Stella Maris – and a tale of two cities
London and Toronto, you might think, have nothing much in common, other than both being cities in Canada. Not so. Beautiful London, appropriately called the Forest City, is renowned for its sylvan charm. Toronto no longer sports such a charming moniker. Formerly known as Toronto the Good, it is now more frequently referred to as The Big Smoke. Much like London, it is also adorned with many gorgeous tree lined avenues.
About 200 kilometers separate the Forest City and The Big Smoke, a distance I travelled just a few days ago to temporarily relocate to Toronto. You might ask why, and rightly so. Why move from a forest city in southwestern Ontario of about 370 000 inhabitants, to a city where the metro population has recently breached six million? Ah, that’s a big question. I was not lured by the stately old Stella Maris on the corner of tree lined Avenues where I now hang my hat, so to say. So you wonder why? Now there’s a tale worth telling.
This is not one of those fairy tales with a ‘once upon a time’ segue, but rather an inspirational tale. It all began in 2009 when a new CPS venture saw the light of day. Toronto was chosen to become the home for women from various CPS provinces to spend their time of religious formation in an international novitiate. Since then we have been blessed with twelve women some of whom arrived on Canada’s shore from as far afield as Korea, Kenya, Congo, Mozambique and the Netherlands. Now it is my privilege to be here in this grand old home, as old as our congregation, to prepare for the arrival of another group of five women joining our congregation. What a blessing for all of us, to welcome new members who bring their gifts and talents to grow our congregation. Just as this grand old house on Madison Avenue rests on a solid foundation, these women will build their future on the solid foundation laid by our Founder, and all our sisters have accomplished. They will also be supported by the love and prayer of all the sisters of their home provinces, and us in the North American Province.
Would you please join us in prayer for these women?
Sr. Magdalena Vogt, cps