Peace, Salaam, Shalom

Alexander The Great Parkette

On a beautiful Sunday evening in July, people on the Danforth in Toronto were subjected to violence and fear, and so much anguish.

       The following Wednesday, I rode my bicycle downtown for an appointment.  Taking my usual route meant that I would be passing through that very area.  Seeing people gathered at the different memorial sites unsettled my soul.

        After my appointment, I returned to join the evening vigil.  About 20 minutes before the vigil was scheduled to start, people started arriving… and arriving…. and arriving…  There were so many, I couldn’t find the other OLMs that I knew were participating.  Though alone throughout the walk, I felt very connected.

     The vigil began with an acknowledgment of the land.  And then, we were reminded that we had gathered to remember and support three families who had lost loved ones.  I was touched that the family of the shooter was included.  They too are experiencing terrible anguish.  It was noted that some might try to use what had happened as an excuse to fan Islamaphobia flames.  The speaker firmly stated, “We will not stand for this!”

     And then, as we sang “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” and other chants we walked to Alexander the Great Parkette.  We blessed the Danforth with our feet, with our songs, with the sharing of flame to light our candles, with hugs and prayer and a reverent quiet.

IMG_20180725_181740After so much had been taken on Sunday evening, on Wednesday there was a spirit of giving.  Ahmadiyya Muslims were giving out t-shirts on which was written, “Love for All, Hatred for None.”  A couple of young women were giving out red paper hearts.  A group of Sikhs were giving out vegetarian food.  Hugs, smiles and tears were shared in abundance.

     As I climbed back onto my bicycle and headed home, my soul felt nourished and full.  It was like I had been to Church.

by Christine Gebel, OLM








Spills Happen



A few OLMs joined climate change activists in Toronto at their Beaches-East York MP Headquarters late spring this year to  express concerns over the Kinder Morgan Inc. buyout.

They learn that there could be many implications if this decision is carried out. These includes the increased shipments of diluted bitumen from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

David Sasson of the New York Times wrote how dangerous this diluted bitumen is to the environment.  He wrote, “it carries risk that we’re only beginning to understand”. Bitumen, he emphasized,  is not pumped from wells but is strip-mined or boiled loose underground.

We must continue to spread awareness of how the diluted bitumen, when released into the environment, would endanger human health, and all of creation. Because the Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain project is actually an expansion of an existing pipeline that’s been operating in B.C. for 65 years, the danger is even greater.

by Lorie Nuñez, OLM

Please read his article: Crude, Dirty and Dangerous

Transitioning with Gratitude



On June 10, 2018, Our Lady’s Missionaries held an Open House at 2 Leander Court with friends, family, and people with whom the sisters have worked.

This day helped us to be more aware that part of transitioning is to bid goodbye before being able to welcome the future with gratitude. We hope to move to Presentation Manor in the fall.

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-Lorie J. Nuñez, OLM




70 Years NAKBA (Arabic for Disaster or Catastrophe)



On Saturday May 12th, supporters of Palestinian rights from various groups gathered on Bloor Street opposite the Israeli consulate.  A young Mohawk woman spoke of her solidarity with the Palestinians whose experience of colonization is similar.  Jews United Against Zionism were also present as were the organizing group, Association of Progressive Palestinians in Canada and members of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. The crowd then marched down University Ave. to the American Consulate where further speeches were given.


In 1948, Zionist militias forced 700,000 Palestinians from their homes.  Bulldozers destroyed many of their villages while Jewish settlers occupied other Palestinian homes complete with furnishings. Palestinians fled to other places within the country or to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria where they remain to this day.  By the end of 1948, two-thirds of the Palestinian population was exiled or killed.  More than 55% were driven out under direct military assault; another 15% fled from Zionist gangs like Irgun and Stern; yet others fled as news spread of massacres committed by Zionist militias in Palestinian villages like Deir Yassin and Tantura. 

Since then, Israel has seized more and more Palestinian land through war and illegal settlement building. 

-Sr. Rosemary Williamson, OLM

Further Information: 

Visit You Tube Channel – 




Canadians for Justice and Peace in Middle East: cjpme 




We tend to think of slavery as a thing of the past, but history has a way of repeating itself. Today, we find that human slavery is once again a sickening reality whose pervasive violence against women continues to be one of the least recognized human rights abuses in the world.

According to Peel Regional Police, 60% of all reported human trafficking cases in Canada occur in the Greater Toronto Area.  And, most of these are of women under 18 years old, trafficked for the purposes of sex.

On April 26, 2018 CNWE (Catholic Network for Women’s Equality) once again held a “Stop Human Trafficking” campaign to raise awareness for a better understanding of the issue.

The group gathered first at Holy Trinity Church for input from a representative of the Peel Regional Police, and group sharing and reflection, before proceeding to Dundas Square for a silent awareness vigil.

We condemn this forced exploitation of individuals, most of whom are young girls. We refuse to be merely bystanders in the face of this continuing oppression and violence against women that remains hidden in a culture of silence.  We call all local communities and government leaders to find collaborative ways to end human trafficking close by and around the world.

by Lorie Nuñez, OLM



declutter image


This is our daily mantra as we prepare to move into Presentation Manor this fall. 

Since we’re trying to abide by the Three R’s….  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…  we’re not just throwing stuff away. 

As environmental and social activist Julia Butterfly says: “When you say you’re going to throw something away — where’s ‘away?’ There is no away.”

First, we try to find someone who can reuse the things we no longer need. 

But then, what about things that no one is using anymore?  This was my thought as I looked at our collection of VHS video tapes and audio cassette tapes.  Luckily someone pointed me towards Red Propeller.  For a small fee, they recycle VHS & Beta videotapes, cassette tapes, floppy discs, 8-Tracks, reel-to-reel tapes, and more.  They also have a child car seat recycling program.

And, many of the people who work at Red Propeller are those with barriers to employment.

– Christine Gebel, OLM

It’s an all around win situation.  For more information, go to:



Toronto: Blue Scarf Earth Day Walk

Several OLMs participated in the Blue Scarf Walk in Toronto on Earth Day, April 22, 2018:

Earth Day Blue Scarf Walk.image

The theme was :  Protecting & Connecting with our Food, Land, Water

About 40 people participated in the walk which began next to Queen’s Park and wended around 6 stations throughout the downtown area, ending at Dundas Square.

As we paused at the stations, we prayerfully considered:  SACRED EARTH, SACRED WATER, SACRED FOOD, SACRED LAND, SACRED AIR AND SACRED ENERGY.

It was a very meaningful way to honour, celebrate and stand in solidarity with EARTH.



Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

We are grateful to those who sponsored the walk:Sponsored by:
Development and Peace
Jesuit Volunteers Canada
Camp Micah
Basilian Centre for Peace & Justice
Pax Christi Toronto