Community Service Honoured
Two women who have shared their lives generously with many of the people struggling for a decent life in the urban core will be missing from Boyle Street and McCauley as summer begins.
Sister Marion Garneau is ending 17 years as part of Inner City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM), and as a McCauley resident, to move to new duties with her religious order in New Brunswick. Linda Winski, who has been part of ICPM for eight years, is retiring to have more time to spend with her elderly mother and dependent sister.
The Community of Emmanuel, a church that meets at Bissell Centre, recently held a farewell for them, and then they were thanked at the annual meeting of ICPM in mid-June. Each was presented with a dream catcher custom made for them.
Looking back on the work of ICPM, Garneau describes it as, “a respectful and effective presence to inner city people” that focuses on the strengths and dignity of people while advocating with them for a better quality of life.
Winski leaves her work at ICPM convinced that to be followers of Jesus, “We need to be present with people pushed aside, dismissed, left out, unseen, and unheard.” Both women are firm in asserting they have received more for themselves than they have given in their work.
At the ICPM meeting Pastor Rick Chapman, said, “Linda and Marion are on new journeys in their lives but their spiritual giftedness has been a gift of God to all of us.”
Linda Whittle, a priest at St. Faith’s Anglican Church in Alberta Avenue and an ICPM board member, commented about how in the Bible wisdom is described as a woman, and it is said wisdom is more precious than jewels, guiding people to walk paths of peace, and as a tree of life. “You have been Wisdom for us, and now God speed,” she said.