Evening discussion of UISG article from left to right Sr. Alice and Bonnie from the Sioux Peggy from US and Ann from TorontoAt the Canadian Federation Leadership Board meeting, the gathering begins with an acknowledgement of the land. This ritual is one of remembering the earth and the aboriginal people who first inhabited it.  It spoke of the treaty that governed the willingness of the aboriginal people to share the land with those who came later.  This powerful ritual set the tone for three days of preparing for the future while acknowledging the past and present.  Prayer frequently used wisdom of the First Nations peoples.

Sr. Peggy Sullivan, Leadership Council Co-Chair and Sr. Patty Johnson, US Federation Executive Director attended this meeting as guests and provided updates on what’s happening in the US Federation and also with our organizational audit process.  It was amazing to see the parallels of the issues both Federations face related to how to best serve its members and prepare for the future.  Although we are using different processes we are asking the same questions and in some cases exploring the same possibilities.Margaret McGee the long time administrative assistant for the Canadian Federation is honored for her 14 years of dedicated service

The Canadian Federation has three member congregations, the Sisters of St Joseph of Toronto, the Sisters of St Joseph of Sioux St. Marie, and the Sisters of St Joseph of Canada.  All are located in the province of Ontario but are spread throughout the province and some of their sisters minister in other provinces throughout Canada.

Sr. Loretta Manzara new Canadian Federation Executive Director chats with Sr. Nancy Sullivan the previous EDBy attending these meetings for 5 years now, the US Federation Leadership Assembly learned of a process they used called in-camera sessions.  These are lightly facilitated open discussions on topics of interest to leaders.  No reports are made about these meeting, no actions taken.  They are meant to be peer consultation and the leaders have an open forum to speak candidly about problems they face, ideas they are thinking about, and wonderings they have.  The US Federation held two of these sessions at its Leadership Assembly last year and they were highly rated.  This year’s Leadership Assembly will feature one in-camera session.

The Canadian Federation has just finished a major restructuring, moving from 1-1/2 staff to 4/5 staff and moving the office from Toronto to London, Canada.  A touching farewell to Margaret Magee their long time administrative assistant was held as part of this meeting.  Many past Executive Directors and Federation Presidents were present to honor Margaret.20171018 114547

This year, the Canadian Leadership Board held an evening session where they reflected on an article written for the International Union of Superior Generals (UISG) by its President, Sr. Carmen Sammut.  The article is entitled “Apostolic Religious Life Looks at the Future.  Vision and Pathways.”  In small groups of five or six, and then in the large group they shared the challenges for the future applied to their realities. The sharing was personal and the synergy among the leaders was strong.  It is a testament to their commitment to mission, that as Sisters of St. Joseph they are always moving towards the more with new ways to be connected to our dear neighbor to address the needs of the day.