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Visitation Province

Visitation Encounter!

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

On May 31st, the Feast of Visitation and Feast of Pentecost, Associates and Sisters of Blessed Sacrament and Visitation Provinces came together on Zoom to celebrate this special Feast Day during the 400th Anniversary year of St Marguerite Bourgeoys’s birth. This meeting was organized by the Blessed Sacrament Sustainability Leadership Committee. Approximately 80 Associates and Sisters participated in prayer, song, renewal of Vows for the Sisters, renewal of Commitment for Associates and some group photos of this historic event. At the beginning of the Zoom Gathering, we remembered those who have died of COVID-19 as almost 350,000 people from around the world have died. The LCWR has partnered with religious leaders asking everyone to take time during this weekend to mourn the loss of the many lives. We listened to Readings, John 20: 19-23 and Luke 1: 39-56. The songs we sang were “Oh Spirit Guide Me” by Sara Thomson and “Magnificat” by David Haas. After each Reading, the participants were divided into groups of 4 or 5 in break out rooms so we could meet others and share a little about ourselves and discuss the Readings. Sr. Josephine Badali led the Sisters in renewing their vows and Anna Rowley led the Associates in their renewal of Associate Commitment. We ended this great gathering with group photos. Many thanks to the organizing group for their creative spirit and planning skills to bring so many people together to celebrate these special feast days in the life of the Congregation de Notre-Dame! Even though we couldn’t gather in person because of COVID-19 and distance, a way was found so we could “Visit” and share!

400th Anniversary Retreat

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

The Truro Associates took the initiative to begin the “In the Garden With Marguerite” Retreat. Anna Rowley volunteered to be the facilitator for the retreat.

During the first movement, we heard the poem, “Open My Senses” and the songs, “Oh Spirit Guide Me” by Sara Thomson, “instrumental “Gabriel’s Obe, “Touch the Earth with Tenderness” by Kathy Sherman and “For Every Season, Turn, Turn, Turn” by Pete Seiger. We were invited to contemplative reflection with Marguerite on the Garden of Our Common Home. We were with Marguerite in the Garden of her season and our season. Then we moved into break out rooms where we shared with others what we saw and heard in our contemplative moment and then we dialogued about what had been shared. We reflected on the General Chapter 2016 Orientations, listening for the urgencies in these Orientations and noting what we want to remember and carry forward. We closed the First Movement of the Retreat by praying the “Common Prayer for the Fifth Anniversary of Laudato Si”.

Woodstock, NB Hosted a “Silent No More” March

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

Woodstock Associates participated in the “Silent No More” March on Sunday afternoon, June 7 in downtown Woodstock along with about 120 people who wanted to raise their voices against systemic racism at home and around the world. Many young families attended with their children as well as people who were around my age. The invited speaker, Oluwatoyin Dorcas Adeniyi, gave a very empassioned speech and encouraged everyone “to speak out. Now is the time to come together. Now is the time to walk together.” At the end of her talk, she asked us all to have a 9 minute silence, the appropriate time that George Floyd laid on the ground begging for his life. The 9 minutes seemed so long and I kept thinking about George Floyd calling out for him mother and saying he couldn’t breathe. It’s so hard to believe that someone could deliberately press on someone’s neck until they died. Following this, all assembled walked to the Woodstock Courthouse with the procession being led by the Woodstock Town Police. There were many powerful messages against racism on the signs that people carried. Everyone wore masks, practiced physical distancing and hand sanitizer was available.

Mabou Associate Celebrates Marguerite’s 400th Anniversary

Submitted by Mary Morris

In light of all that has been going on with Covid-19, I was not able to carry out my plan to do an exhibit of Marguerite Bourgeoys in our parish for the 400th birthday. I wondered what I could do that would fit into our isolation restrictions. The idea of using the media in some way had to be the answer. Our parish live streams daily mass everyday at 5 pm. I had an "in" because my son does the production with Fr vanZutphen celebrating. Rod agreed to do some insertions about Marguerite. We posted a picture and reminded watchers that the date was coming up. We added the novena prayer and a few pages of her history for people to prepare. On the day of her birthday, Father gave a nice introduction of facts and reminded us that her sisters had taught so many in our parish and neighbouring parishes. He also said the prayer at the beginning of mass in honour of Marguerite. We inserted her story as an attachment to the parish bulletin. As a member of Visitation East Associates, I think this action will help keep her spirit alive and maybe reach even more people.


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