The weekend of July 4-6, 2014 more than 2,000 teenagers and youth ministers gathered at the old Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens for the first (hopefully annual) Toronto Steubenville Conference! The weekend included dynamic speakers from all over the United States, praise and worship music, Eucharistic Adoration, a Eucharistic procession around the entire arena, Mass, break out sessions, small groups and the sacrament of Reconciliation was available all weekend! It was incredible to see so many young people praising God in song, receiving Him in the Eucharist at Mass, coming face to face with Him during the Eucharistic Procession and being forgiven by Him during confession. The theme of the conference was, Isaiah 12:2 “behold God is my salvation, I will trust and will not be afraid…”
Yesterday, we celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus–the unfathomable love of the Heart of Jesus for each person– and we witnessed this love at work in our 8 new novices, as they received the habit and their new religious name and moved from being postulants to begin as novices. Now, the love and graces that these women have carried in their hearts receive a new confirmation and exterior expression. Please pray for our new novices: Sr. Maria Cristina (Maria Cristina), Sr. Elizabeth Grace (Megan), Sr. Anne Marie Elizabeth (Anne Marie), Sr. Magnificat Rose (Jillian), Sr. Pia Jude (Christen), Sr. Cara Marie (Cara), Sr. Gabriela Maria Mega (Mega), & Sr. Jordan Rose (Jordan)!
On June 9, the Feast of Our Lady of Grace, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins blessed St. Joseph Convent for the Sisters of Life. After an estimated 5500 hours of donated professional services, our convent is now completely renovated and home to our Toronto Sisters! Mother Agnes reminded those gathered how graciously Cardinal Collins welcomed us when we first arrived in the Archdiocese of Toronto in August 2007 and expressed her gratitude for the Cardinal’s generosity in making St. Joseph’s available to us. May St. Joseph’s convent be the first of many houses of the Sisters of Life in Canada!
Approximately 40 young women gathered at St. Francis Retreat Centre in Caledon, Ontario Canada for a powerful and grace-filled weekend at the “I Believe in Love” young women’s retreat. Retreatants sank into the silence and allowed the Lord to speak to them through prayer, talks by the Sisters, one-on-one meetings, Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.
On Saturday, May 17th we celebrated the women we serve in our Visitation Mission- all our heroic mothers- and welcomed them and their children to our Centre at St. Catherine of Siena for an afternoon of festivities, fellowship and food. Seminarians provided entertainment and “All 4 Him,” a local praise and worship band, supplied amazing music for our guests! Fr. Peter Marr spoke beautifully to all who gathered about the beauty of motherhood. The celebration concluded with a crowning of Our Blessed Mother and all were invited to bring a candle forward along with their prayer intentions. All in all it was a beautiful celebration!
This year’s National March for Life took place on Thursday, May 8th, 2014, where over 25,000 people stood up for life in Ottawa, the Nation’s capitol.
On May 3rd, the 14th anniversary of John Cardinal O’Connor’s death, approximately 30 young women joined the Toronto Sisters of Life for an introduction to religious life. The day included talks on consecration, the charism of life and stories of grace from the missions, lunch with a Sister to ask questions about religious life, vocation stories, Eucharistic Adoration and Confession and of course, cinnamon rolls in honor of Cardinal O’Connor our Founder!
We make hundreds of choices every day. Some are insignificant, others can impact our lives forever. The multimedia exhibit, You & Me, draws you into an encounter with six people facing challenging situations who discover the freedom and joy that comes from a love that is willing to sacrifice for the good of another. This March, the You&Me Exhibit had it’s first-ever showing on a university campus! In corroboration with Evangelical Catholic and Jump Start, we were able to bring the You&Me Exhibit to Purdue University, hosted by Purdue Catholic Students at St. Tom’s.
On March 22, 2014 the Sisters of Life in Toronto hosted a Lenten Day of Reflection for our dear Co-Workers and volunteers. The day included Mass, celebrated by Fr. Peter Marr, conferences by the Sisters on prayer and Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, and confessions. It was a beautiful way to enter into the Lenten season.
Due to a terrible ice storm our annual Christmas Party turned into a New Year’s Celebration! On January 11th, we were blessed to have about 35 moms and their children came to kick off 2014! Special thanks to Fr. Marr and the St. Augustine’s seminarians for joining us, providing blessings and entertainment for all!