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Parish Tea Party in White Plains

We invited some of the women of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for tea and an Advent prayer service. This morning of prayer had refreshments, a much requested tour of the house, followed by a reflection and personal quiet time, leading to mass at church next door. It was a lovely day, full of interculturality, joy of the season, and prayerful reflection.

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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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