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wwed 2023New Year’s Day 2023 came with surprising warmth and pouring rain. Surely, in January, a sign of the disastrous climate change throughout our world.'

The next morning the first headline in the CBC online news read: "If you thought 2022 was bad, wait until you see what 2023 has in store for the economy.

"Earlier reports in the same media told of more drone attacks on Ukraine’s faltering infrastructure and the bombing of a children’s hospital.

This is the kind of news we experience daily. I ask myself: how can this Sister of St. Joseph remain a woman of hope in these times?

With each new year, Sisters of St. Joseph throughout the world renew their commitment to live in union with the Trinity and the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, embodying their values and virtues. The gift of hope comes to me living in community with these women and experiencing these same values and virtues in the world around me.

At our New Year’s Day eucharistic celebration, the parish community received Happy New Year wishes in many different languages, representing all the different nationalities and languages of those gathered to celebrate together. Surely this is a powerful sign of unity in the chaos of our world.In faith, hope and love, all were invited to begin the New Year as we wished it to end.

After the Eucharist on New Year's Day, I set out with a few other Sisters to find some Greek takeout for supper. After travelling to two or three closed places, we finally found a tiny Greek restaurant full of people.

One woman was coping with all the orders and cash while an elderly man was preparing the food. This woman was surely a sign of God’s love. She discreetly signaled for us to have patience while she listened intently to an elderly gentleman.

Then, after taking our order, she was kindness itself, offering drinks as we waited. All the people who came and went in the restaurant were greeted with the same respect and good humor as she moved about constantly filling their requests.With people and places like this in our city of Toronto, how is it possible not to believe in goodness and a force of love in our universe?

So for this New Year 2023, I make the choice to be a woman of hope and joy.

I will do this by recognizing and celebrating the signs of hope and joy and goodness all around me in the chaos of our world.

I invite you to do the same.

Sister Rosemary Fry

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Out of deep respect for those who have cared for these lands since time immemorial, we are committed to tread lightly on the land, protect water as sacred, and affirm our desire for right relations with all Indigenous Peoples. - From our CSJ Land Acknowledgement

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