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Greetings from Becoming Neighbours!

Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, Minstry Director, Becoming Neighbours

Appalled by the plight of refugees, hearing of their sufferings and being challenged by situations of injustice 20 Roman Catholic religious congregations established Becoming Neighbours. This is a programme that matches newcomers to Canada with established Torontonians who provide a presence and act as friends, guides and mentors during the newcomer’s initial adjustment to Canadian society. One of the founding congregations is the Congregation of Notre Dame whose sisters established Notre Dame Catholic High School in 1941.

For the past four years, Notre Dame students and staff have generously spent time organizing and volunteering at Annette’s Boutique – a practical, hands-on experiential expression of Gospel hospitality for refugees. From the sorting of clothes, to providing refreshments, to providing daycare as parents shop, staff and students of Notre Dame personify the spirit of Marguerite: a spirit of being flexible, versatile, and extremely practical, of dwelling in possibilities not problems and of cultivating the potential of each person. Yes, Notre Dame is a school community where love abounds. Students and staff alike strive for academic excellence imbued with a Spirit-led compassionate tenderness focused on generous and courageous actions to build our Earth community. This year celebrating seventy-five years of Notre Dame sisterhood, this dream still holds true.

We especially want to acknowledge the presence and student leadership development of Ms. Lorraine Treacy, not only a former student but also a present teacher.

At our 2016 Annual General Meeting the Board of Directors chose to honour the Staff and the Students of Notre Dame Catholic High School with the Margaret Myatt, CSJ Recognition Award. This Award honours an individual(s) who has promoted cultural integration and enrichment while assisting newcomers and refugees in becoming active and fully participating members of the community. It seems most opportune and appropriate that the Margaret Myatt, CSJ Recognition Award is presented in the celebration of the 75th years of the inception of Notre Dame as a school and as a community.

Pictured at our AGM are present and past students of Notre Dame Catholic High School: Sara Gigi, Alicom Ochere, Lorraine Treacy, Karla Ortiz, Tina Solomon, and Sister Mary Jane Leonard, CND; truly an intergenerational, international celebration of Notre Dame sisterhood.

Together, let us be in solidarity with all migrants and refugees,

Fr. Peter McKenna, SCJ, Minstry Director, Becoming Neighbours

 Margaret Myatt, CSJ Recognition Award 


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