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Weekly Pause & Ponder

You are a miracle of evolution, a biological organism delicate and fragile and yet tenacious because you have survived throughout eons of cosmic cycles. You are what you are because the universe is what it is. The universe is what it is because you are what you are. The body you inhabit may seem to be your personal possession, but in truth it belongs to the universe.

Deepak Chopra.  Power, Freedom and Grace.


The Concert Band

The Sisters of St. Joseph Concert Band began as part of the Centennial Program for the London based Sisters, which lasted from December 1968 until December 1969. However, the Concert Band lasted well beyond the Centennial year, and was quite successful, playing at ecumenical concerts, music festivals, and performance venues from Quebec City to Edmonton and many places in between.

The instruments first arrived on March 17, 1967, and the Sisters began practicing. Their first concert was on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day) in the Mount St. Joseph Academy Auditorium in London, Ontario.

The Concert Band first officially performed at Catholic Central High School on March 15, 1968. On July 14, 1968, the Band was taped for a radio broadcast. On October 1 of the same year, they played at the Kiwanis Convention on the ground floor of Centennial Hall in London, receiving a standing ovation from the audience of 900 men. Another significant performance included the 1968 Waterloo Instrumental Clinic on April 27, 1968, when they laid down their instruments and performed as a choir and received a standing ovation from their audience.

From March 1968 to June 1970, the Sisters of St. Joseph Concert Band performed in 15 cities, at 35 public concerts, traveled 8,000 miles and performed for over 23,000 people. Its conductor was the well-known and respected Mr. Martin Boundy, until 1971 when Mr. Donald H. Jones became the Band's conductor.

On November 8, 1969, an Ecumenical Concert was presented by the Salvation Army and the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Centennial Concert Hall in London. It was televised on Cablecast, and proceeds went to the Salvation Army building fund.

On March 15, 1970, the Band played at the Stratford Festival Theatre. Its 2,258 seats were two thirds occupied. The position of the stage was a new experience for the Sisters.

On February 26, 1971, the Sisters' Band performed a joint concert with the Salvation Army at Centennial Hall, London. There were 1,900 people in attendance.


Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Archives


Weekly Pause & Ponder

Persons are not isolated but exist only in relation. Hence, it is not Jesus’ isolated body that is significant, but his body interacting with other bodies. The corporate body generated by Jesus interacting with his contemporaries and with us is the incarnation of Christ-gestalt.

Peter C. Hodgson’s quote in  Christianity’s Dangerous Memory by Diarmuid O’Murchu.


The Power of Presence

Almost six months ago I moved from Mount St Joseph to the new Woodland Apartments which are part of The Mount Community Centre development to meet the housing needs of the Peterborough community. I had been quite passionate about this project, and when some of the studio apartments, which were slow to be rented at the time, were publicly advertised, I took the opportunity to join a diverse group of tenants who were, for the most part, seeking affordable housing. This was my first experience of apartment living, and I was unsure of what to expect. As I continued to carry on my responsibilities as local leader at Mount St. Joseph, I chose not to become involved in the lives of those who shared this residence, but to wait until the summer when I would be free of my present duties.  I have become acquainted with many people who are courteous and friendly, some who are curious about my way of life, and a few who choose to keep their distance.

Sunday, June 4th, was my birthday, a fact earlier noted by a resident who had read our June calendar posted on the MSJ elevator. As I opened my apartment door that morning, a wonderful surprise awaited me. In front of me sat a gift bag and another parcel, the source of which I had no idea. A beautiful card that held the secret was signed by more than half of the residents, and the gifts were both thoughtful and appropriate. When I read the many good wishes penned by those who shared the residence, I was deeply touched.  Throughout the day as I encountered these good people, I heard many expressions of birthday greetings, and also of gratitude that I was among them. I would never have guessed that my simple presence there was of such a significance for them.

Upon further reflection on this experience, I realize the power that our presence holds in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. As a birthday insight, I have been made concretely aware that my presence is important to a group of people for whom I have done nothing in ministry. As I move into discernment about my future, this awareness is most helpful as life slowly calls me from a “doing” to a “being” role.  I am also aware that the surprise I experienced is an acknowledgement of who I am as a CSJ, and once again I am grateful for the charism of inclusive love that has motivated our Sisters who have gone before me and given so much to so many.

Joan Driscoll, CSJ



Summer begins with National Aboriginal Day

If you watched the National on CBC last night you witnessed acclaimed Canadian, Metis actor and singer, Tom Jackson, speaking on the occasion of the Recognition of Outstanding Indigenous Leadership. In keeping with the indigenous understanding of all our relations, Tom Jackson acknowledged the maple leaf as his sister pointing out the red leaf on our flag. He then poignantly asked the invited guests present, including the Governor General and the Prime Minister and their wives, to spend five minutes considering him to be their brother. Many in the audience were visibly moved by this moment of profound recognition of our mutual relationship.

National Aboriginal Day, celebrates the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Tomorrow, in celebrating National Aboriginal Day, June 21. APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) is making broadcast history with its 7-hour live show uniting Canadians from coast to coast in Eight Cities, One Great Gathering.  

APTN in its promotion of Aboriginal Day Live announced a live concert which will feature some of the most recognized entertainers in Aboriginal music and television, including the award-winning and those on the rise.

The eight cities hosting Aboriginal Day Live include Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Edmonton and Vancouver. Performers will appear on location and live on APTN. No other broadcaster has ever put together an event of this magnitude. I encourage you to watch on Wednesday, June 21 starting at 7 p.m. EST.

This is an excellent way to come to a better understanding and greater appreciation of our sisters and brothers and make a personal contribution to writing a new chapter in our common history. 

Nancy Wales, CSJ


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.