of care and compassion to warm their spirits into hope again. “Out of the mouth of babes,” as Psalm 8 says. Indeed! I thank you Eve for your gift to me last August and now too in Advent! I yearn too for even more joy and wisdom this year from the Babe of Bethlehem.

by   Mary Ellen Sheehan, IHM, Monroe, MI



Sisters of St. Joseph Support the “Global Compact for  Migration”

Migration is Complex, Multidimensional and Worthy of Good Public Dialogue

There are tensions in Canada when it comes to migration:  Some Canadians put out signs saying “All are Welcome Here” while others complain about irregular border crossings; some groups sponsor refugee families while others point to a lack of services to address the needs of newcomers; some delight in new and different food choices while others experience discomfort with difference.

There’s room for all these perspectives in a healthy and respectful national dialogue about migration. 

But there’s no room for the fear-mongering and downright silliness which too often has become part of this conversation.  A case in point: Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm referred to the UN’s Global Compact for Migration as a “dystopian UN plan” which “seeks to erase borders, destroy the concept of citizenship, undermine the rule of law and circumvent state sovereignty.”  Worse yet, Andrew Scheer, in a position of responsibility as leader of the Opposition in Canada, suggested the Global Compact could “open the door to foreign bureaucrats telling Canada how to manage our borders.”  Wrong and wrong – on both counts.  Not even close to reality.

What is the Global Compact for Migration?

It’s a 36-page document, developed at the UN level, which lays out a collaborative approach to dealing with global migration.  The Global Compact sets out 23 objectives for responding to migrants in ways which respect their dignity and rights while also creating benefits for the country of destination.

Is it legally binding on countries which sign it?

No, the Global Compact is not legally binding on the nations which sign it.  It is non-enforceable.  Indeed,  The Global Compact  explicitly affirms the sovereign right of states to set their own national migration policies, in conformity to international law.

It’s more of a toolbox to help countries foster inclusive and cohesive societies, integrating migrants so they will enrich their host country and addressing “structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin.”

What else is in the Global Compact?

The global compact's 23 objectives include:

  • Collecting and utilizing accurate data to develop evidence-based policies.
  • Minimizing the factors that drive people from their country of origin.
  • Facilitating fair and ethical recruitment of migrant workers and promoting decent work conditions.
  • Strengthening the response to migrant smuggling and stopping the trafficking of persons. 
  • Providing access to basic services for migrants. 
  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration.

The Global Compact is the basis for treating all people with dignity and fairness; it encourages countries collectively to address factors which push people away from their country of origin; it’s a foundation for a healthy and helpful public dialogue – some of the many reasons the Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada support the Global Compact for Migration. 

 - Sue Wilson, CSJ | Office for Systemic Justice


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