A Lenten Message: Call to Conversion and Renewal

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As Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten message, Lent is a time for conversion and renewal that prepare us for a joyful celebration of Easter. For everyone there is a need for conversion and an invitation to renewal, specific to each of us according to the circumstances of our lives.

A place where the call to conversion and renewal speaks to all of us without exception is the natural world, the environment created by God upon which we all depend for life. The call is urgent, the need is great and well documented and the opportunities are numerous. For encouragement there are, within these forty days of Lent, significant events to remind and guide us.

March 22nd is World Water Day when we focus on how we can protect our water sources and keep them clean and safe for everyone and identify the reasons that many people do not have access to clean water. http://www.worldwaterday.org/

 March 30th is the day we celebrate Earth Hour. By turning off all non-essential electricity between 8:30 and 9:30 pm we reflect on the effect that our lifestyle has on our relationship with the environment.  https://www.earthhour.org/

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Photo image credits: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/earth-hour-313997-2016-03-19

During Lent the NGO Citizens for Public Justice sponsors “Give It Up for the Earth” a campaign to encourage lifestyle changes that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. https://cpj.ca/fortheearth

Every region will have local activities for us to participate in as well, as we enter into the season of Lent with a desire for conversion and renewal of our relationship with the earth.

What is required of us is an attitude of repentance, of acknowledgement of past wrongs and harm done and a sincere desire to renew our commitment to a just and unselfish bond with the natural world that sustains us.

May our Lent be fruitful and our Easter joyful.

-Sr. Frances Brady, OLM

How Are You Doing In Your New Home?

 

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This was the focus of a gathering of residents of Presentation Manor facilitated by Maureen McDonnell on a Saturday morning in February.  Maureen is currently engaged in Ministry for Maturing Adults at St. Bonaventure Parish.  She led us in a gentle process of reflection and story-telling around how we each came to be at Presentation Manor and what our hopes and dreams for our lives here might be.  Maureen helped us to voice some of our frustrations and concerns as well as our gratitude and expectations arising from our move to our new home.  Some are not yet ready to call Presentation Manor home.  Some have a sense of adventure and excitement from being among the first to move in.  Maureen assured us that everything we are experiencing is a normal part of such an important life transition.

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Mary Deighan, olm was especially looking forward to this gathering because it was she who hired a teen-aged Maureen to work at St. Vincent de Paul’s Marygrove Camp, managed Our Lady’s Missionaries back in the ’60s!

-Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

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February 2 has been designated World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. It has been a tradition in recent years for the Vicar for religious of the Archdiocese of Toronto to invite the religious in the Archdiocese to a Mass on the Sunday closest to that day.

This year on Sunday, February 3rd members of religious congregations, as well as other lay people, gathered in St. Paul’s Basilica for Mass celebrated by Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick.

Bishop Kirkpatrick gave an inspiring homily, affirming and challenging us in our lives dedicated to service in the kindom of God. The bishop thanked all the religious for our contribution to the church through our commitment and our ministries.

After the liturgy, all present were invited to a reception in the parish hall. Many took this opportunity to meet Bishop Kirkpatrick, visit with friends and enjoy a lunch and coffee together.

Sr. Frances Brady, OLM

A New Year’s Message

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A New Year – time to give thanks to God for the blessings of the past and to dream about what could be different, and better, in the year to come.

This year the “new” in New Year has a unique significance for many of Our Lady’s Missionaries. We are living in a new home (Presentation Manor), with new routines, new relationships, new possibilities and new opportunities to live our commitment of service to the reign of God.

    While we are being thankful for these and many other gifts we are thinking of others who are seeking and hoping for something new in this New Year. They are refugees seeking a home and safety, people living amid violence longing for peace and security, the sick waiting for health care, young people eager to have an education, the jobless looking for secure work and a living wage, and how many others???

     While we dream of possibilities for the future we ask for grace and guidance. Together with our larger community at Presentation Manor we look to the future as part of a global community, seeking to live in ways that help bring to reality God’s desire for all of us.

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     We wish each of you peace, joy and the fulfillment of hopes in this New Year.

 

Frances Brady, OLM

JUSTICE FOR GRASSY NARROWS

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In the 1960’s the Dryden pulp and paper mill dumped 10 tons of mercury into the Wabigoon River system upstream from Grassy Narrows.  This contaminated the walleye fish which the people ate, resulting in slurred speech, tremors, impaired hearing, tunnel vision and lost muscle coordination all signs of Minamata disease.  It destroyed their fishing tourism industry.

compensateIn the 1980s the government set up a Mercury Disability Board to compensate those affected but it proved ineffective with 70% turned down for compensation.  Officials for years said the mercury would fade away.  This has been proven to be false.  Scientists strongly suspect that old mercury still contaminates the mill site and continues to pollute the river.  The adults continue to exhibit record high levels of mercury in hair, blood and umbilical cord blood.

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The most recent study clearly indicates the on-going impacts of mercury poisoning and I quote from the article in the Star newspaper of Dec.5, “Children age 4 to 11 have a higher reported rate of ear infections, speech problems, and learning disabilities compared to that of other First Nations children.” “Grassy teens are struggling in school, with shorter attention spans than other First Nations teens the research found.”

Last year the provincial government did commit to $85 million clean up of the river and the federal government has pledged to help build a mercury care home that will help but neither project has yet begun.

Will the people of Grassy Narrows receive Justice after all these years?

The day after the release of this report a rally was held in Ottawa at the foot of Parliament Hill.  Indigenous peoples from across Canada were present to support the efforts of Grassy Narrows along with settlers.  

Canada has signed two relative United Nations documents:

1.”The United Nations  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

2. “Minamata Convention on Mercury” which is a United Nations Environmental Document.

Both of these documents are legally binding.

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Judy da Silva a long-term activist for Grassy stated, “We are proud of our kids.”  “They amaze me every day with their humour, their pride, and their strength.”  They should not have to fight again and again for basic justice that others in Canada take for granted.”

-Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM

Moving Days

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November 12, 13 and 15, 2018  were moving days for Our Lady’s Missionaries. On each day the residents of a different one of our houses, with the help of a moving crew and generous family members and friends, moved to Presentation Manor.

Amid an assortment of furniture, boxes, and bags we began to acquaint ourselves with our new home, finding our way around the large building and meeting the staff and other residents.

The staff members have been very friendly and welcoming. The residents have been a mix of greeting old friends and making new ones. These relationships help to soften the sadness of leaving our former homes and neighbours.

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The Presentation Manor community is gradually growing each day with new arrivals, offering to each new resident a comfortable welcoming environment in which all can feel at home.

-Sr. Frances Brady, OLM

Please see link:

Seniors from religious communities among the first to move in to Presentation Manor

BY  

https://www.catholicregister.org/item/28486-seniors-from-religious-communities-among-the-first-to-move-in-to-presentation-manor

We’ve moved!

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On November 12, 13 and 15, Our Lady’s Missionaries moved to our new home, Presentation Manor.  Our new contact information is:

 

Telephone – 647-350-3755 Extension 128

Address –

128-61 Fairfax Crescent

Scarborough, ON

M1L 1Z7

 

Our email address remains the same:   ourladysmissionaries@gmail.com