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Catholic Women In A League Of Their  Own

The Blue Community project was invited to speak at two Catholic Women's League events this past April. This adds to a recent presentation Sr. Linda Parent (CSJ) gave to CWL members in Windsor also in April.

Thanks to the collaborative contacts by many CSJ Sisters (notably Sr. Bonnie Chesser in Sudbury), Paul Baines was invited to present about this Blue Community project as an example for exploring and experiencing Pope Francis' Laudato Si': Care For Our Common Home.

CWL is celebrating its 99th year and wants to focus more on Laudato Si', especially the crises and call to action around water. What follows is a short summary of Paul's presentation with a link to all the slides at the bottom. A final thanks to the CWL leadership for inviting this Project into their 2019 agenda and for all their curiosity, care, and commitment. Stay tuned for more about this collaboration.

Our Blue Community project has several elements, one of the first being place -- place matters. It matters because Canada would not exist without land treaties with the Indigenous nations who have lived with these places for thousands of years. Place matters because we would not be here without the water. It not only surrounds us, but is within us. Let us honour this water and all the neighbours we share these lands and waters with. Since being forgotten can lead to marginalization, let's make the invisible more visible and remember that all of Creation needs our attention, not just humans.

To read the entire piece please visit our Blue Community Website 


Weekly Pause and  Ponder

All creatures bear the image of the image of the Cosmic Christ though many do not know it.  Humans, however, bear both image and likeness of the Cosmic Christ for they are capable of the creativity that is unique to God.

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ by Matthew Fox



We stand at a pivotal moment in time.

Thanks to numerous supporters including the Sisters of St Joseph, Ecojustice is ready to build on the valuable progress that we have made as we tackle the greatest challenge of our era: climate change.

Around the world, young people — afraid for their future yet inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden —are resolutely raising their voices to demand greater climate ambition from world leaders.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a special report last year with the stark warning that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must halve in the next decade and reach zero by 2050.

We must act now if we are to stay within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels and avoid catastrophic climate change.

Since the IPCC report was released, Ecojustice’s message that government must take meaningful action to lower Canada’s GHG emissions has been amplified – and our successful track record of using the power of the law to defend your right to a safe climate has continued.

Amidst the world’s heightened threat of rising sea levels, forest fires, mass species extinction and climate related human health issues, we are seeing sprouts of hope through the courts.

Last year, two Ecojustice victories prevented an additional 21.9 million tonnes of heat-trapping gases from entering the atmosphere each year. 

First, we stopped the expansion of a coal transfer facility on the Fraser River, which would have carried four million tonnes of thermal coal by open-car rail from Wyoming through communities in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, bound for foreign markets. Ecojustice played a key role in the local Port Authority’s decision to cancel the permit for this project.

Stopping this proposed expansion prevented 6.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere annually and protected the health of communities from exposure to coal dust.

Second, Ecojustice’s successful Trans Mountain lawsuit saw the Court confirm that the federal government cannot legally approve an industrial project based on a flawed environmental assessment — in this case, an assessment that ignored the impacts of marine shipping on endangered orcas.

By halting construction on Trans Mountain, we stopped more than 15 million tonnes of additional carbon emissions from polluting our climate each year. And that’s not all.

Earlier this year, Ecojustice also secured a major win for wild salmon. The Federal Court issued a decision that struck down the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans’ policy of not testing for a contagious virus widespread in open-net fish farms off the coast of British Columbia.

In its ruling, the court made clear that government must take a precautionary, science-based approach to managing fish farms, which includes considering their impacts on at-risk wild salmon populations.

These victories are a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together.

Transition can be hard to notice when you are in the middle of it, but each victory signals that we are making the changes that our planet needs to avert disaster — and is a testament to our collective power.

Ecojustice’s combination of law reform, litigation, and public outreach will achieve accountability in law, combined with durable governance frameworks to strengthen and sustain the efforts of the current and future Canadian governments to combat climate change.

Together, we will protect precious carbon stores like Canada’s boreal forest and accelerate the transition to renewable energy and low carbon communities, and help Canada seize our unique opportunity to set a positive example for other industrialized countries and pave the way for developing countries.


By Huda Al-Saedy - halsaedy@ecojustice.ca



Women Leaders in  1901

How fitting it was a few days ago, to celebrate the dear neighbor, our friends, the Ursuline Community in Chatham Ontario.  In 1901, 117 yrs ago, their Leadership of the day, answered a request to take on a new direction, more responsibilities in a new territory.  For some it meant leaving everything behind.  It meant moving to the bilingual parish of St Anne in Tecumseh Ontario, and there to teach children.  They arrived with very little, but brought ample faith, their talents, generosity, commitment to prayer and a longing to help those in need.  Over all those years I believe they did much more for the church than educate.  They above all, reflected God’s love and grace poured forth in them and passed on hope, peace and joy to others.

To celebrate this milestone, a liturgy of thanksgiving and social followed, radiating joy as did the networking and conversations.  The spirit of those dedicated women religious women of long ago, rooted in the spirituality of Angela Merici, lives on.  It continues to impact the lives of countless families raised in that parish over the years.

As I soaked in the gratitude and celebration in the room, the words, “Well done good and faithful servant,” “come to me all you who are weary,” came to mind.  The painting to the left, entitled Behold, symbolizes the God of all creation, the Risen Christ, shouting out to all those who have ears to hear, “Behold, see what I have done for you.”  “I am with you at all times”, “Listen to me,” even now this day, in the chaos and stressors of your life, in our world, in our Universe, “I am with you”.  Allelulia Allelulia.  

- Sister Patricia St. Louis, csj


Weekly Pause &  Ponder

The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principle inherent in both women and men.  It is an attitude of the mind.  It is love – and that love is the very breath of life.  No one would say, “I will breathe only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.”  Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion for everyone are as much a part of their being as breathing.


~ Mata Amritanandamayi known throughout the world as Ammachi, or Beloved Mother ~



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