Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday on Dufferin Street

Today in our Centre on Dufferin Street, we were open from 9:30 until 5:00 PM. Since it is the birthday of one of our Saturday employees, four of us Sisters were on duty to help the many people who came in. When I pushed the gate open, there was a priest wwaiting to enter. There was a steady stream of people all day: couples who browsed for at least an hour; moms and dads with their kids; young adults searching for music and books; parish workers searching for materials to help; Latino, Asian, Italian, Jamaican and Indian--people of every hue and color. An Indian couple remeber the Daughters of St. Paul visiting their homes with good reading in their home country. A student from Venezuela remembers visiting our Centres in his native country. What a "catholic," universal, city this is. He said, "I was so happy to find "Las Paulinas" here in Tronto too.
One gentleman came in around 2:00 PM and purchased two small black rosaries. He noticed the sign for our chapel and asked if he could go and pray. As he was leaving he stopped and thanked me. "I hope I can hear what he is saying." I answered, "He is always speaking to us. We are the ones who have to try to listen." Obviously under some sort of burden, he continued, "Those words really struck me." "Ah, yes," I replied, "Our Founder heard those words years ago when he was experiencing some really difficult times. Jesus seemed to be standing next to the tabernacle in a chapel. He was pointing to the tabernacle saying: 'Do not be afraid. I am with you. From here (the Eucharistic tabernacle) I want to enlighten.' " The man told me, "My father is dying. I really need those words today." I assured him that we will pray for him and for his father. Amid the busy-ness of the phone calls and people coming and going, our Lord was waiting to console this person who came to our Centre and our chapel. Our quiet chapel holds him who is "The Word." May The Word enlighten and console that son who is trying his best to "be strong" for his father.
In between taking care of our many patrons and praying in the chapel for an hour and a half, plus a break for lunch, there was not a whole lot of time to focus on anything else except the people and their needs.
Our Mother General sent us a letter of best wishes for our 50th anniversary. In it, she says she prays that our Center will be a beacon shining the light of Christ on thousands of people thorugh the media of communication. May all the people who came into 3022 Dufferin Street today feel the consoling warmth of that light on themselves and on all their loved ones.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Movie Night at the Convent

Last night, Thursday August 24, we began our new series of Movie Nights at the Pauline Books and Media Center. We have a very nice hall with a projector, screen and speakers that accommodate large audiences.
Last night five of us sisters were present along with 22 guests. We watched the film, Marvin's Room. Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DiNiro and other big names were in the film. Sister Hosea Marie introduced the film and handed out a small guide for reflection. After the film viewing and a break we gathered into three discussion groups. Most of us had counted off before hand to try and watch the film through the eyes of one of the four main characters. That made for lively applications of the film to real life and to Christian and basic human family values. Here are some photos showing the hall before most of the folks arrived; Sister Hosea introducing the evening; and Sister Marlyn starting a discussion group.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Here are some clips of our Mariachi friends who "made our day" so special with their song and music. Juan Carlos chats with Sister Marlyn and Sister Carla.


Here are Sisters Marlyn Evangelina and Marie Paul during Sunday's celebration.

The Crowd

I'd like you see a glimpse of the size of the crowd that came to celebrate with us on Sunday, August 20.


Today, August 23, is the "real" 50th anniversary of the Daughters of St. Paul in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I resized some of the photos from Sunday's celebration. I will try including them in today's post.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Where to find some photos.

I forgot to add that my flickr address is srmpmfsp. Thanks and God bless your week!


I think the JPEG files were too large.
Otherwise, check out my photo page on flickr.

Another Try at Photos

Here's try number three. I'm not sure why the photos did not show up.

Pictures from our Jubilee

Here's try number two for an attempt to put up photos from today's event.
One is a photo of the crowd which came to our hall.
Sister Donna worked hard to serve the cake with our friend Nancy.
Sisters Marlyn and Marie-Paul were busy all day.
Here are two of the Mariachi's.
The happy crowd danced and clapped with the Mariachi's.
Here are most of the Daughters of St. Paul who were present posing with a lady friend.

A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Today we Daughters of St. Paul in Toronto celebrated our community's 50 year presence in the city and Archdiocese of Toronto. We celebrated first with a joyous Mass at our parish Church of St. Charles Borromeo at the corner of West Lawrence and Dufferin in Toronto. Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic was the main celebrant with four other priests and two deacons present. Sister Hosea Maria cantored for the Mass. A few other of our Sisters joined the choir especially for the Communion hymns.
The church was packed. Two Daughters of St. Paul from Montreal joined us as well as our provincial superior, Sister Margaret Christopher Meagher and one of her councilors, Sister Mary Martha Moss.
Many lay people and Sisters from other communities came to celebrate in the reception held after Mass in our hall under our book center. The crowd was definitely multi-cultural, and very happy. It was a joy to see so many people coming from many parts of Canada to support us in our mission of media evangelization. Lots of folks who are weekly, some even daily visitors to our Centre were present.
An unexpected but very welcome surprise occured during the party with the arrival of three authentic "Mariachi's" from Mexico. With two guitars and a small accordian and great voices, the gentlemen with the broad-brimmed sombreros played for more than an hour. Sisters and laity joined hands and danced to their music. There were definitley a "hit."
I will try to upload a few seconds of video so you can see them.
Today is also the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the congregation of priests and brothers called The Society of St. Paul. Since they were the first of the Pauline Family, in one way it is also a double anniversary for us.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Retreat House

Here are some pictures of St.Thecla's Retreat House. By the way we pronounce "Thecla" as if there were a "k" instead of a "c", and a "t" instead of "th." It is like the "tech" in technical.
The top picture is a shrine of the Sorrowful Mother, sometimes called the Pieta'. It is along a pathway on the retreat house grounds.
The middle photo is an outside front view of St. Thecla's. The house is built in a square shape with an inner court yard.
The bottom photo shows Sister Laura meditating during her annual retreat.

A Retreat

Tomorrow, Saturday August 5, I will be at our St. Thecla Retreat House. A Sister from Colombia, Sr. Bernarda Cadavid, will be conducting an 8 day retreat in Italian. I will be translating for her morning and evening prayers, as well as for her two talks each day. The retreat topic is taken from St. Paul to the Galatians 4:19: "Until Christ be formed in you." I took part in the retreat which often uses the Latin title "Donec Formetur" in 2003 in the USA and in 2004 in Rome. Both retreats were given in Italian. The retreat participants keep strict silence during the eight days so they can pray better and listen to the inspirations of the Lord. Since our Internet connection there is an analog line, I may not be able to keep in touch with you all until I get back to Toronto. We will see what happens.
Tonight our postulants--the young women who are in the initial stages of becoming a Sister--led our evening prayer service with Power Point presentations and a beautiful song. Theirs was a farewell prayer service, since tomorrow morning they will fly to St. Louis, Missouri to continue their postulancy program. In St. Louis they will be living with a smaller Daughters of St. Paul community. The Daughters of St. Paul operate a Pauline Books & Media book center on a very busy road in the Brentwood section of St. Louis. I am sure that the youngest members of our Pauline community will find many opportunities to use media to evangelize.
Keep them and me in your prayers too!
On August 15, three other postulants will make another step ahead in their journey toward becoming full-fledged Daughters of St. Paul. They will become novices. Novitiate is a two year period during which the young women study more deeply what it means to be a Daughter of St. Paul; they study themselves to see if this life is truly for them; the formation team follows them closely to guide them and see also if this person offers the qualifications to become a good religious Sister and Pauline missionary. During the second year of novitiate, there is a time of what we call "apostolic experience" when the novice goes to a smaller community to experience first hand what life might be like after she has committed hersef with vows. When I was a novice in the last century, ours was only a one year, but very intense, novitiate.
Our former Novice Mistress, Sister Concetta, will be 90 years old in September.
Originally from Italy, Sister Concetta still has mostly black hair, and smooth skin. She certainly does not look her age! We love to remind Sister Concedtta how strict she was. She has a wry smile and replies, "I could not have been so bad. You all made profession and you are still here."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Yesterday, Monday, I was able to visit a friend who lives in a lovely Maine coastal town. The sea was a marvelous blue green. As the waves came in and washed over us I felt a great peace. There is a song about the Holy Spirit which describes his gifts as "pleasant coolness in the heat." I was enjoying that "pleasant coolness." The mystical writer, St. Catherine of Siena, called Jesus Christ "A Sea of Peace." Looking at the immensity of the ocean, it was easy to think of Jesus that Sea of Peace. When we returned to the house my friend said, "Oh, I'm so glad I went. I feel so relaxed now." At the beach I find it very esy to make analogies to the spiritual life, to God's power, majesty, and immensity. I wish all my readers could enjoy this peace to.
There were Canadian folks as well as Americans there in addition to many mothers with children of all ages. Sitting with our feet on the hot sand, everyone looked equal. There were no double breasted business suits, no designer jeans or tennis shoes, if there were i-pods they were not intrusive. It was truly a day of the best weather and good spirits. Families seemed to be truly enjoying one antoher
I soaked in the peacefulness of it all.
I hope your week is peaceful and blessed. Have a good one! Sister Mary Peter, FSP
PS I forgot to mention that I took one of our Sisters to the airport in Boston. She was flying to Rome. She has family in Italy.
While there, an African friend came up to see me. She and her family were on their way to Nigeria for a wedding. That couple are members of another secular institute Blessed James Alberione founded for married couples. The Intitute for married couples would be a great place to visit.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, he wanted to make sure that no walk of life was left out of the attainment of sanctity and good work. I saw a cartoon recentlly which showed its young character snuggled under his sheeots. I loved the punch line: "Getting up in the morning is a matter of mind over mattress!" How I can affirm that statement!
Have a cool rest of the week. We in Boston are getting our dose of hot weather. As a priest mentioned many years ago: If is better to smoke (or burn) here than hearafter!
God bless you!