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Discover What Health Care $$$ Are Spent on You?

A recent article by Jonathan Sher in the London Free Press caught my attention. Many of us know that providing health care to Ontarians is a major provincial government expense. We might also be aware that its cost consumes over 40% of Ontario’s provincial program spending dollars. However, few of us have seen our actual OHIP bill.  

Interestingly, the article points out that we can have access to our OHIP tab for up to the last seven years by requesting it by ‘snail mail’ from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Personal Health Information Office. The ministry further assists by providing a downloadable form on its website.

Personally, as the proud recipient of two rather recent fading surgical scars, I decided to inquire about the cost of my knee surgeries. I mailed my completed request to the ministry as indicated on the form. Now I await seeing my health care tab. 

With health care being the Ontario government’s single biggest expense I checked out this interesting table Table 4.1 Per-Capita Provincial Government Health Spending, by Age Group, Ontario in the government's long-term report on the economy under halth care. As Ontarians age, a certainty, the health care spending debate will continue.

Knowing our own health care tab is an excellent and realistic starting point to enter the discussions ahead. It only takes a signed request, an envelope and stamp. Go for it!

Nancy Wales, CSJ


Today is a . . .

“Do I live as a tourist or as a pilgrim?” I came upon this quote, but sorry to say, in a senior moment, I can’t remember who or where. I think of a tourist flitting here and there – seeing but not absorbing. A pilgrim, I see as one who plods deliberately along – journeying with purpose.

  • Tourists use a map showing the highlights, guided by GPS. Pilgrims stop to smell the roses along the way, laying their beds down in any humble abode.Tourists often follow the voice of the tour guide. 
  • Pilgrims tend to follow their hearts.
  • Tourists plan ahead, booking flights, hotels etc. Pilgrims fly by the seat of their pants.
  • Tourists are on vacation – pilgrims are on a journey.

There is an old saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” We can say all touring and no pilgrimage makes one a dull Christian.

One should feed the other!

Each day we should ask ourselves – today was I a tourist or a pilgrim? What do I want to be tomorrow? Your pilgrim day may be my tourist day or vice-versa.

As a pilgrim we hope to meet God – face to face. As tourists we treasure God’s gifts to us in the beauty of creation and its varieties of people.

Be this a tourist or pilgrim day?

Barbara Vaughan, CSJ


Weekly Pause & Ponder

We use the term “consciousness” to refer to how you experience the world. This use of consciousness includes all of your perceptions, both conscious and unconscious. A closely related term is worldview. At times, how you experience the world may feel completely involuntary. “I view the world this way because the world is this way – what other way is there to view it?” It can be very difficult to shift a firmly entrenched model of reality. We can get pretty attached to what we think is true, important, and real – even when presented with evidence to the contrary. To a great extent, our worldview determines our perception of reality. What our worldview doesn’t expand to contain quite literally escapes our perception. We just don’t see it. This perception of reality colors our reactions and actions, every moment of every day.

Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, by Schlitz, Vieten and Amorok, p. 18.


My Personal Encounter with John Franklin

A recent newspaper article in the Toronto Star reminded me of a much earlier conversation with a senior level employee of Canadian North. She told me that the airline was introducing an after dinner liqueur coffee called Café Franklin in recognition of the nineteenth century Arctic explorer. I questioned their wisdom in naming the in-flight beverage Café Franklin, considering the captain’s travel misadventures and the mystery of Franklin’s lost ships. However, I recall the free drink was short lived but I had the opportunity to enjoy a Café Franklin on a flight south from Yellowknife to Edmonton.

I enjoyed reading Marco Chown Oved’s article, “Biggest search party yet for Franklin’s lost ships. Quoting John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the article states, “To this day, if you think about it, it’s absolutely incredible that we’ve not been able to find these two ships. Franklin has never been found; his journals have never been found; a large number of his crewmen have never been found; the ships have never been found-it’s as if they simply vanished!” http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/07/27/biggest_search_party_yet_for_franklins_lost_ships.html

This summer’s Victoria Strait Expedition to search for Franklin’s lost ships will include greater numbers of partners and cutting edge technology. The Canadian made Underwater Autonomous Vehicle, Arctic Explorer, built in Port Coquitlam will have the capacity to conduct days of underwater searches at deeper levels than previous dives.

If this 2014 expectation is successful in uncovering the mystery of Franklin’s last voyage searching for the Northwest Passage, then perhaps Canadian North might want to consider reintroducing its liqueur coffee, Café Franklin, in celebration.

Bottoms up for the Victoria Strait Expectation!

Nancy Wales, CSJ

Photo: Franklin's ships, the Erebus and the Terror


Weekly Pause & Ponder

To grasp the dynamism of Christianity, one must accept evolution as the explanation for unfolding life. Evolution is not background to the human story; it is the human story.   ...Teilhard recognized that there is a unifying influence in the whole evolutionary process, a centrating factor that continues to hold the entire process together and move it forward toward greater complexity and unity. His faith in Christ led him to posit Christ as the future fullness of the whole evolutionary process. Christ is the centrating principle, the pleroma, and the Omega Point where the individual and collective adventure of humanity finds its end and fulfillment. Through his penetrating view of the universe, he found Christ present within the entire cosmos, from the least particle of matter to the convergent human community. The whole cosmos is incarnational.

From Teilhard to Omega: Co-creating An Unfinished Universe. Edited by Ilia Delio, p.172 and 173.


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