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Blessed Sacrament Associate News

Retreat for Associate Candidates in Hayesville, Nc: On January 27, Sr. Joan Mahoney gave a retreat day at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Hayesville, NC to nine candidates for the Associate Relationship. Prayer, a presentation on “Origins of the Associate Relationship of the Congregation de Notre Dame: Marguerite Bourgeoys Experience and Vision” and a discernment process made for a full day with lively conversations and profound sharing. Sr. Joan also met with each of the candidates and had a gathering with the four associates during her visit. 

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2016 General Chapter Visitation Province associate participant

Our Visitation Province associate participant for General Chapter has been chosen after a thoughtful and reflective process involving all the associates who attended the July Assembly.  Sister Nancy Hurren facilitated this discernment over the past month.  We offer our thanks to Nancy and to those who took part in this discernment process.

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ST. MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS’ LIFE was aired on Friday the week of her Feast Day on Channel EWTN.  It was produced by Bob and Penny Lord two years ago. The DVD tells the story of three Canadian women Saints:  St. Marguerite; St. Marie D’Imcarnaton, of Québec; St. Marguerite D’Yoaville, founder of the Gray Nuns. The DVD can be purchased from here.

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CAiRN (Communities Assisting Refugees Now)

Sister Mary Corbett and I are actively involved in a refugee sponsorship group in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Our group is called CAiRN (Communities Assisting Refugees Now). Last Friday night we attended Hijab Day at the public library in New Glasgow. The event was interactive with opportunities for people to learn to write their name in Arabic; to hear Ima and Ilhem speak about the cultural and religious meanings of wearing the hijab, along with an opportunity to try it on; to have phrases of welcome translated onto cards to use when our newcomers arrive; and also access to information related to the two local groups sponsoring refugees, Safe Harbour and CAiRN. Over 50 people showed up and got involved in the activities. The spirit of welcome and excitement surrounding the event was contagious. We are planning to have a similar event in the town of Pictou soon. 

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Donations Committee

Sisters Lorraine Abbass, Rosemary Brosseau, Shelley Grant, and Donna McInnis, liaison from the Administration Team, will meet on April 27th at the Motherhouse to review all requests received for financial assistance. Recommendations for granting financial support will be forwarded to the Province Administration Team.


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Refugee Support

Many sisters and associates have taken an active role in helping to relieve the plight of refugees as they arrive and settle in Canada. Several requests were received from Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters across the country requesting financial support for refugee support projects in their local areas. All such requests were reviewed and received approval.


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Welcome to Sister Évangéline Mengue

We extend a warm welcome to Sister Évangéline Mengue who joined the Marguerite Bourgeoys community in Summerside on January 24, 2016. Sister Évangéline is taking two months from her ministry in Cameroon to further develop her English language skills. She will also spend time with our sisters at de Sève residence in Montreal. We wish Évangéline a peaceful enriching time among us. 

Visitation News January 2016

General Conference – January 2016

This General Conference, January 19-27, 2016, will be the last conference of the General Administration’s mandate before the summer General Chapter.

We are grateful for all the preparations that go into such international gatherings and for the vision, planning and leadership we experience during these times.

For this conference, Leadership has been chosen as the topic for our enrichment. Sister Anne Chapell, sscj, will be our resource person.

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Conversations of the Heart

The Conversations of the Heart group in Charlottetown met on January 17 to share their reflections on the article “The Joy of the Gospel has messages for us.” We were welcomed with warm hospitality into Sister Susan’s space and as the afternoon progressed, many messages were found and shared. The emphasis on being missionary disciples occurred over and over again. We, as religious, are called to be joy-filled missionary disciples like the woman at the well who went back to her village, leaving her empty jar there because her whole being had been filled with life-giving water. We are invited by Pope Francis to embrace this “missionary option” and transform, in our communities and in our church, our way of doing things so that we are re-invigorated and transformed by the Holy Spirit and become more authentic joyful witnesses. We must co-create and co-evolve a new way to live that is centered on mission and that is characterized by a deep prayer life, simple living and a passionate commitment to the service of the most vulnerable. We ended our day by celebrating Sister Esther’s 80th birthday and regret that Sister Susan is missing from our picture because she had to honour her commitment to the UPEI Chaplaincy Service.


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Arabic 101

CNDs are responding with hospitality and finances to refugees these weeks and months. I will be welcoming a 50-something year old couple for temporary lodging while they and their sponsoring group finds housing. Students at UPEI are helping me with Arabic expressions. Here is my latest list ...

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Retreat March 8-16, 2016 – Antigonish, NS

Paula D’Arcy will be offering a retreat at Bethany in Antigonish. Spiritual Invitations of the Second Half of Life. Please see www.themarthas.com for more information. Sister Claire MacNeil, CSM, informs us there is room for more registrations.


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Brooklyn is a delightful story, set in the fifties. It’s about a “good” Irish girl, and it touches on homesickness, making one’s own choices, learning newness. It’s about “home” and what that really means.


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This is an early announcement about the retreat in Summerside on Visitation Spirituality. The date is July 31 – August 5, 2016. Our two presenters are Sisters Mary Anne Foley and Ann Perrin from Blessed Sacrament Province. There are a limited number of rooms available and it will be on a first come basis. Registration will be made directly with Donna Egan, CND, Summerside, PE. More details to follow.


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Feast of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

On the feast of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys we were blessed at Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys School in Innisfail, AB, to have masses as we now have a chapel. At 9:15 a.m., we had students, staff, some parents and parishioners from grades K-5. At 10:00 a.m. grades 6-9. The students in grades 2 and 8 did the ministries and I did the homily. Sister Paula Maher and I are so blessed to be part of the celebrations.


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February Article for The RI Catholic

The timing for the Jubilee Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis is clearly a response to the signs of our times. Our times are replete with the savagery of war, the horror of trafficking, the scourge of poverty, the destruction of our planet, and the staggering numbers of refugees as a result of all these factors.


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Kumbo diocese Justice and Peace commission organizes a peaceful march

The Northwest Region of our country Cameroon has been identified as the most vulnerable to human trafficking, mostly women and girls. A huge turnout marched to the office of the Senior District Officer and presented him with a petition for the Cameroonian Government for intervention. Many signatures were gathered in support of the fight against this inhuman act. In the schools and in various other venues in the area, the Diocesan Commission is working very hard, Along with our Justice and Peace Commission, NGOs are formulating development plans to alleviate poverty, lack of job opportunities and to better the economy. Testimonies over our National Radio Station on the situation and exploitation of our women and girls taken to Kuwait or other Middle East countries served as a wake call up for many people. Sister Lucie Mekoulou Me-Zambo is an active staff member of the Justice and Peace Commission. Sister Cathy Molloy and I participated in the march.


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Graduation in the Catholic school of health sciences Shisong on the 29 august 2015

Graduation, the dream of every scholar; you can’t stop yourself from thinking about it from the very moment you are enrolled into an Institution. It is often a long awaited day. Imagine how much anxiety I felt whenever I watched others celebrate on this day and how I wished I could be in their position. I had fantasized over my graduation day from the very moment I set foot in school on the October 12th 2012. Many times I thought about it and could not imagine it could one day come and go. 

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By every measure, the death penalty declined again in 2015. A new report released today by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) found:

  • There were fewer executions in 2015 than any year in the last two decades.
  • The number of death sentences in 2015 is down 33% from just last year, and down 84% from its 1996 peak.
  • Opposition to the death penalty is at its highest rate since before the U.S. Supreme Court suspended the death penalty in the 70’s, according to recent polls.
  • For the first time in 20 years, there are fewer than 3,000 people on the U.S.’s death rows.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

ASSOCIATE NEWS – Sr. Joan Mahoney


On Saturday, January 11 in Illinois, the associates and sisters gathered in South Holland, IL for prayer and festivities that included a piñata and dancing. Certainly, Marguerite’s joy was well celebrated! In the first picture: Sr. Bea Baker and Eva Williams enjoying the events. The second picture: Maria Vazquez holds the piñata and hitting stick. The third picture: Karen Fleszewski, Sr. Darleen Mayo, Eva Williams, Sr. Julia Lydon, and Alicia Parkinson prepare for dancing.

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News from Visitation Province

January 11, Eve of the Feast of Saint Marguerite. We celebrated the feast with our residents at Windsor Court. Father John Jennings presided at Mass. John is a retired professor of History and Religious Studies at Saint Thomas University and so was very familiar with Marguerite, having taught of this notable Canadian Saint. We followed the regular Liturgy, but substituted for the First Reading a short reading on Saint Marguerite, and the Responsorial Psalm with David Haas' version of the Magnificat. After the gospel I spoke a few words on my experience "being a member of the CND,” on Marguerite's difficulties, her strengths and perseverance, and her charism. I had brought along the plaque of the “Vie Voyagere,” as well as the visitation statue of Mary and Elizabeth. They were great inspiration! I was very happy to be able to anticipate the Feast in this way.

Charlotte Lockhart, CND 


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