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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
August 25, 2016
Canadian Excellence

The Good Hearted Women Singers

Spiritual Room Ceremony Honours Contributors

A celebration at the Faculty of Social Work (FSW) on April 1 honoured the people who have contributed to the faculty’s spiritual room. The spiritual room is a unique place where students, staff, faculty and community members can go to reflect, rest, meditate, pray, think or simply enjoy a few moments of quiet in an otherwise hectic day.

In her welcoming remarks, Susan Cadell talked about how the spiritual room was an empty room when Social Work first moved to its current downtown Kitchener location in 2006. It is only through the generosity of the contributors that it has become a place of warmth, vibrancy and community.

Peter Dunn recognized four individuals who have contributed to the spiritual room.

Nancy Riedel Bowers (FSW Assistant Professor) and her family were not only instrumental in finding a local quilter who could create a work of art for the wall, but also generously purchased the quilt for the spiritual  room.

Judy Gascho-Jutzi, the local quilt maker who created the beautiful artwork, was also honoured. The quilt depicts a nature scene with a river, mountains, waterfall and Aboriginal medicine wheel. It also contains a piece of fabric that Judy received from the first MSW graduating class (1968), ensuring they would always be a part of the faculty.

Sandi Loytomaki, who owns a local spiritual store, was recognized for donating the rainbow painting that hangs on the wall in the spiritual room.

Laura Mastronardi (FSW Aboriginal Field of Study Lecturer) was recognized as the “unofficial spiritual room keeper”. Peter thanked Laura for her love and care of the spiritual  room,  watering  the  flowers and bringing in little treasures that add to the warmth of the atmosphere.

The celebration also included drumming and singing by The Good Hearted Women Singers. Jean Becker, Elder in Residence, performed a smudging ceremony in the spiritual room.