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Sister Frances Claus and her Toy Workshop

Among the many opportunities I had to shadow the sisters of Toronto in their ministries, I had the most fun with Frances Claus in her Toy Workshop in the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. She and her fellow elf Bev are busy each year preparing Christmas packages for 500 children, each package containing an age and gender appropriate combination of toys, crafts, books, balls, and something warm (socks, a hat, or gloves). They register the children in October and receive bags and bags of toys from the local radio station CHUM’s toy drive, but they don’t just distribute the gifts, passing them on. They make sure the boys and girls of each age group receive equivalent packages, and verify that they don’t receive the same gift from the previous year.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Our Lady of Guadalupe – Our Lady of the Peripheries

It’s all about accompaniment. When Mary heard that Elizabeth was expecting, she “went in haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah” (Luke 1:39). A relative “in her old age” would need help, and the mothers-to-be had to talk. The gospel leaves us to imagine their joy, their apprehension, and their hope — mothers whose sons would be prophets and martyrs, yet through whom God would bring down the mighty from their thrones and lift-up the humblest of his people.

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Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

“What should we do?” This was the question all – those being baptized, the tax collectors, the soldiers, etc. – were asking John the Baptist. He made such a deep impression on the people that word spread that he might be the Messiah. He assured them he was not the Messiah. They were attracted to him because he was so single-hearted in the way he lived his life and his mission.
Reflect on those persons to whom you turn in difficult times. Give thanks for their presence in your life.

 

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