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Easter Blessings

In a world of staggering questions, hope becomes a calling for those of us who can hold it, for the sake of the world. Hope lives open-eyed and whole-hearted with the darkness that is woven into the light of life. Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a practice that becomes a spiritual muscle memory.  (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Art and Mystery of Living by Krista Tippett)

May we allow the transforming energy of the resurrection to release hope and love through us.

Easter Blessings,

Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada





What is the Future of Gender in Canadian Society?

In 100 years, will Canadians think about gender differently than we do today?

What is on the horizon for feminism? How has a heightened awareness of LGBT2Q+ experiences shifted our understanding about the nature of gender? Does the men’s rights movement reflect coherent concerns about masculine identity? What have been the ongoing consequences of movements like #metoo and #timesup?

What is unique about this discussion? In the community event space, we often talk about gender questions in 'silos': we discuss feminism, gender parity, employment equity, LGBT2+ experiences, trans rights, masculine identity, and a host of other issues almost as distinct categories. With this event, we are hoping to bring a wide range of experience and scholarship together in the public sphere to explore the idea, construct, history, and future of gender itself. This is a free and open community event. 

Join us for a discussion about the future of gender in Canada.

Location:  Central Library 251 Dundas Street, London, Ontario

Date/Time: Monday, April 9, 2018 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Panelists

Greta Bauer is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Western University and an Affiliate Member of Women’s Studies & Feminist Research. Her primary research interests are in the impact of social marginalization, the broader health of sexual and gender minority communities, and in improving the ways that health researchers study the effects of biological sex and social gender. For more than a decade, she has been a leader in community-based research on LGBT health, with a strong focus on transgender health. Her work has been used in legislative or court processes with regard to Canadian Blood Services policy on gay men and blood donation, the addition of gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Code and provincial codes, and legal challenges in multiple provinces regarding surgical requirements for trans people to change sex designations on identity documents.

Michael Kehler is Research Professor in Masculinities’ Studies in Education at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education. His research addresses the intersection of gender and education more broadly and specifically explores masculinities, schooling, literacies, men as change agents, counter sexist politics, body image, health education, bullying, homophobia and team sport. His ongoing research centres on the ways boys and men navigate school spaces and learn what it means to be a man. Largely drawing on masculinities scholarship and feminist research, Dr. Kehler has contributed to the field of study in education by challenging more static and linear arguments that conflate gender and sex. His research questions normative masculinity and the power, privilege and positioning of men within and beyond school settings.

Nicole Nussbaum is a lawyer based in London, Ontario. She has a particular focus on, and extensive experience with, law and policy issues related to gender identity and gender expression. Formerly a sole practitioner practicing in the areas of employment and human rights, and family law, Nicole joined Legal Aid Ontario in December 2012 and assists unrepresented litigants navigate a wide variety of family law issues. She also acts as project lead of the TransForming Justice project, a legal needs assessment of Trans community in Ontarians, which is administered by the HIV & Aids Legal Clinic Ontario with funding from Legal Aid Ontario and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. Nicole is a former president of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, and a past-chair and current executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Section. Nicole holds an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

AnnaLise Trudell (@annatrudell) is Manager of Education, Training & Research at Anova (formerly Women’s Community House & Sexual Assault Centre London). She brings extensive analysis of sexual violence and gender dynamics through her research at Western University, and is a seasoned public educator and facilitator with over 500 presentations engaging youth, professionals & post-secondary students through public education. She supports a staff team of 8 individuals who run dozens of youth violence prevention discussion-based groups every year. In her role as Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University, she seeks to amplify the voices of sex workers, offering a harm reduction sex positive approach to looking at the ways in which digital literacy can foster social inclusion and health for sex workers.

Event poster: https://curiouspublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Gender-Curious-Public.jpg

Full event details and registration at: https://curiouspublic.com/events/gender/




Weekly Pause & Ponder

Jesus’ relatively short human life…both modelled and consecrated the eye of the needle that each one of us must personally pass through in order to accomplish “the one thing necessary” here, according to his teaching: to die to self….Our only truly essential human task here, Jesus teaches, is to grow beyond the survival instincts of the animal brain and egoic operating system into kenotic joy and generosity of full human personhood. His mission was to show us how to do this.

The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault, p.106.


Forward to the Fullness of Time

We are quickly moving toward the climatic week of Lent with the great celebration of the Triduum – three holy days, marking the mystery of death and resurrected life. Here in my religious community our Lenten journey has called us to a huge experience of surrender as we have bid farewell to 6 of our Sisters during these Lenten days.

Our hearts ache, and fond memories are related at the meal tables. Prayers of gratitude are voiced and a conviction of faith is expressed in song and gesture.

The scripture readings for this Fifth Sunday of Lent will indeed help us contain this experience. Jeremiah assures us that we are tenderly loved by God, just as we are. Whimsically there is even a promise that we will no longer need to teach our friends and relatives about God – because all will know God. It is that deep, deep sense of loving relationship that holds our community together during this time of loss. The mystery of death is gathered up in the compassionate love of the Holy One who places the stark absence within a promise written on our hearts.

In the gospel passage one person states “Sir, we would like to see Jesus”.  And Jesus responds that to see, one must totally surrender. Just as a grain of wheat dies in order to bear fruit, so too our surrender opens us to an awareness of the One Great LOVE within. The promise is held out: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

As our dear Sisters are drawn home into the heart of God, one by one, our experience as a Congregation widens to hold the tender mystery of Christ’s passage, from being a loving presence among humanity, to a glorified radiance calling us ever forward to the fullness of time.

And with deep gratitude we honour: Sr. Theresa Carmel Slavik, Sr. St. Edward Grace, Sr. Beta Gagnon, Sr. Clare Sullivan, Sr. Nicole Aubé, and Sr. Bernadette Boyde.

Sr. Theresa Carmel Slavik

Reflection by Loretta Manzara, CSJ




Sr. St. Edward Grace

Sr. Clare Sullivan





Sr. Nicole AubeSr. Bernadette Boyde


Sr. Beata Gagnon


The Answer Is In Nature

The UN World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 every year. World Water Day aims at focusing our attention on the importance of water. Globally, we are faced with many water challenges.

Headline facts

2.1 billion people lack access to drinking water.

1.9 billion people live in potentially severe water-scare areas.

An estimated 64-71 % of natural wetlands have been lost since 1900 as the result of human activity.

Over 80% of wastewater generated by society flows back without being treated or reused into the environment.

1.8 billion people are affected by land degradation and desertification.

1.2 billion people are at risk from floods today.

The 2018 World Water Day theme, “The Answer Is In Nature” highlights nature-based-solutions (NBS) to meet the water challenges we face today. Nature-based solutions help the management of water availability and quality. Examples of NBS include restoring forests, grasslands and natural wetlands, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, creating buffers of vegetation along water courses. From www.worldwaterday.org/


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