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heart of lovingNovember always comes to me as the month of fallen leaves and saints.

Our parish puts out a book into which parishioners are invited to write the names of loved ones they wish remembered during the services of the month.

With fidelity, each year, I enter the names of my brother and parents and those friends who have recently died.

This year:

I am going to church with distancing and masking.
We are still dealing with a pandemic.
We have celebrated our 170th anniversary since coming to Toronto.

Those early days are on my mind.

Sister Alphonsus Margerum died of typhus fever in 1855,
during the epidemic of that time,
while working to expand the Catholic schools in Hamilton.

Sister Delphine Fontbonne,
from France,
contracted cholera and died,
while caring for a poor, Irish, immigrant woman with fever.

I could write a whole litany with the names of the young Irish Sisters who came as immigrants to our city, chose to become Sisters of St Joseph and died in their twenties while caring for their people.

Many died from hard work,
not enough rest or food, and “consumption” or tuberculosis,
which was rampant among the poor of the time.

Remembering the courage and generosity of these women
and so many more
causes me to ask:

What is mine to do
during this time
of pandemic in 2021?

The answer comes in the stillness of prayer.

Open the door of your heart
to the suffering around you,
to the ill,
the grieving,
the lonely,
the displaced,
the refugees.

Open your heart and hold them.

Hold them in the Heart of Loving Mystery.

Sister Rosemary Fry


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Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto © 2021