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During the Fall of 2003 Sister Margaret Myatt, CSJ, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St.Joseph of Toronto, and members of her Leadership Team invited the leaders of other women and men Roman Catholic Religious Congregations to gather and to explore how together they could collaborate to respond to some of the greatest unmet needs in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Appalled by the plight of immigrants and refugees, hearing of their sufferings and being challenged by situations of injustice, nineteen religious congregations established Becoming Neighbours, a Joint Apostolic Ministry (JAM) in the form of a 2-year, Host Program Pilot Project in November 2005. The first Ministry Director was hired April 24, 2006. In September 2007, Becoming Neighbours, a Joint Apostolic Ministry was established as their permanent ministry.
Consultation with settlement agencies revealed that there is a tremendous need of assistance for new comers during the first stage of settlement in Toronto. Direct information from staff at the United Way, information from two United Way and City of Toronto reports: Poverty by Postal Code and A Call to Action…A Report of the Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force and findings from other agencies made a strong case for locating this new ministry in Scarborough. Scarboro Foreign Missions offered work space at 2685 Kingston Road.
It is the Vision of Becoming Neighbours to:
- Address basic unmet human needs of refugees and immigrants
- Encourage and strengthen relationships among people and among religious congregations
- Build lasting communities and give hope to the world
- Give witness to our Catholic faith and religious life
As well, in light of this Vision, from the very beginning, in response to the unmet needs of refugees, immigrants and displaced persons, this collaborative ministry was viewed as an opportunity for renewal and revitalization of apostolic religious life, for sharing strengths, for supporting each other and working more closely with the laity.
We presently have 20 sponsoring members. We hope you take time to visit their websites.
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Sisters of St. Joseph Toronto
Brothers of the Christian School
Congregation of Notre Dame
Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood
Faithful Companions of Jesus
Grey Sisters of Pembroke
Brothers of the Good Shepherd
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto Sisters)
Our Lady's Missionaries
Passionist Community of Canada
Sisters of Service
Sisters of Social Service
Sisters of Our Lady of Sion