150+ Canadians Day 61: Mary Jo Leddy

Mary Jo Leddy contributes to peace through her work with refugees in the human rights and peace movements. #Canada150

Ms. Leddy is a philosopher, theologian, writer, speaker, social activist and the founding Director of Romero House, a community based home for refugees in Toronto. Romeo house was opened almost 25 years ago, and challenged conventional beliefs and practices about refugee services.

Her work at Romero house is deeply rooted in the concept of the “street” as commons, and need for all who live on the street to take care of its people and places.  The sanctuary at Romero house welcomes refugees regardless of religion, ethnicity, political beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity. In this way, they strive to create an inclusive community, celebrate differences, and grow for the benefit of all.

The child of ethical parents who endowed her with a strong sense of being true to her word, Leddy is a living testament to the difficulties, challenges, and rewards that come with unreservedly embracing an active and engaged Christian life. In her varied but related undertakings as a journalist/literary author, peace campaigner, refugee advocate, and university lecturer, she has consistently demanded individual and institutional integrity and accountability.

Leddy is the author of several theological and humanitarian works, and was the founding editor of the Catholic New Times. She received the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1987.

Some honours awarded to Leddy:

  • Order of Canada
  • Ontario Citizenship Award
  • Holds honourary doctorates/ fellowships from 8 Universities

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