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Visitation Province

Monica Lambton Visits Truro, Nova Scotia

Submitted by Co-Coordinator Anna Rowley

Sunday evening, June 9th Truro and Halifax associates gathered in Truro for Monica Lambton’s presentation: Fanning the Flames of Mission. Monica, coordinator of Visitation Province Office of Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation, through prayer, scripture, reflection, music, discussion, videos, and relevant readings reminded us “We are called to fan the flames for others.” (2 Timothy 1:6). When we watch the news or read about climate change and those on the peripheries it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, we reflected on how we are all part of the great work of climate action and going to the peripheries. Whether our part is small, working one on one, or part of a bigger work it is important to share our positive action stories. Action brings hope and becoming an ally, like the Hebrew midwives in Exodus, reminds us that playing a supporting role contributes to the whole. St. Marguerite Bourgeoys reminds us that “The Blessed Virgin…never excused herself from any journey on which there was good to be done…” Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys p. 50.

Like Marguerite, on our journey to answer the cries of the earth and the poor, we associates must act with courage and boldness. We are grateful to Monica for sharing this thought provoking and encouraging presentation.


Associate Assembly Presentation

Associate Co-Coordinator Marjorie Allison-Ross gave a presentation on the 2018 Associate Assembly to the Miramichi Associate Group on June 19. She encouraged the group to take time at their future meetings to further explore the Core Values.


How the Associate Relationship Supports Me in My Spiritual Journey while living out the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Orientation

Alexa Smith, another Pilgrim on the Journey

Becoming an Associate of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame in 1983 provided many opportunities for me to grow spiritually. At the time I was very actively involved working with people on social assistance in the City of Ottawa, families affected by alcoholism, volunteering with Physically Disabled patients as well as individuals with Mental Health issues. I picketed and protested with friends, all of us concerned with Social Justice and keeping the faith! I served as a host to many new Canadians.

I was doing “good work”, lots of it. I was giving but not being replenished. I loved what I was doing. I never questioned it but I still had an emptiness within. I knew I needed to be nourished spiritually. I believed what I was doing was what God was asking of me. I realized I had to balance my “doing with being” but had no idea where to turn.

All the active service in my life was strongly influenced by the life of Marguerite Bourgeoys. In the late 70’s I approached the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters inquiring if they had a program for lay people seeking support and guidance that would give me the spiritual nourishment I needed to continue what I believed God was asking of me. What is today, The Associate Relationship, has provided me with what I needed or opened doors for me that would help me grow spiritually.

Today, I spend Tuesday mornings volunteering at St. Mary’s Daily Bread Outreach in downtown Halifax. Our Team prepares lunch for 100 to140 guests or “folks” as they are affectionately called. We provide lunches, socializing and art classes in a supportive environment. Additional leisure and support services may be provided as resources are available such as haircuts, counselling and filling in forms to name a few. Serving Special Dinners whether it be Christmas or Pan-cakes on Shrove Tuesday make my time with the Folks very rewarding.

Hand in Hand is an outreach of St. Vincent de Paul in Halifax. Hand in Hand helps clothe the needy as well as assist with furniture and household items. Items are sold at low prices or for a donation or at no cost. I am one of many who volunteered in various capacities with this worthwhile charity.

Toonies for Change is an ongoing fundraiser organized by the Rotary Club of Halifax NW. Seven organizations and groups including The Boys and Girls Club, Shelter Nova Scotia, Family SOS, Minor Hockey as well as others benefit from this weekly project. Every Tuesday a group of volunteers gather to sort, count and record “toonies”. The seven beneficiaries change every two years.

Going to the periphery for me first means doing my own soul searching and by identifying and accepting my own experiences, I am better able to relate to and serve others.

I attempt to keep informed of what is happening in regard to our environment and respect the efforts being made. I do what I can personally and encourage others to do so.

I continue my relationship with some of the refugees whom I met over the years and just continue to live and interact with people from here and elsewhere with care and compassion and as equals. I have also attended Pot luck Suppers with New Canadians. I am strongly influenced by the following quote by Wade Davis:

 “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not

 failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”

My Journey as an Associate continues, so too does my searching. My spiritual needs change but striving to follow in the footsteps of Marguerite Bourgeoys makes life more balanced for me knowing so many of us, asso-ciates and sisters are journeying together, in many different ways but always in the Spirit of St. Marguerite.


Miramichi Associates Celebrate Sr. Marie St-Coeur 60th Anniversary

On Wednesday, June 19th, the Miramichi Associates along with Sr. Eleanor McCloskey, Fr. Antonio Reyes and Marjorie Allison-Ross gathered after the noon Mass to celebrate St Marie’s 60th Anniversary as a Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sister. After lunch, Sr. Eleanor led us in prayer that she prepared for Sr. Marie for this special occasion. Eleanor Kingston presented Sr. Marie with a daisy corsage.


Linden Associates Renewal of promises

Submitted by Shirley Gormley

Eight of us gathered on Tuesday, June 4, to renew our promises in the context of Prayer. We were blessed to have Noella from Montreal with us. Noella has joined us in the spring for the past few years and she always brings a breath of spring with her. Following our prayer and refreshments, we enjoyed lunch together at Papa Joe’s. We were keenly aware of the absence of associates who have left us because of illness and death. Most recent are Ken and Anne MacDonald as Anne is not able to attend. Please keep them in prayer. Associates gave thanks for our many blessings within the CND community. We will be forever grateful.

Miramichi Associates renewed their Associate Commitment and Sr. Marie St-Coeur renewed her Vows during their Retreat on May 25, 2019 which was facilitated by Visitation East Co-Coordinator Anna Rowley.

Woodstock Associates gathered on May 28 for their monthly gathering and to renew their Associate Commitment. We used the Prayer Service pre-pared by Sr. Elizabeth King of Blessed Sacrament Province. We also discussed the questions on Time and Transformation that will be used for the Visitation Province presentation at the Central Committee Meeting at the Mother House in Montreal August 6-9. 2019.


Eleanor’s Birthday Celebration!

Submitted by Fredericton Associate, Carole Dilworth

Sunday, June 16, was a bright sunny day here when Eleanor, Charles and Marilyn came for supper at my home. Skye (my sheltie) and I were delighted to have company for the meal and the evening. In the course of the visit, we learned that it was Eleanor’s birthday! Well, we were all caught by surprise because we hadn’t known that it was her special day! She did remind us, with some amusement that, had we followed the 2019 Congrégation de Notre-Dame calendar, we would not have been caught by surprise! What a good sport, though. As I didn’t have birthday candles on hand, Charles held a dinner candle over her apple pie and we all joyfully sang “Happy Birthday”. It’s her 83rd birthday, and what a gift she is to us all!!


2019 Province Assembly Prayer

Loving God, never ending source of love, compassion and mercy, guide us on our journey toward deeper union with You and all of creation. You, gracious one, are the light that flows through all that is. May we become more deeply aware that real transformation occurs when we are open to You and to one another. Fill our hearts with a passion for life that radiates Your healing light of love to all we encounter.

Help us to truly celebrate the giftedness of our rich diversity as blessing. Fill us with a timeless wisdom so that, rooted in Jesus Christ, we may embrace the prophetic call to be disciples of light and hope in these times of constant change and uncertainty.

We ask this in Your name, most loving Creator.


400th Anniversary Celebration in Woodstock

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

On June 1st, Woodstock Associates hosted a celebration to recognize the 400th Anniversary of the birth of the foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. The CND Sisters arrived in Woodstock in September 1983 to begin their mission and it finished 27 years later in the summer of 2010. The evening began with a Liturgical celebration to honour the nine CND Sisters who lived in Woodstock and the four deceased Woodstock Associates (Rachelle Hayward, Brenda Denny, Anna Culberson, Mary Keenan). Woodstock Associates participated in all the Ministries. A Prayer Centre with symbols of St Marguerite and CND was placed in front of the alter. Fr. John Beaumaster, Parish Priest, was the celebrant. Eleanor McCloskey, CND, joined us for this special gathering. Fr. Shawn Daley, who was a young monk attending NB Community College in Woodstock in 1989, also attended the Anniversary Mass.

Following the liturgy, a Reception was held in the Parish Hall to which all Parishioners were invited. For the occasion, bouquets of daisies and baby’s breath, statues of Marguerite or Visitation were on each table. Of course there were photos for people to view and a slide show ran throughout the evening sharing moments from the years that the Sisters lived in Woodstock. Associates read brief bios of each Sister outlining the ministries they worked in while in Woodstock. The Sisters who were in Woodstock were: Anne Gillis, Thérèse Arsenault, Sylvina Gaudet, Maureen Baldwin, Cécile Buote, Marguerite Mossey, Anne Marie MacDougall, Joan MacKenzie and Esther Clarkin. Many fond memories were shared during the evening. For the occasion, a prayer card was created for Sr. T (Thérèse Arsenault) who died on March 2, 2019. She lived in Woodstock for 26 years, leaving in 2009. She extended wonderful hospitality to everyone. Throughout the evening, people expressed their gratitude to the CND Sisters and how they enriched the lives of people in the greater Woodstock area.

 

 

 

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