I am pleased to share the new and improved Canadian Religious Stewardship (CRS) website.

It has been an important year for CRS-one of exploration, transitions and new collaborations.  With the guidance of the Board, our new tireless and enthusiastic Executive Director embraced a relationship centered and practical approach to realizing CRS’s Vision “To assist Religious across Canada to live their new realities in peace and tranquillity.” Concerted efforts were made to have person to person contact, and to learn and appreciate the various needs and unique circumstances of Religious congregations.

This approach allowed for the development of specific, tailor-made options for support, service and stewardship for congregations seeking assistance from CRS. In 2019 our Executive Director met with over 20 congregations, and is actively working with over a dozen congregations on a wide variety of initiatives ranging from legacy planning, human resources, finance, civil and canonical issues, real estate, daily operations and health care needs. With the Covid19 pandemic we have had to change our preferred method of meeting in person.  We are in the process of reviewing how to best communicate virtually.

Among projects of note, we welcomed a number of new Religious investors to our CRS Fiera Ethical Fund, we expanded our service options to congregations, and we signed a Stewardship Agreement with Our Lady’s Missionaries. We are also pleased to report that our Presentation Manor for Seniors is fully occupied and has a wait-list. In response to need, and to ensure continuity of care Presentation Manor also added eight memory care beds to its compliment.  We are so thankful for the pro-active leadership and all of the Presentation Manor front-line staff for keeping our Religious and lay tenants safe!

Our dedicated Board of Directors is actively engaged in a variety of initiatives, sharing their time, knowledge, expertise and their faith in advancing CRS’s Mission as endorsed by the Holy See.  To ensure long term-sustainability, Corporate memory, and in accordance with our By-Laws, CRS increased the number of Board Directors from seven to nine in early 2020.  We bid farewell to Sister Brenda Phelan, Sisters of Mercy, Newfoundland who retired after several years of dedicated service. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Father Francis Morrisey. Father Frank was a founding Director and continued to play a vital role as a Board member up until the very end of his life on earth.  Like so many,  we miss him.

The CRS Fiera Ethical Fund continues to grow.  Fifteen Religious Institutes transferred all or part of their investment portfolio to our Fund.  Under the leadership of Chair, Jocelyne Marquis, the CRS Investment Committee of the Board works with Fiera Capital to ensure financial stability and prosperity.  Further, in response to feedback from Religious congregations in 2019, and based on a recommendation from the Investment Committee, CRS made the decision to eliminate fossil fuels from the Fund portfolio. In addition, we are excited to report that we are increasing activity in the new area of Impact Investing.

Our work has been ambitious and rewarding.  Our Board of Directors is pleased with CRS’s progress and accomplishments; however, we are all acutely aware of the needs, and understand that this is just the beginning of what lies ahead in the near future for Religious Congregations across Canada.  We look forward to, and are well positioned to increase our collaborations, stewardship and our provision of services in 2020 and beyond.  Canadian Religious Stewardship is blessed to have so many Religious Institutes hold trust in our organization.

We hope you find our website helpful. If you would like further information please contact our Executive Director Joanne Yelle Weatherall at jyelle60@gmail.com.

Sister Anne Lewans, OSU