Articles by Stephanie Schoenhoff
By Stephanie Schoenhoff with Colette Halferty
October 19, 2018
The Henri Nouwen Society will host a full-day retreat Oct. 27 in Ottawa aimed at helping caregivers care for themselves. Courage for Caregivers aims to identify challenges and gifts by offering new spiritual practices to sustain long-term self-care. Convivium contributor Stephanie Schoenhoff spoke with the Society’s Colette Halferty about hopes – and prayers – for the event.
CH: True caring can be difficult, and caregivers must also learn how to be care receivers if they are to be nourished and have the physical, emotional and spiritual energy and resilience necessary to remain healthy while they accompany and care for others Nouwen's wisdom reminds us of the support we all need as caregivers in order to stay healthy, but also gives us some new perspectives through which we can examine the relationship of care and draw strength CH: Our prayer for this retreat is that we can truly meet people where they are at – to honour them in their own realities and provide them with the spiritual and psychological tools that will help their care journey, while learning that caring for themselves is as important as caring for others
October 5, 2018
Moving past Thanksgiving into the crescendo of pre-Christmas appeals, Stephanie Schoenhoff reports, charities find potential donors growing weary and wary. A solution, she says, is recognizing that those who give also have needs to be met.
Charities are abandoning the question of how to sell their work to donors, and have instead begun to ask: “How can we help people be generous?” “What barriers need to be broken in order to assist people in living generously Annan implores us to resist the breakneck pace of charity in today’s age, wa...
August 17, 2016
On January 15th 1982, Marina Nemat was arrested at the age of sixteen by the Islamic government in Tehran. She spent over two years in the infamous Evin Prison. We talked to her about how she kept her faith in the midst of torture.
But to a God who decides to experience suffering himself Marina says, “Ok, then, we have a deal We cannot blame torture on God, she says: It’s a human choice But nonetheless we tend to blame God for a lot of things he has nothing to do with—perhaps we do this because it’s easier than taking the blam...
August 2, 2016
“Science and religion are two wings of the same bird,” says Dr. Mehran Anvari, a Baha’i Canadian and one of the world’s leading telerobotic surgeons.
Anvari’s acumen in the medical sciences has been widely regarded across the globe— in the BBC, The Hamilton Spectator, the Toronto Star and more—he is lesser known for his deep commitment to the Baha’i faith Anvari performs surgery on GI emergencies like this routinely—parents in southern Ontario si...
August 1, 2016
As a political prisoner in Iran, where she was kept in solitary confinement and narrowly escaped execution, Marina Nemat says she discovered the reason God is a great storyteller. "He let's us," she says in conversation with Convivium's Stephanie Schoenhoff, "tell our own stories."
If I'm not asked, I would never, ever go up to people and talk about Jesus and God, even though they are the most dear things to me, because I believe one of the most important things in my life is that I know I'm not a prophet How can you be everything and never have been tortured? It just doesn't ...
July 21, 2016
After a long career in labour law, Rabbi Shalom Schachter got his rabbinical ordination 11 years ago. In both careers, his vocation has always been that of a peacemaker. Read his story here.
In the 1980s, Shalom felt that the 15 week parental leave policies prohibited him from being involved in raising his children, and discouraged his wife from pursuing her vocational interests Today, Shalom works part time as a Rabbi at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto, and part time as a legal adviso...
July 14, 2016
The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is a global human rights organization based in Toronto. Read about their work at the UN implementing interfaith humanitarian and development aid.
Karin Achtelstetter, General Secretary of World Association for Christian Communication, recently recalled a story from a worldwide Sikh organization represented at a UN interfaith roundtable, who talked about their approach to development aid The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC)...
June 30, 2016
On a recent visit to Winnipeg, I toured the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) with Dr. Clint Curle, Senior Advisor to the President of CMHR. As we visited, we discussed how religious freedom is explored by the museum’s curators. More specifically, we looked at the tensions that exist between competing rights and privileges in Canada and across the globe.
Comprising various artifacts from Canadian Indian Residential schools, government buildings, treatment centres, churches, and other significant places, The Witness Blanket “stands as a national monument to recognise the atrocities of the Indian Residential School era, honour the children, and symbol...
June 3, 2016
Stephanie Schoenhoff sat down with Andrea Nemtin, Executive Director of Inspirit Foundation to talk about religious pluralism in Canada. Read the interview here.
Through media and arts, support for young change leaders and impact investing, Inspirit Foundation works “to challenge prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity, race and religion, and to promote inclusion and pluralism We believe that through working with media and arts for change, we can act...
May 30, 2016
Himy Syed has been involved in Jane’s Walks since its beginning in 2007. This December he led a public walk on the history of Muslims in Toronto.
Himy hopes that public efforts like the tour will help curb assaults like those faced by the woman outside her Toronto home, and others continually faced by Torontonians For Himy, long involved in the effort, a Jane’s Walk would be the perfect platform to share the history of his Muslim faith to fel...
May 27, 2016
Henri Nouwen's spiritual walk was travelled on the road to Richmond Hill after two decades teaching in the Ivy Leagues. Learn more about his life and works through the words of Karen Pascall, Executive Director of the Henri Nouwen Society in Toronto.
Help other people discover the love of God that Henri Nouwen had discovered in his life,” says Karen The Henri Nouwen Society is hosting Way of the Heart, an international conference on the life and work of Henri at University of Toronto Mississauga campus from June 9-11 ...
May 11, 2016
For Dr. Sam Reimer, Professor of Sociology at Crandall University in New Brunswick, it isn’t hard to determine whether faith communities contribute to the flourishing of Canadian society.
Reimer was interested to find that these philanthropic qualities amongst religious people weren’t only specifically applied in faith spheres “We know that people who are generous or volunteeristic are those who have a couple qualities: one is that they’ve been taught values related to generosity and...
April 27, 2016
Canada’s first Mosque, Al Rashid, is a not just a piece of history. Today, it’s a vibrant community in Edmonton that brings together thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims alike each year.
While this time it didn’t require the support to finish the project, the charitable spirit of the community is emblematic of Edmonton’s hospitality toward Al Rashid “When they built the new Al Rashid, the very large one here on the north side of Edmonton, I know they went out to people from the Jewi...
April 5, 2016
Habeeb Alli incorporates his Muslim faith in every sphere of life. He sat down with us to talk about his passion: educating Canadians about Islam.
When I met Habeeb in Toronto at a talk on the fight against religious violence, he introduced himself as someone who is passionate about sharing the history of Islam in Canada, and has lots of stories about his faith community up his sleeve I talked with Habeeb about his work in the Muslim community...
March 28, 2016
Danny Richmond loves his job. He works at Ve'ahavta, a Jewish philanthropic organization in Toronto which promotes positive change in the lives of people marginalized by poverty. Read how his job inspires him daily to do acts of tikun olam.
He’s the Director of Community Engagement at Ve’ahavta, a Jewish philanthropic organization in Toronto, dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths who are marginalized by poverty Though Jewish tradition has been woven in to the fabric of their organization, Ve’ahavta...
March 15, 2016
A Rocha is an international Christian organization that engages in scientific research, environmental education, community-based conservation projects and sustainable agriculture.
A Rocha is an international Christian organization which engages in scientific research, environmental education, community-based conservation projects and sustainable agriculture When I arrived at A Rocha, a Christian environmental stewardship organization in Hamilton, I was wind-swept and cold ...
March 11, 2016
Canadian humanitarian Jean Vanier was recently honoured for his work leading L’Arche, a network of live-in communities for people with intellectual exceptionalities. Watch his acceptance speech here.
Canadian humanitarian Jean Vanier was recently honoured for his work leading L’Arche, a network of live-in communities for people with intellectual disabilities ...
March 9, 2016
We sat down with Azim Shamshiev, Executive Vice President of Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA to talk about the long-term impact of interfaith conversation, and the Canadian opportunity for interfaith circles.
As we have ongoing interfaith dialogue efforts, we have at least some level of understanding between different groups, but imagine a situation when you don’t have dialogue and interaction among these people and communities, imagine when they don’t know anything about each other So this is to set the...
March 3, 2016
Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto fosters inter-cultural dialogue through contemporary art. Read how the Jewish cultural organization sparks public conversation on some of life's most important questions.
“It started with the Koffler Gallery which was part of the Jewish Community Centre at Bathurst and Sheppard, as a way to develop arts education and gallery programs,” says Dargo Caplan ...
January 21, 2016
Just a few years ago, historian and documentary filmmaker, David Gray, uncovered the Canadian Sikhs of WWI. Read about the "little story in a big war" here.
His film, Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War was first released in 2012, and tells the tales of how some men defended their beliefs and practiced their faith during the war ...
January 11, 2016
The Sick Kids' Chaplaincy program has come alongside families experiencing suffering for decades. Anglican Chaplain, Michael Marshall, talks to us about his role in the hospital, and having the grace to be silent.
When I arrived there to interview Sick Kids’ Anglican Chaplain, Michael Marshall, I sat at the main floor coffee shop and observed the people around me; mothers wheeling babies attached to IV’s across the hall, children with hospital bracelets on, sleepless parents talking things over in the food co...
December 11, 2015
Through her organization, Gather, Cathie Ostapchuk’s mission is to tell the “uniquely Canadian story of Christian women.”
That’s when Ostapchuk, along with Ellen Graf-Martin and Helen Burns, started Gather, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to unite and inspire Canadian Christian women to build a connected and vibrant community of their own north of the border ...
November 25, 2015
541 Eatery and Exchange in Hamilton offers its neighbourhood delicious, affordable food along with a deeper sense of community.
The message made Jenn think about how 541 is part of God’s story in this community, and how this is just one of so many people whose lives have changed because of this place,” It reminded Jenn of the way God has been moving in the community as staff and volunteers offer their hands to serve ...
November 18, 2015
From the exterior, passersby might not see why Switchback Cyclery on Queen East in Toronto is one of the City’s most meaningful bike shops.
Alan Beattie, Executive Director of Sanctuary, says that Switchback responds to one of our primary God-given human desires, which is to do meaningful work— an opportunity that many street-involved people are never afforded ...