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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Visitation Province

Kingston Sisters Experience Internationality: This summer, the newer members of the Congregation de Notre-Dame (CND) from Central America, Cameroon, Japan and North America came to Canada for the opportunity to learn and foster intercultural relationships among themselves and to be in touch with the roots of the CND Community. They, and the sisters accompanying them, were at Providence Motherhouse on July 10. It was a first time ever for the CND Sisters of Kingston.

After a brief welcome and the celebration of Eucharist the newer members visited the Sisters, going from room to room chatting with Sisters of all three communities as well as staff members. During the noon meal in the cafeteria Sr. Sandra Shannon, Superior General of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, welcomed the visitors in her usual warm and open manner. After a brief opportunity to walk on the beautiful and spacious grounds, CND Sisters gathered in the auditorium. Sr. Marijke Gerretsen presented a brief history of Kingston beginning with the arrival of the Sisters in 1841 to establish the first English speaking CND community in Canada. This closing prayer by Dawna Markova summed up the entire day, in fact, the entire Canadian visit:

Let us swing wide all the doors and windows of our hearts on their rusty hinges so we may learn how to open in love.

Let us see the light in the other and honour it so we may lift one another on our shoulders and carry each other along.

Let holiness move in us so we may pay attention to its small voice and give ourselves fully with both hands.

The visit concluded in gratitude and joy with the singing of the Magnificat in 4 different languages. After much picture taking and many good-byes the Sisters continued toward the next leg of their journey.

Barbara Prior, CND

And the International Experience Continued…

On Friday, September 7, the Kingston CNDs welcomed students and their teachers from Sakura No Seibo Junior College in Fukushima, Japan for an afternoon visit. It was an experience of Visitation in which communication overcame the language barriers. Fortunately Sisters Marijke Gerretsen and Madelyn Brennan were present to fill in the gaps where necessary. Through smiles and laughter lively conversation ensued.

The purpose of their trip to Canada was to familiarize them with volunteer work and to give them an experience of rendering service in different venues. In Kingston they visited St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School and taught the children the art of Japanese paper folding. They also served lunch at Martha’s Table, a place where meals are prepared and served to needy people. The students had already been to Montreal and were going to Toronto after leaving us.

During their visit they sang three beautiful Japanese songs for us, and their young voices with bell like quality rang through the auditorium where we were gathered. On leaving, after a light snack, they were presented with a souvenir of Canada, a tiny tea cup bearing the emblem of the Canadian flag. A small gift, but very significant in recognition of the Tea Ceremony which is an integral part of Japanese culture.

The sisters were delighted by this lovely visit and were impressed with the ease with which the young women related with everyone.

Eleanor Monahan, CND

Changes coming for the CND Social Justice Network: The Social Justice Network met as usual this past August at the Motherhouse. But it was far from a typical meeting. Srs. Catherine Walker and Mary Corbett, Associate Teresa McKerral and myself served as the Visitation Province representatives. Apart from the annual reports, the bulk of the meeting was spent reviewing, discussing and coming to agreement on 16 recommendations for changes and updating to the Network. The Spirit was indeed moving us to embrace the call of the Chapter Orientations! These recommendations came from an interim working committee for Network updating chaired by myself and Sr. Lucie Mekoulou from Cameroon, with representatives from each of the other Provinces and Regions, except for Japan who exempted themselves due to the unworkable challenges of travel and their school schedule. Over the previous year the Working Committee met several times by skype, and once for several days in person at the Motherhouse. The recommendations from the Network Meeting have been forwarded to the General Council for consideration. They will be presented next week to the Council in person by myself and Sr. Louise Breton of Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province. Your prayers for the revitalization of the CND Social Justice Network are greatly welcomed!

Monica Lambton, JPIC Coordinator

Movie Recommendation: "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" is both a prequel and sequel to the first Mamma Mia movie. It's a fun movie, full of good music and an engaging story. If you didn't see the first one or don't remember the plot, seeing it before this one will be helpful. I second Eleanor's recommendation of "Crazy Rich Asians". It too is fun and both are a bit of an antidote to all the negative news we're exposed to daily.

Kathy Kelly, Ottawa Associate



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