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Central Committee of Associate Relationship Met in Montreal August 12-16

Marjorie Allison-Ross

Anna Rowley and I began our journey together as Visitation East Co-Coordinators while attending the Annual Meeting of the Central Committee of Associate Relationship. We joined Sisters and Associates from Japan, Central America, Cameroon, France, United States and various places in Canada. When we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, we met Mary Chimy from Cameroon. She hadn’t been outside the mother house so we included her in our walk around the neighbourhood and took lots of pictures. Mary wanted to send pictures back to her children in Cameroon.

The theme for the Meeting was “Our Rock and Our Foundation”. From the Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys (page 180) we find, “The rocks tell that they receive their firmness and strength from God”.

We each were asked to bring a rock from the area where we live and this was going to be used in the prayer centre. On the opening day of our meeting, a Workshop facilitated by Congregation of Notre Dame Associate, Ann Deignan, from New York was held. Ann is the author of the book, “The Love of a Lover: The Mystical Journey of Marguerite Bourgeoys”. Ann could hear Marguerite Bourgeoys speaking to her so she knew she had to write this book and it took her over 5 years to complete it. During her presentation, Ann concentrated on 3 areas of Marguerite’s Writings; the Rosary Procession; the Voyage on the Boat; the Fire.

During the meetings, simultaneous translation occurred so everyone knew what was being said. The Agenda items included: Archives Tour and the work of the Congregation of Notre Dame Archives Staff; Review of the Associate Formation Document; Review of the Central Office of Associate Relationship Policies and Procedures Manual; Associate Selection Process for the 2016 General Chapter; Associate Provincial Reports; Creation of 4 Working Groups (Sustainable Leadership; New Brochure; 35th Anniversary; Associate Intranet Training).

The tour of the Archives was very informative. The archivist explained what they do to protect the books, pictures and other artifacts that they have in their possession. She was wearing special gloves to handle the very old book she was holding.

We also had time for fun in the evenings when we gathered for socials. On the Saturday evening, which was the Feast of the Assumption and National Acadian Day, Karen Volpe, Central Co-Coordinator, became an impromptu Disc Jockey and found some Acadian songs on her Playlist for us to sing and dance to.


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