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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Going to the Peripheries

For the past 6 years I have been an active member of the Cape Breton Coalition for Social Justice. In 2014 the Coalition launched a Literacy Project to help reduce poverty through education, the goal being to assist families in obtaining books for children of all ages, especially pre-school age children, and stay at home parents. New and used books are being delivered to Food Banks and various Social Service Agencies. Donations of new books just prior to Christmas have been used by families as gifts for their children. The annual “Under One Umbrella” event in Sydney has been another avenue for making books available to families. Nine hundred (900) books were donated to families during the 2018 event. The goal of this day is to provide “free support services under one roof to those who are homeless or at high risk of being homeless.” Services provided include dental, hearing and vision testing, diabetic screening, massage therapy, foot care, chiropractic services, family physicians, hair dressing, clothing, legal aid as well as food and entertainment.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Good Shepherd Ministry

It has been a wonderful and productive month in the clothing room at Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto. Sr. Joan Lewis, who gives clothes to the homeless, had help from three seminarians from St. Augustine's Seminary, a novice of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood and lay woman.

On these extremely cold days it has been great to work together as a team; sorting donations, serving those who come looking for warm clothes, boots, hygienic articles, etc. Even the opportunity to have a shower is appreciated.

Upstairs breakfast is served. Throughout the entire building the words of Jesus are echoed: "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me.”

All will return to their studies. Only Zena, a faithful and generous lay woman will remain. However, I believe it will be an unforgettable experience that will mark their journey towards the priesthood and consecrated life. The highlight of the day is to celebrate Mass at noon in the small chapel at the center.

We pray for all those who volunteer and those who come to the Good Shepherd. Please join us in prayer.

Joan Lewis, CND

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Lenten Prayer Service

Leader

Lent is about becoming, doing, and changing

whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now.

--Sister Joan Chittister, OSB

Lent is not an event. It is not something that happens to us. It is at most a microcosm of what turns out to be a lifelong journey to the center of the self. The purpose of Lent is to confront us with ourselves in a way that’s conscious and purposeful, that enables us to deal with the rest of life well.  It is not a “penitential season.” It is a growing season. It requires us to determine what is worth dying for in our own lives and what it may be necessary for us to become if we really want to live. - Joan Chittister, OSB, A Growing Season

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