Toronto: Blue Scarf Earth Day Walk

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

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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.

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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
KAIROS

WaterDocs Film Festival

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On April 12, 2018, Water Docs held its 7th Annual Film Festival opening night at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The event launched the Water Warrior Award.  Maude Barlow, the first recipient, was recognized for giving the world  hope and inspiration to be a caring society that provides health care and equity for all its citizens.  

Also, in this annual gathering three winning films were featured; HOLY (UN) HOLY RIVER by Pete McBride & Jake Norton, FIX AND RELEASE by Scott Dobson, and AMAZONIA DAMMED by Ada Bodjolle.  Each film brings awareness of the importance to protect and to preserve water.

The human right to water is also an awareness for us all to acknowledge.  Clean drinking water and sanitation are essential for everyone.  We call all world leaders and local government leaders to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.

One of the many ways to make this awareness become reality is by joining the Blue Community Project campaign. Please see links below.

By Lorie Nuñez, OLM

https://canadians.org/bluecommunities

Water Warrior Award

Saying “Yes!” Again

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A painting of Immaculata house.

March 25’th, normally the Feast of the Annunciation is an important day for Our Lady’s Missionaries.  We celebrate Mary’s “Yes!” and reflect on ways in which God may be asking a “Yes!” of us.  It is also the anniversary of a Mass of Thanksgiving our founder, Fr. Dan Macdonald, offered in 1949 in the house that was to become Immaculata House, the first home of OLM in Alexandria, Ontario.

This year, March 25’th fell on Palm Sunday, and the Feast of the Annunciation was moved to April 9’th.  And so, on the eve, Sunday, April 8 OLMs gathered to celebrate and give thanks.

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We celebrated with the joy of the Easter season as we remembered the Annunciation and our anniversary.

DSCN3035We also remembered and held in prayer in a special way, Pam McDonald, the wife of Mary Gauthier’s nephew, Sandy.  Pam passed away on March 29.  We prayed for her husband and all their family as they mourn the loss of one held so dear.

During our Eucharist, OLMs shared favourite memories of our beginnings and of our founder, Fr. Dan Macdonald and co-founders Sr. Odelia CSJ and Sr. Mary Ida CSJ.  It was clear that even today we are imbued with their spirit.  This knowledge encourages us as we face new beginnings in the coming year with our move to Presentation Manor.

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We all laughed as one sister noted how important food seemed to be to our founders!  And, we proved ourselves to be well-imbued with this spirit as we then shared a wonderful meal in which all had a hand in preparing.

Sr. Christine Gebel, OLM

Easter Message

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On Good Friday, as in other years, some of us participated in the Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice in downtown Toronto. This year the theme was “Dimensions of Poverty”. At the four stations we had the opportunity to reflect on some of the unjust situations that exist here in Canada and in other countries, situations that we as Christians are called to do something about.

We heard again that many workers are forced to live on inadequate wages and unfair working conditions, that the legal system works against the poor, making it difficult for them to rise out of poverty. We were reminded that the wealth in the world is unfairly distributed and benefits the few; poverty is greater among Indigenous people; the number of homeless in the city is increasing.

We saw again that the resurrection of Jesus that gives us cause for hope does not give us the right to presume. We cannot wait for God to act because God acts in us.

The joyful, hope-filled gift of Easter is the awareness that God who showed us how to live justly through the life of Jesus continues to be with us. When we act on behalf of our sisters and brothers who need us we find, like the couple on the road to Emmaus, that God is there.

A Blessed Easter to all.

– Frances Brady, OLM