Celebrating the Feast of the Visitation

On May 31st, Our Lady’s Missionaries and the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame were among the many residents of Presentation Manor who gathered in the Chapel to pray the Solemn Marian Vespers which was organized by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB.

L-R: OLM Sisters Rosemary Williamson, Suzanne Marshall, Mary Gauthier, Mary Deighan, and Marie Clarkson

During the ceremony, Sr. Sue Mosteller, CSJ shared her reflections on the Wedding Feast at Cana from the Gospel of John. She drew upon experiences with the people she served at L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill.

OLMs are grateful and looking forward to our upcoming 75th anniversary next year. We are also grateful for the Basilian community who invited us and other visitors for snacks in the private dining room.

Christine Gebel, OLM with Brian Inglis, CSB team up to lead music at the Masses at Presentation Manor.

Gratitude during National Nursing Week

May 8 to 14, 2023 is National Nursing Week in Canada!

Our Lady’s Missionaries is grateful for the health and wellness care we are receiving from the staff at both Presentation Manor and Providence Healthcare.

And, we’re especially grateful to Esmeralda, Joanna and Felicitas who, through CRS (Canadian Religious Stewardship), go above and beyond to ensure that we are being well cared for – day after ordinary day, as well as during Covid and other health emergencies. THANK YOU!

We Remember and Celebrate Sr. Doris MacDonell, OLM

Our Lady’s Missionaries together with family and friends gathered for the Mass of Resurrection for Sr. Doris MacDonell, OLM on April 11, 2023, at Presentation Manor Chapel.

Before the Mass began, Sr. Frances Brady, OLM welcomed everyone:

Good morning and welcome to this celebration of Doris Macdonell’s life. We are grateful to have members of Doris’ family and many friends with us today.

Doris was a very private person who never wanted to be the center of attention. In her funeral plans she specifically stated “no eulogy” and we will honour that. However, Doris is loved and missed by her family, her sisters in Community, and many others, and it’s important that we remember and celebrate her life.

Doris was born and educated in Williamstown, Ontario. She graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Cornwall and worked in hospitals in Cornwall and St. Catherine’s Ontario before entering Our Lady’s Missionaries in 1957.

In Canada, Doris worked at St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, studied public health nursing at the University of Toronto, and worked with St. Elizabeth visiting nurses in Toronto.

Her first mission outside of Canada was to northeast Brazil in 1965, to a large maternity hospital in the city of Fortaleza, and later to a small hospital in Aratuba, in a rural area where there were no medical doctors.

Doris returned to Canada and Toronto to serve as director of Maryglen Residence for Women and in leadership roles as councilor and treasurer, then as a congregational leader.

In 1993 she went to New Amsterdam, Guyana, where she worked in pastoral and health care ministries for 13 years.

When health issues forced her to leave Guyana Doris returned again to Toronto and we all benefitted from her nursing skills, her service in the OLM finance office, and as the congregation’s archivist. In 2018 she moved here to presentation manor with 18 other members of our lady’s missionaries.

Doris had a wide variety of talents and interests. When she was director of Maryglen Residence she had her own toolbox so she could do minor repairs. Her writing, editing, and proofreading skills were often called on and she was a member of the editorial committee for the olm history. She took advantage of the internet and helped others to benefit from its resources.

In whatever she was doing, Doris was realistic, practical, and quietly competent. She carried out responsibilities that were asked of her and took on other tasks whenever she saw what was needed, and always with as little attention to herself as she could manage.

Doris was deeply loyal to all that was important to her, her faith, her family and friends, her community, and her Scottish heritage.

We love you and miss you, Doris. We will remember you for so many reasons, including your loyalty, your quiet dependability, your kindness, and your delightful sense of humour.

These are the photos taken at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Celebrating Life At 90

Sr. Patricia Kay, OLM with her nieces and nephew

Our Lady’s Missionaries celebrated Sr. Patricia’s birthday with some of her family at Presentation Manor on March 10, 2023. We are all grateful for two nieces and a nephew who traveled from France and British Columbia for this special day.

Below are photos that were taken in our community room and in the dining hall of Presentation Manor.

Interfaith Silent Prayer Vigil

On a very cold day, about 75 people, including two OLM sisters, gathered outside Toronto’s City Hall praying for a compassionate response to our housing crisis, while inside, the City’s Executive Committee met.

Before we began our 30 minute silent prayer, we were reminded that two people have already died on the streets this winter and more than 100 people are turned away from shelters each evening.

Hosted by the Stone Soup Network, we saw familiar and new faces at the vigil – all desiring that the City’s Annual Budget, on which the City Council will vote February 14, will include compassion for those who need it most, especially those who have no home in the middle of a cold winter.

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM, Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur, SOS, Fr. Bob Holmes, CSB, Fr. Jack Costello, SJ

A Fresh Start!

Every year at this time, I enjoy the feeling of starting a fresh New Year.  This year, as I spend time reflecting on my desires and goals for 2023, I do so with a sense of gratitude for the blessings of 2022 as well as of letting go of the mistakes and disappointments of the past year.

May we all have a fresh start with renewed hope and energy to pour into the various issues and concerns that are important to us – whether it be the Climate Crisis, Racism, Sexism, Human Right Abuses or another of the many, many situations that need attention.

Some of us may delve a bit in many different issues and others may focus more deeply on one or two.  As they say, “You do you!”  Since everything and every being is inter-connected, whatever you choose, it will ripple out to the whole world.

Like the much joked-about New Year’s resolutions, our hope and energy will wane as time moves forward, and that freshness will start to feel stale.

That’s why the New Year has 365 days!  My hope and prayer for each of us is that we are able to begin each new morning with a fresh start too, getting in touch with our gratitude for what is and our enthusiasm for what could be.

Wishing you blessings and much goodness in 2023.

Christine Gebel OLM

Christmas Greetings!

Advent, the Season of Hope, has been filled with a variety of activities and gatherings here at Presentation Manor. All of them, whether spiritual in nature or pre-Christmas celebrations, witnessed to the meaning of the feast of Christmas for which we have been preparing.

There were some highlights. A series of Advent presentations by Father Tom Rosica CSB and invited speakers added to our daily liturgies in helping to create a time of personal and communal reflection.

A “festival of lights” evening preceded by a festive dinner celebrated our connection with our Presentation Manor community and with the natural world. An afternoon Christmas Party starred some very talented staff members and residents who offered their time to bring joy to all of us.

As the season of Advent ends its blessings of gratitude for God with us and the gift and responsibility of caring for one another are part of our readiness to celebrate Christmas. A strong reminder to respect and care for our environment was added in the form of a snow and wind storm.

Residents of Presentation Manor will share Christmas Masses and a festive Christmas dinner with family members and friends. We are fortunate to be able celebrate with the larger community as well as our own OLM community.

We will gather with gratitude for the many blessings we experience, and the desire to make our own blessings a means of reaching out in support for the many suffering people in our world.

We pray for peace, joy, health and security for all. Merry Christmas.

Sr. Frances Brady, OLM

Saying Goodbye to Sr. Elaine MacInnes, OLM

Our Lady’s Missionaries is grateful to all the friends, family and associates of Sr. Elaine MacInnes who joined us for her wake and funeral this past December 7’th and 8’th. Thank you too to those who watched the funeral as it was lived streamed.

Many have asked if the funeral will be recorded. Yes! Here is the recording:

Thank you for all your messages of prayerful support. They are very much appreciated.