Community Notre Dame du Cap
16 Artech Crt.
Toronto, ON – M3N 1R4.
Our community serves St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church in North York (Toronto), Ontario by serving the faithful Catholics of the Toronto immigrant community represented by over 30 nationalities.
Our main works of evangelization are the following:
- Liturgy and Sacristy work in the Parish: There are two Holy Masses every day and six or seven on the weekends, which include sacristy duties and assisting the priests in various tasks. The Masses are celebrated in several different languages, including nine Masses in Italian, five in English, and two in Spanish. Each week one sister leads a children’s liturgy (for children 5-9) during the Sunday Mass readings. Sisters also prepare the flower arrangements, direct the Hispanic choir, and supervise and train lectors for the Saturday children’s Mass. The sisters organize and pray daily Vespers with a group of parishioners. The sisters also help with parish activities during special liturgical seasons. Some of the events the sisters organize are:
- Lent: The sisters pray the Way of the Cross with parishoners in English, Spanish, and Italian.
- Easter Triduum: The sisters assist in preparing the liturgy for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday)
- Advent: The sisters organize the “Christmas Novena” during the nine days leading up to Christmas.
- Catechism: There are 10 catechism classes each with a catechist and an assistant. For the sacramental classes, a Spiritual retreat is also organized by the sisters. Last year 100 students received First Communion and 60 students received Confirmation. The Catechism program also includes RCIA classes for children, teens and young adults as well as the preparation of parents and godparents for the Sacrament of Baptism of infants. Classes are given in Spanish and English.
- Eucharistic Adoration: The parish has adoration every day from 7am to 10 pm; the sisters organize adoration turns among the parishioners.
- Girl’s Group: There are about 30 girls (ages 8-13) who gather at the Family Centre from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. Every meeting the girls have short time of games, then a talk on a spiritual or moral topic. After the talk, there is time for a decade of the Rosary then snacks and sports. The following are special activities of the group:
- In December the girls do works of mercy visiting the elderly and preparing a little gift for them as well as a Christmas play.
- During one week in March, there are competitions in drawing, a talent show, little plays on the lives of saints or parables, a team song, etc. These activities help the girls to discover new and hidden talents.
- During summer we take them for a camping trip.A Holy Hour once a week
- After School Program: the purpose of the program is to provide for the social, physical, creative and emotional needs of school age children when they are not in school. The After School Program consists of three components:
- Homework assistance / Reinforcement activities- our team of specialized volunteers will cater to our students’ needs by offering tutoring classes especially on Mathematics & Literature (writing and reading).
- Life skill education- recreational activities such as sports, drama, music, and arts and crafts.
- Spiritual / Emotional support- Our kids can receive support, help, consolation, companionship; and develop spiritually.
- School Visits: Two sisters visit two local Catholic schools in our parish area and give talks to 12 different classes every week.
- Plays: The Christmas play is organized by the sisters along with the children of the After School Program, catechism children, girls group, and altar boys. We also have the children prepare and perform a play about the life of a saint once a year.
- “Militia Caritatis”: This group has weekly formation and prayer meeting and their apostolate is making home visits, visiting and bringing communion to the Sick. They do apostolate in two nursing homes which consists in organizing to have Holy Mass twice a month, Rosary four times a month and Communion service twice a month. Twice a month they also bring Communion directly to the residents’ rooms.
- Golden Age Group: A sister organizes this program for seniors. Every Tuesday about 20 seniors from our area are picked up from their homes and taken to our Family Center for a spiritual talk, arts and crafts, fitness program, games and other activities
- IVE Third Order: Two sisters help coordinate the third order monthly meeting and other special activities.
- Spiritual Exercises: A sister contacts all those interested in attending Spiritual Exercises, preached by an IVE priest either in English or Spanish. These Exercises take place almost every month.
- Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Sisters organize and/or give talks to prepare our parishioners for the Total Consecration to our Lady according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort. We offer these classes of preparation three times every year.
Marie Notre Dame Du Cap
When French Jesuit priests began to evangelize the eastern parts of Canada, their great devotion to Our Lady was manifested by the many shrines and chapels they erected in her honor. The first chapel of 1662 became, 32 years later, the home of one of the earliest Confraternities of the Holy Rosary in Canada. Lacking a priest in residence, devotion waned. It was not until 1845 that the Bishop appointed Fr. Leandre Tourigny to be the settlement’s resident priest. It was during his pastorate that a generous donor presented the Confraternity Altar with a large statue of Our Lady, in honor of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The statue represents Our Lady standing in an attitude reminiscent of that on the Miraculous Medal. Her bare feet crush the serpent coiled on the top of a star-studded globe. Her head is covered with a white veil and adorned with a golden crown; her garments are gilded, ornamented and bordered with artistic figures. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the statue is an oversized heart, encircled with roses and topped with a spray of flames. This is supported by a chain encircling the neck of the Madonna. The expression of Our Lady’s face is pleasant; her eyes are modestly downcast. In 1888 on June 22nd the image was noted to have opened of the eyes. This miraculous moment was witnessed by Father Luc Desilets, Father Frederic Janssoone (now Blessed Father Frederic), and Mr. Pierre Lacroix. Beginning in 1892 there are testimonies of cures. In 1904, Pope St. Pius X ordered the crowning of Notre Dame du Cap. Once again the statue was crowned when Pope Pius XII sent his delegate, Cardinal Valeri, to act in his stead. To this day, Notre Dame du Cap is the only Madonna to be crowned in Canada. Learn more about the Patroness of Canada and the Shrine of Notre Dame du Cap (“Our Lady of the Cape”) in Trois-Rivières, Québec.
(Joan Cruz, Miraculous Images of Our Lady, pp. 56-61)