A Determined YOU

 

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On June 28, 2019, OLMs, family, friends and some residents of Presentation Manor gathered to celebrate Sr. Mary Hughes’ life. A Prayer Service to remember her was held in the chapel.

 

Some of the readings were messages for Sr. Mary’s 90th birthday (8 years ago) written by OLM sisters. One of these was written by Sr. Therese MacDonald+ who asked her about how many siblings she had and responded “I have two brothers, Frank and Red, I do not have any blood sisters but look at all the sisters I have now.” Another memory was written by Sr. Clarice Garvey+ who wrote how Mary Hughes was well loved by the people in Brazil. Her dedication to join CNWE’s prayer rally against human trafficking showed her concern for women’s rights.

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Sr. Mary Hughes, OLM indeed is a woman for all seasons and one who showed us how to grow older with grace and peace. Here is a poem written by Sr. Marie Clarkson, OLM:

Mary Mary

Mary, Mary
quite contrary
a determined lass
always tallest in class
a girl among boys
no need for toys
compete with your brothers
gave mother the shudders
keep your clothes clean
who wants to be queen
there were horses to ride
and places to hide
who could cope
with the lot of you folk
Aunt Nell did her best
although put to the test
guarded under her wing
your praises she’d sing

big changes in store
new happenings galore
you had the means
to be curate it seems

remember the Polish Parish
the candle light walk in the snow
the pride of the people
small food offerings
their all
is this memory
what helps you
stand tall
training, appointments and mission
what a great shock to your system

beautiful people for meeting
bom dia your greeting
then time with your Dad
much joy to be had

the love of life deepens
the struggle, the fun
the laughter

always courage
compassion, faithfulness
a deep love of family
and stories to tell

O Mary

the inner light
is ever bright
and shines through
a very, very
determined YOU

our Mary, Mary
quite contrary.

90th birthday, April 2011 by Marie Clarkson, OLM

 

-Lorie Nunez, OLM

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

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“Land Issue Come Visit to Learn,” read the sign in front of the logs and brush blocking one of the entrances to Awenda Provincial Park.  We passed it on our way to our cottage outside Penetanguishene.
A few days later, Sr. Lorie and I decided it was time to walk over for our “class.”  We discovered we had much to learn.
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John Hawke of Chimnissing Anishinabek (also known as Brousoleil First Nation on Christian Island) has been living in a cabin on land claimed by Awenda Park for eight years.  He decided to erect the barricade so those who share use of this land could gain awareness of its history, current situation, and dreams for its use in the future.
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He spoke with us of different treaties and what each one meant.  He also mentioned his opposition to agreements made by INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada), a group that many indigenous people feel doesn’t represent them, wanting instead to reclaim the traditional system of grandmother leadership.
John Hawke is leading a men’s group for healing and learning how to live the traditional ways.  He works closely with a group of grandmothers led by Elizabeth Elson of the same community.  He believes that it is possible to find ways to share use of the land currently claimed by Awenda Park.
Surely, spending time living more closely with the natural world would be healing and reconciling for all of us.

GRASSY NARROWS NEEDS A MERCURY CARE HOME

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“Justice for Grassy Narrows” and “Water is Life” were emblazoned on posters, t-shirts and banners at the annual Grassy Narrows event on June 20th.  Chief Rudy Turtle of Grassy, Regional Chief Roseanne Archibald and Paul Beauregard NDP member of Parliament all spoke at the foot of the Parliament Buildings.

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With an election due in the fall they are now requesting that the funding promised for the building of a Mercury Care Home be put into a Trust Fund.   The CEO of Lake of the District Hospital has committed to covering some of the medical care to be provided in the home which earlier had been a condition requested by the Federal Government.

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At the conclusion of the walk; a falcon perched regally on the roof of a nearby building granting further significance to the event.

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM

A Retreat at Presentation Manor

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Unity & Presence was the theme of the first annual retreat at Presentation Manor.  It summarizes the Gospel readings from St. John that were heard every day at Mass that week.

Fr. John Reddy, CSB presided at all of the Masses which were held at the regular times.  He kept in mind the theme of the retreat for his homilies.

Each day there was also a talk at 3:30 pm.  On the first day Fr. John Reddy gave the talk.  Each day thereafter, Sr. Eileen Power, CND gave the talks.

A separate area of the dining room was reserved for those wished to keep silence during the retreat.

The organizers were unsure of how many people to expect, and were pleased at how many did attend.  The participants were from the religious communities and from the lay people who live at Presentation Manor.  Many expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be on retreat without having to leave home.

Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

JUSTICE FOR GRASSY NARROWS

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In November of 2017, the then minister Jane Philpott committed to build and operate a Mercury Survivors Home and Care Centre in Grassy Narrows.  Nearly 500 days later, only 1% of the cost to build the facility has flowed and the project is stalled.

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Meanwhile, 94% of Grassy Narrows people get no compensation for the intense impacts of the ongoing mercury crisis on their health, culture, and livelihood.  Instead of getting the support they need they face chronic denial as they live with deep poverty and severe food insecurity.

“Commitment to Meaningful Relationships with First Nations” was one of the promises Prime Minister Trudeau made.

Prime Minister Trudeau spoke at a liberal fund raising dinner in Toronto on May 9th.  Across the street from the venue advocates for Grassy Narrows from several groups gathered with a poster, noise makers and chanting to once again plead for justice.  Pamphlets with relevant information were also passed out.

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Chrissy Swain one of the women in Grassy Narrows, who has been an activist for many years addressed the crowd via a cell phone hook up. She is now a grandmother but continues her commitment not to simply be a victim but to stand up and seek justice.  The people of Grassy Narrows continue to seek the funds previously promised in 2017 to build a mercury treatment center in Grassy.

Further Information: http://www.freegrassy.net

Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM

 

 

Decolonization & Climate Change

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The Joint Ecological Ministry committee (JEM) hosted a two day gathering last May 22’nd and 23’rd and some OLMs were in attendance.  The theme was “Decolonization & Climate Change,” and the main speakers were Sylvia McAdam Saysewahum (co-founder of Idle No More & One House, Many Nations), Deborah McGregor (Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice, York University), and Jennifer Henry (Executive Director of KAIROS).

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Sylvia McAdam (left) & Deborah McGregor (right)

 

All three women spoke from their hearts, voicing some strong challenges to those of us who are settlers on the land that is now called Canada.  Sylvia mentioned that whenever she felt troubled about something she knew that there was an important learning coming.  The two days did indeed leave us with much to ponder.

 

 

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Deborah McGregor, Jennifer Henry, Sylvia McAdam (left to right)
There were also four speakers on a panel on the afternoon of the second day:  Paul Baines (Blue Communities facilitator for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada), Karri Venn-Munn (Senior Policy Analyst with Citizens for Public Justice), Fr. Bert Foliot SJ (IRSS Legacy, Restoration of Identity Project), and Agnes Richards (Coordinating the establishment of a Canadian arm of the Global Catholic Climate Movement).  They each spoke of a project designed to raise awareness of Care for the Earth or Truth & Reconciliation.  They too left us with much to ponder.
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Bert Foliot SJ, Karri Munn-Venn, Agnes Richards, Paul Baines (left to right)

-Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

ACROSS CANADA RALLIES FOR PALESTINE

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BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) is a peaceful action used to bring economic pressure on a government which is oppressing people.  It was the very tool which brought justice to South Africa.  Palestinians are now using it to build support for their cries for freedom, justice and equality.

BDSThe BDS movement seeks:

  1. An end to Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Palestinian land
  2. The dismantling of Israel’s wall
  3. Equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel
  4. Respect for the rights of Palestinian refugees

A rally was held in Toronto at Dundas Square on Saturday, May 18 with similar rallies in major cities across Canada.  Speeches were given and later the group walked up Yonge Street to Bloor where the Israeli consulate is located.  Here further speeches were given.

For further information:

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoBDS/

https://bdsmovement.net/

-Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM