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Monday
Jun172019

Weekly Pause &  Ponder

"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers."

-Nelson Mandela 

 

 We congratulate the Toronto Raptors   on an inspiring, and uniting win. We The North.

 

Friday
Jun142019

Dinner, entertainment and Diocesan  friendship

On Wednesday, June 12th  ten of us enjoyed a fine dinner, friendship and shared faith at the RBC Convention Centre in London. The occasion was Bishop Fabbro’s fund raising evening, with the proceeds going to the work of the vocations personnel in the Diocese of London. Bishop Fabbro gave an inspiring opening talk inviting all to take up the motto that we strive to become “a mission-oriented Church that forms disciples of Jesus”.  He had repeated this motto in multiple languages at the Mass of Chrism, so his approach on Wednesday encouraged the audience to take the words up as  a light-hearted mantra, all the while holding deep significance for living our daily lives. Recognizing that the church needs the gifts and skills of women, the Bishop praised the Ursuline Sisters for their founding of Brescia University College one hundred years ago. He also acknowledged the work of Mrs. Mary Cahalan  for her twenty three years as part-time faculty at St. Peter’s Seminary. Along with greeting old friends, and sharing memorable stories, the evening ended with a performance by Juno nominee for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year: Emm Gryner. Emma has strong ties to Southwestern Ontario, as a Sarnia native. Her band members represented St. Thomas, Stratford, and St. Mary’s town – a real mix of local talent. Knowing we will have to wait until next spring to hear who the guest performers will be always creates a sense of anticipation. So until next June!

Thursday
Jun132019

A Jubilant  Celebration!

Nurses, teachers, administrators, homemakers, musicians, counsellors, wellness guides, bakers of pies!

How do you give thanks for the fantastic service of a dozen generous women of faith?

Well - you greet, you affirm, you sing, you pray in gratitude, you dine in style, and you chat, chat, chat.

June 2, 2019 was a day of celebration for our Sisters marking anniversaries of 60 – 80 years in our congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Each of these women have lived through the multiple changes of the last century, evolving with the times, ever seeking a deeper relationship with God, and enriching life around them.  They have helped children develop their life skills, creativity and academic studies. They have sat with dying patients and prayed them home to God.  They have nurtured healthy eating habits, released strained muscles, and administered the everyday operations of our former institutions. These are our Jubilarians – women of faith, women of courage.  And for their presence among us we give thanks!

Join with me in acknowledging:

Celebrating 80 years      Sr. Josepha Zimmer

Celebrating 70 years      Sr. Rita Heenan, Sr. Monica Beaudoin, Sr. Genevieve Anne Cloutier, Sr. Frances Ennis

Celebrating 75 years      Sr. Thecla Martens

Celebrating 60 years      Sr. Cecilia Dronzek, Sr. Elaine Flood, Sr. Marilyn Kueber, Sr. Carol Mittelholtz, Sr. Julita Monkel, Sr. Donna Quinlan

 

 

Monday
Jun102019

Jurassic Park – Toronto  Style

These days, I’m intrigued by a happy phenomenon, thanks to the city of Toronto, the Scotiabank Arena and our now glorious Raptors. Forget $1,700 tickets to sit comfortably indoors and see the basketball stars at close range.  Don’t kid yourself, the people having all the fun are the noisy, adoring fans cramming what’s now known as Jurassic Park - the plaza just outside the arena.  Thanks to a massive outdoor screen, the happy gang watches the game unfold before them for free. It’s standing room only with no seats available, no respite from the vagaries of the weather and no vendors catering to their every whim – just star-struck fans, horsing around, united in sport, life and hope.

This year’s 2019 Raptors’ playoff season with its energetic hype causes me to muse on how much better life would be if crowds throughout the world could gather in good faith, minus the negative atmosphere, the venom spewed, and the chaos often caused by brutes who insert themselves into many political rallies to disrupt proceedings and cause bedlam.  I see in the huge Toronto plaza throngs and similar Jurassic gatherings that have sprung up throughout our country, the dream of a peaceful way forward. I hope that win or lose, the outdoor Raptor fans in Jurassic Parks will continue to inspire our nation as they cheer to their hearts content in an atmosphere of peace and unbridled joy.  It’s a model for success.

Presently, my heart tells my younger self that come game night, I’ll be right there in the thick of the joyous, pumped-up mob in TO’s Jurassic Park – if they have a few chairs. Go Raptors! We The North, indeed!

- Sister Jean Moylan, csj

Friday
Jun072019

Home Sweet  Home?

This title of a very familiar tune, is only a dream or an ache for so many people in large cities, in small towns, and right here in our very affluent city of London.  The cost of housing is beyond the reach of so many in Canada.  I am not talking about the dream of winning a home through a lottery.  I am talking about a simple and affordable apartment that is safe so someone can live in dignity.  I don’t want be alarmist, but I think we are near a crisis. 

A mother called me a few days ago in tears because she had been told she would have to wait eight years to get an apartment if she put her name on the social housing wait list.  What was she to do?  She was working the equivalent of full-time, by cobbling together a few part-time contracts.  She is not eligible for any health benefits and is living in an apartment now that is too expensive and she pays taxes.  But her money runs out before the month runs out. 

The need for affordable housing is urgent and critical.  However, it is only a symptom of an economy that runs on the work of so many people like this mom, but who is unable to afford to live and raise her family and participate in the economy we say is there for all of us. 

I know solutions are not easy or quick.  I work with a non-profit group who tries to increase the number of affordable housing units in London.  The systems to make this happen is broken and almost non-responsive.  I do not believe there is no solution.  There are enough creative people who want solutions.  We need to think “outside the box”.  We keep trying to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.   I believe there are enough caring and creative people in our city, across all sectors who are willing to risk trying to do things different.  Let's make a difference!

An interesting article from the London Free Press:

Ontario plan a start, but not an end to London housing crisis: Expert

 - Joan Atkinson, CSJ  | Office for Systemic Justice | London, ON

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