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Toronto ON M4H 1M2
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, Sister Thérèse Meunier, President of the Board of Directors of Fontbonne Ministries addressed those attending our volunteer appreciation event. Here are her remarks:
Pope Francis declared the year 2015, as the year of Consecrated Life: a year when religious women and men in various congregations are encouraged to look to the past with gratitude, to embrace the future with hope, and to live the present with passion.
I believe that the year 2015 can be declared as the year to celebrate Fontbonne Ministries i.e., to celebrate 15 years of nurturing community with the neighbour especially with the homeless, the alienated, the economically poor, women at risk, our wounded earth, and young adults. As Pope Francis said, we at Fontbonne Ministries can look to the past with gratitude, embrace the future with hope, and live the present with passion.
In looking at the past, what are we grateful for in Fontbonne Ministries?
- We are grateful for the courage of the first Sisters of St. Joseph, who arrived in Toronto in 1851, in response to the needs of people who were homeless, poor and vulnerable.
- We are grateful for Sr. Margaret Myatt, who had the vision in the year 2000, to create Fontbonne Ministries as a sustainable expression of the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph in their care for the ‘dear neighbour’ including our earth.
- We are grateful for those who were involved in the early stages of Fontbonne, and who allowed the ministry to evolve and to expand from the initial focus to build affordable housing for older single women i.e. Fontbonne Place to what it is today with:
- Mustard Seed which provides life skills & fosters community,
- In Good Company where we visit those isolated in their homes,
- Studio on the Hill where we explore creativity through clay,
- Faith Connections which generates spiritual growth and community for and with young adults,
- Village Mosaic which provides community for seniors.
- We are blessed to have Srs. Gwen Smith, Helen Kluke, Conrad Lauber, Mechtilde O’Mara, and Mary Mettler as Ministry Directors in Fontbonne.
- We are grateful for each of you our volunteers, and for the blessing you are to us, and to all the participants in Fontbonne Ministries.
- We are grateful for the number of months and years that you have been volunteers with Fontbonne.
As we looked to the past of Fontbonne Ministries with gratitude we also embrace the future with hope.
- Our hope comes from the ongoing commitment and dedication of our volunteers as you continue with us to make a difference in our world.
- Our hope comes as we nurture community with the homeless, the alienated, the economically poor, women at risk, our wounded earth, and young adults.
- Our hope is in the belief that we can make a difference and that what we do matters.
- Our hope is in the ongoing creation of a community where all are welcomed
- Our hope for the future is that our programs will continue to be flexible, diverse, and inclusive and will meet the needs of the dear neighbour and of the earth.
Having looked at the past with gratitude and our hope for Fontbonne Ministries into the future, we are called to live the present with passion. This is the passion that each of you brings:
- passion for each person that you welcome,
- passion for each participant who is respected
- passion of the directors, staff and volunteers, who develop and implement the programs
- passion for the sharing in the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph
- passion for your living the vision of Fontbonne Ministries
- passion for your role as ambassadors of Fontbonne in our city
So in this year 2015, declared as a year of celebration for Fontbonne Ministries, let us remember the past with gratitude, let us embrace the future with hope, and let us live the present with passion.
Fontbonne Ministries offers diverse programs that are welcoming and inclusive. The charity was founded in 2000 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, a community of women who, through their compassionate presence, respond to various needs. Fontbonne Ministries continues, with the Sisters, their mission of reflecting the love of God and neighbour.