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Blessed Sacrament Province

Photo: Dominique Baroco

Statue Of St. Marguerite To Be Installed 

On Sunday May 19, 2019 a statue of Marguerite Bourgeoys will be presented to St. Columba Church in recognition of the presence of the CND community in the parish's pastoral and school life since the mid-1940's. The Sisters and Associates of St. Columba’s extend an invitation to whomever would be able to attend the ceremony and reception.

The statue will be blessed by the Pastor, Rev. James Hauver at the end of the 12 NOON Mass at St. Columba Church at 343 West 25th Street, New York, NY. 10001. In addition, during this ceremony, representatives of the CND community will present thoughts and prayers to celebrate this occasion.

After this ceremony there will be a reception of light refreshments in the school auditorium. We would like to invite all the CND Sisters and Associates to this memorable occasion to celebrate this new presence of Marguerite in our community at St. Columba.

 St. Columba Associate, Barbara Casmasina

Associate News – Sr. Joan Mahoney & Donna Wuhrer

March 23 Retreat Day, Wilton, CT: “Spiritual Friends and Companions: Supporting One Another in our Relationships with God and Each Other in the CND tradition” was the theme of this retreat day for twenty Associates, Sisters, Inquirers and Friends. Marguerite’s spiritual friendships were presented as an extension of her Visitation spirituality. Participants experienced Visitation meetings in pairs and through Visitation art as well as small group accompaniment. They considered how Marguerite was a Spiritual Midwife for others in her life and quietly dialogued with Marguerite about her presence in their lives. As one participant reflected “The power of companions in prayer came to life in the pace and structure of the day. The silence offered the opportunity to absorb what we were sharing internally as well as externally.” A special thank you to Sr. Mary Ann Rossi who together with Donna and Sr. Joan were the team for the retreat!

Peace & Justice News – Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan

Suggested For Your Reflection On Earth Day

Excerpts from: Pope Francis, Audience with participants in the International Conference “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor” March 8, 2019

When we speak of sustainability, we cannot overlook how important it is to include and to listen to all voices, especially those usually excluded from this type of discussion, such as the voices of the poor, migrants, indigenous people, and the young. The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, approved by more than 190 nations in September 2015, were a great step forward for global dialogue, marking a vitally “new and universal solidarity” (Laudato Si’, 14). Nevertheless, proposing a dialogue on inclusive and sustainable development also requires acknowledging that “development” is a complex concept, which is often manipulated. When we speak of development we must always ask: Development of what? Development for whom?

For too long the conventional idea of development has been almost entirely limited to economic growth. Indicators of national development have been based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indices. This has led the modern economic system down a dangerous path where progress is assessed only in terms of material growth, on account of which we are almost obliged to irrationally exploit the environment and our fellow human beings. We cannot develop ourselves as human beings by fomenting increased inequality and degradation of the environment. All those involved in dialogue on this complex issue are invited in some way to go beyond their areas of specialization to find a shared response to the cry of the earth and of the poor. Religious narratives, though ancient, are usually full of symbolism and contain “a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others” (Laudato Si’, 70).

In this respect, the United Nations 2030 Agenda proposes integrating all the goals through the ‘five Ps’: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. I know that this conference is also focusing on these ‘five Ps’. Economic and political objectives must be sustained by ethical objectives, which presuppose a change of attitude: what the Bible would call a change of heart. If we want to provide a solid foundation for the work of the 2030 Agenda, we must reject the temptation to look for a merely technocratic response to the challenges – this is not good – and be prepared to address the root causes and the long-term consequences.

I wish to draw attention to a special group of religious persons, namely indigenous peoples. Although they represent only five per cent of the world’s population, they look after about twenty-two per cent of the earth’s landmass. Living in areas such as the Amazon and the Arctic, they help protect approximately eighty per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. According to UNESCO, “Indigenous peoples are custodians and practitioners of unique cultures and relationships with the natural environment. They embody a wide range of linguistic and cultural diversity at the heart of our shared humanity”. I would also add that, in a strongly secularized world, such peoples remind us all of the sacredness of our earth. When, for example, due to inequalities in the distribution of power, the burden of immense debt is placed on the shoulders of the poor and poor countries, when unemployment is widespread despite the expansion of trade or when people are simply treated as a means for the growth of others, we need to question fully our key development model. In the same way, when in the name of progress we destroy the source of development – our common home – then the dominant model must be called into question.

To read the full address:

In October 2018, Andrew Wheeler, an ex-coal lobbyist and acting EPA chief, announced that the EPA was disbanding a Key Scientific Review Panel on Air Pollution. In January of 2019, Wheeler was nominated to run the agency permanently. The Senate approved his nomination. His policies have weakened the standards for clean air. Email the Inspector General of the EPA . Ask for an investigation of both decisions because they raise the threat or potential threat of serious harm to public health and to the environment.

Collaborative Center For Justice Celebration 

On Saturday, May 11, 2019, Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS is coming to Holy Family Retreat Center, 303 Tunxis Road, West Hartford as the keynote speaker for the 20th Anniversary of the Collaborative Center for Justice. The Congregation of Notre Dame is one of five religious communities that sponsor the Collaborative Center for Justice.

There Is A Purpose To Aging

To look at the stages of intimacy, generativity and integrity within a spirituality of aging in religious congregations is to breathe new life into them. Now, in the second half of life, we view intimacy personally and communally as a mutuality of cooperation, community and group solidarity. With a more supple sense of who we are, we are more empathetic with others and are more willing to be influenced by them in concrete ways in our lives. In these twilight years, we are mellower, ripened in the seasons of life.

Generativity in these years is all about fostering new life in ways we were too busy to even conceive years back. With our drive for success (perhaps a savior complex?) more balanced, we are able to foster in our community more of the servant leadership that Jesus modeled in the washing of his disciples’ feet.

Integrity at this age and stage is all about examining how each individual life has unfolded and how each congregation has come to this moment. It is about how we forgive and allow opportunities for reconciliation when it is possible.

There is a purpose to aging for all groups in society. It is that time of making better sense of our lives now that we are out of the fray. We resonate with the saying ‘We live life forwards but understand it backwards.’ It is that time in our lives when we have the leisure to reflect on the good and the enough in our lives.

from “A Spirituality of Aging in Religious Congregations” by Janet Malone, CND



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