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Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team

The point of religious life is living in this life the Resurrection of Jesus… Dying is part of the mysticism of religious life… The important thing, if our dying is expressing itself in Resurrection, is to enable people to “touch” the Risen Jesus in and through our spiritual bodies.

The beginning of our February 16-17 meeting was graced by the vigil service and funeral Mass for Marie Cafferty. This gave deeper meaning and poignancy to our reflection on “Religious Life as a Resurrection Phenomenon,” the interview with Sandra Schneiders, IHM in the current LCWR Occasional Papers.


News from St. Louis Convent

             

It was a damp and very foggy day, but inside the St. Louis Convent in West Haven Connecticut dining room, there was warmth, light and conversation galore. It was January 12th and the CND Sisters had invited parishioners of their newly created St. John the 23rd Parish to a soup and bread lunch to celebrate Marguerite Bourgeoys. Twenty-three persons prayed together, learned more about Saint Marguerite’s life and her congregation, and placed their families and intentions into her care. Our guests enjoyed the soups, all homemade by Srs. Marilyn Doucette & Jeannette Bolduc, and were especially grateful for having been invited into the sisters’ home. The sisters; Marilyn, Rita Rompre, Catherine McDermott, Jeannette, Dolores McKinney and Ann Perrin, commented later to one another that the gathering was a unifying gift to them, enhancing mission, giving them hope, joy and direction for the New Year.


MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION

 “Let the Good Times Roll!!”

On February 13, the Congregation de Notre-Dame Community in West Haven came to Lourdes to host a Mardi Gras party. To say they “came” is a bit of an understatement… the word “brought” is much more accurate. Masks for the sisters, decorations for the wheelchairs, decorative beads, and candy to distribute to all there provided the makings for the Mardi Gras “parade.” Singing “When the Saints Go Marching In,” the Lourdes and West Haven CND Communities marched through the Lourdes hallways bringing smiles and sweets to the other residents. The parade continued to the Leclerc Dining Room for lunch, a New Orleans feast prepared by the culinary staff at Villa Notre Dame. Homemade West Haven cookies and ice cream completed the lunch. CND Associates helped with transportation!

The Mardi Gras celebration was a CND event: visits, singing, entertainment and good food! Thank you, West Haven! Sr. Mary Ann Rossi


ASSOCIATE NEWS – Sr. Joan Mahoney & Donna Wuhrer

A community of Associates who live far from other Associate groups have formed a Conference Call Community. This gives them the opportunity to pray, reflect, share together, and stay connected. In January, Joan (an Associate in this group who now lives in Florida) made and sent a picture of this prayer table to all of the Associates in her group. It was a wonderful, long distance Visitation--gathering around this virtual prayer table and celebrating the Feast Day of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys!

Feast Day of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys: In January, we celebrated the Feast Day of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. Local Associate communities gathered to remember, to pray, and to give thanks for our foundress and her life of love, compassion and service. Groups chose various ways to celebrate: praying and sharing as a conference call community with a virtual prayer table; inviting parishioners, family, and friends to join in prayer and share in a meal of soup and bread; attending Mass; and reflecting on the elements of the CND Orientation as part of their prayer service. Joan, a member of the Conference Call Group shared her experience “….It (prayer service) was beautiful, inspiring and rejuvenating. Marguerite truly came alive through all of the passages quoted.”


PEACE & JUSTICE NEWS – Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan

Part of our Province Plan included this challenge: We call each other to be co-creators of a culture based on the values of reconciliation, right relationships, compassion and forgiveness. These Lenten resources may help.

2018 LENTEN REFLECTION GUIDE - Embracing Jesus’ Practice of Nonviolence:

https://maryknollogc.org/sites/default/files/MaryknollOGC_Lenten Reflection_Guide_2018.pdf

FOR COMMON HOME: Laudato Si’ Reflection Resource: On Care for Our Common Home

https://ecospiritualityresources.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/laudatosi-reflectionresource-oncare-2.pdf

Society of the Holy Child Jesus Publication

FOR PERIPHERIES:

This year we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a real way, it is a celebration of the determination to go to those on the peripheries and to stand with them to demand inclusion and recognition of their rights. http://www.standup4humanrights.org/en/take-action.html provides an opportunity to endorse the human rights pledge and suggests actions you can take to make your pledge concrete.

Thirty one states, the US Military and the US Federal Government still have the death penalty. Currently, Washington, Ohio, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Iowa are considering death penalty focused-legislation! Here is an invitation to act for those on the Peripheries: Catholic Mobilizing Network is launching the Women Religious Death Penalty Advocacy Council to intentionally collaborate with sisters who desire to have greater impact on ending the death penalty. Press Ctrl and click on that link to join and be included in either or both of these Advocacy Council efforts:

Webinar: "Within Reach: Ending Death Penalty in the United States." Friday, March 2 (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern). Learn about death penalty trends, impactful actions, and resources for education, prayer, advocacy.

Faith and Action First Fridays: Beginning March 2nd, CMN will provide a First Friday webpage where women religious can unite their voices in prayer, call for clemency, and take urgent actions.


VOCATION NEWS – Sr. Ann Marie Strileckis

If you are like me, you didn't want to speak of any 'stirrings " of a religious vocation or allow "it" to see the light of day! Someone did get through with some sort of invitation and/or affirmation that I had to admit I may really be entertaining the idea of a religious vocation!

Please continue to allow your story to emerge from your memory because I believe it has great meaning for our Congregation. Someone outside of us reached out to us with an invitation and/or affirmation and allowed the Spirit's stirrings to see the light of day! Eventually, we were able to talk about it and share it with someone we trusted! Timing, when all of this could emerge, was also very important to me!!!

We are already being asked to speak of religious vocations. Marilyn Hammill is responding to grade school students in the greater Norwalk area and we have received a request from South Carolina!

In reflecting on my formation the key concept that grabbed me was, "we are all called to follow Christ by virtue of our Baptism."... Religious take seriously their Baptism and make it a profession!!

We will be working on some "techie" aids to help all of us to stand before a group and speak of the call all of us have by virtue of our Baptism to follow Christ and encourage other Visitation style to share Christ with one another.

One way that worked well for us recently was Mary Anne Foley appearing before our group as Marguerite Bourgeoys! I welcomed her and set the stage with a few initial questions that I thought would be engaging to all. “What was it like growing up in France in the early 1600's." "How did you know you had a religious vocation." What did you do about it?"

As Marguerite tells of being a normal frivolous girl, applying to several congregations and being rejected, feeling frustrated but still believing what the Virgin said and the circumstances of the New World opening up! ... (your listeners will start asking Marguerite their own questions)! Suzanne Poulin can help with Marguerite's headwear!!!

You need 2 CNDs, one to be Marguerite and another to ask the initial questions and encourage questions from the group. The group can be your class or a group of women who may already be meeting regularly.

 

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