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Visitation Province

Marguerite’s Feast day at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school in Kingston

Last Monday, January 13, I joined the students at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school in Kingston for their celebration of Marguerite’s Feast day. The 450 plus student body from kindergarten to grade eight assembled in the gym for their annual celebration to honour their school’s patron. They sang with all their hearts the song “Saint Marguerite We Love You” which has become their school song. I presented a series of slides illustrating the “Life of Marguerite” made from sketches drawn years ago by a Japanese Sister. Before showing the slides, I reminded the students that there would be a quiz at the end of the presentation and so they watched and listened with great attention. I was utterly amazed and impressed by the knowledge they have of Marguerite’s life! The school does not have any sisters but the spirit of Marguerite and her mission is certainly alive and well. These pictures speak for themselves. When I was leaving the school after a wonderful time with the students, I congratulated the teachers on the fantastic work they are doing in spreading the spirit of Saint Marguerite.

Marijke Gerretsen, CND

Kingston Celebrates St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

Inclement weather and a flu quarantine did not deter a small group of Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters, associates and friends from gathering at the Providence Motherhouse to celebrate the Feast of St. Marguerite.

Beginning with the Community Mass where St. Marguerite shared the liturgy with the Baptism of Jesus and closing with the melodious rendition of “Sing Out Her Glory” the group proceeded to the dining room to partake in a celebratory meal. They then gathered in the auditorium for a PowerPoint presentation by Sister Kathleen Deignan, CND especially prepared for the occasion, entitled, “The Gifts of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.”

Rosemary Shannon, CND

A joyful event! Sr. Anne Coffey’s 95th Birthday

We were delighted to once again be together for a celebration we had anticipated for some weeks. Our beloved Sister Anne Coffey reached her 95th year, a cause for gratitude and awe. We were 17 in all, consisting of those living in Providence Mother House, and those we affectionately call the outsiders. We told stories, shared news, rejoiced with Anne, and ate cake and ice cream with added goodies. We are blessed to have Anne with us. Her keen wit, clarity of memory, deep faith and prayer and love for community daily inspire each of us. By her presence we are challenged, despite any age to foster “Joie De Vivre.” Happy Birthday Ann from all of us!

Mildred Chabassol, CND

Woodstock, NB Associates celebrated the Feast of St. Marguerite on Saturday, January 18th. Due to weather conditions on January 12th, we had to reschedule. We welcomed 2 women as they made their First Commitment as Associates. Our Prayer Service was the beautiful one prepared by Blessed Sacrament Associate Coordinators. Doris presented Ann and Barbara with their Associate pins. The group gave them statues of Marguerite and festive daisies. One of the Associates there to present the daisies and The Writings od Marguerite Bourgeoys was one of the original Woodstock Associates, Helen. Helen made her First Commitment 35 years ago in 1985. Everyone enjoyed a potluck luncheon and many visitations.

Marjorie Allison Ross, associate co-coordinator

Winter Social at Windsor Court, Fredericton, NB

Sister Charlotte Lockhart invited friends to join her and other residents for a lively evening of food, visiting, music and dance. No social isolation here!

Merla Spires, CND associate

Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Tantallon, NS celebrates Feast Day 

Due to a storm on January 12th the Marguerite Bourgeoys celebration was delayed and many of the sisters and associates could not attend. Sisters Catherine Walker, Mary Morris, Connie Mac Isaac and Associate Alexa Smith celebrated with the parishioners at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Faith Community on Saturday, January 18th. The parish hosted the 400th Anniversary celebration in October when Sr. Kathleen Deignan was with us and the parish staff was delighted to be hosting another celebration in honour of their Patron Saint.

Our celebrant, Fr. Paul MacIntosh began by expressing his gratitude for the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame acknowledging the impact they had on him and his family when he was a child. Following the Gospel, Fr. Paul shared his personal experience giving credit to the CND Sisters in Cape Breton that he is a priest today bringing the Word of God to his parishioners. Father then invited Sister Connie to speak.

Sr. Connie focused on the Charism of Visitation reflecting on Mary “going in haste” to visit Elizabeth and how Marguerite responded to her baptismal call when she accepted the invitation to come to Ville Marie. Connie reflected on how they, as parishioners, live the Charism of their Patron Saint each day.

At the reception following mass, many parishioners reminisced with us about their school and university days. Others who visited historical sites in Montreal were happy to talk about their experiences. The Spirit of Marguerite and Visitation lives on through the parishioners of St. Marguerite Faith Community in Tantallon, N.S.

Alexa Smith, Halifax Associate

 “A Glimpse of the Congregation of Notre Dame” Presentation Manor – Toronto

January 9, 2020

On being invited to present our community, we Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame here at Presentation Manor came readily to a few conclusions: Historians and archivists we are not!

We decided that what we could do best was to help our audience to come to know Congregation de Notre-Dame a little. Therefore, we decided to present our Congregation de Notre-Dame story through the lens of Marguerite’s vision and how she strove to implement it. We each spoke briefly touching on:

  • Marguerite’s early life: Long ago and far away,
  • Beginnings at Ville Marie,
  • Building a community,
  • Our spirituality and CND charism,
  • Expansion of the community beyond Montreal,
  • Today... and Tomorrow.

As each one dealt with an aspect, she moved freely to events and dates that were useful to conveying her message. Comments and questions by our audience followed. A resounding applause brought this special moment in our lives to conclusion. Many expressions of gratitude for our presentation have followed.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

While this was the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, Marguerite was given a special place in homilies during the celebrations of the Eucharist presided by Father Jim Carruthers, CSB at Presentation Manor, and by Father Pat Fitzpatrick, CSsP with sisters and associates at Tobias House, Toronto. We can truly say that these have been Magnificat moments.

Sisters of Presentation Manor, Toronto


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