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Winnie Odo and Marjorie Allison-Ross

Year of Consecrated life

Pope Francis declared 2015 the Year of Consecrated Life. During the Year of Consecrated Life, set to begin on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, religious men and women are asked to reflect the joyful moment when they first heard God’s call to their vocation. The Year of Consecrated Life will continue until February 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated life. The goals will include reflecting on the unique role religious men and women have in the Church, every-thing from their charisms to their challenges.

The Congrégation de Notre-Dame Marks the Year of Consecrated Life

CLICK HERE FOR THE CND VIDEO “Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre Dame talk about their vocation, religious life and mission."

On this January 12, 2015, feast day of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-­ Dame, the sisters of the Congregation are marking the Year of Consecrated Life by releasing a short video.

In it, Sisters Susan Kidd, Della Gaudet, Réjeanne Bourque and Anne T. Gillis, share a few insights about their vocation, religious life and mission. One will even hear about Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys and how she met the needs of the people of her time - something the Congrégation de Notre-­Dame sisters are still committed to today.

Marguerite Bourgeoys was born in Troyes, France, in 1620. She first came to Ville-­Marie (Montreal) in 1653; there, she founded the first school of New France in 1658. She died in 1700 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982. She had dedicated her life to liberating education.”

From the CCCB website, there is a description of the Logo, Consecrated life in Church today Gospel, Prophecy, Hope.

A dove supports on one wing a polyhedral globe, and while resting on the water, it safeguards with the other wing three stars that arise from the water.

The Logo for the Year of Consecrated Life expresses through symbols the fundamental values of consecrated life. In it we recognize the “unceasing work of the Holy Spirit, who in every age shows forth the richness of the practice of the evangelical counsels through a multiplicity of charisms. In this way too he makes ever present in the Church and in the world, in time and space, the mystery of Christ” (VC 5).

In the lines that outline the form of the dove one can intuit the word ‘Peace’ in Arabic: this is a reminder that consecrated life is called to be the model for universal reconciliation in Christ.

Feast of Marguerite Celebrations 2015

St Theresa’s, Sydney, NS

Submitted by Sr Theresa Sampson, Doreen MacDonnell, Dianne MacAskill

On January 12, 2015 the feast day of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, the St. Theresa's Associate Relationship group along with other Associate members, Clergy, Sisters of CND, and laypeople celebrated together in prayer. The Relic of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys was removed from the Reliquary and exposed for one hour at the altar of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys church in Sydney, Nova Scotia. A Mass to honour Marguerite took place with celebrants Rev. Bill Burke and Deacon Rev. Robert Coleman. The recessional hymn composed by Sr. Rita Clare CND was sung to close this spirit-filled celebration.

HYMN TO ST. MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS ♫♪♫♫ St. Marguerite of Canada, this church which bears your name  will nourish truth and faith and love, in the hearts of all who seek the same.

Your sisters labored faithfully and long, their work of education will go on.

The torch they lit continues bright, in this our own Cape Breton home. ♪♩

Following Mass, Associate Theresa Anne MacNeil invited our group to her home for lunch. The group reflected on the life of Saint Marguerite and how her work continues through the efforts of the Congregation of Notre Dame and Associate Relationship.

New Victoria, NS

On January 12th the New Victoria Associates gathered at the home of Mary McKenzie for the Feast Day of our Foundress Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. As we gathered we were delightfully pleased to hear an account from Marg Berger of the morning Mass for Shut-Ins where Fr. Paul Cusack acknowledged the marvellous work done by the Congregation of Notre Dame in laying the foundations for the future of education in Ville Marie – teaching the young natives how to cook, sew and look after the home were also priorities. He said that the Congregation of Notre Dame has a huge influence in the life of the Church and that the scope of their missions have broadened widely since the beginning of time. He closed his homily with “thank you, thank you, thank you, keep on trucking! We used the Prayer Service “to begin a New Year” and reflected on moments when we experienced “visitation” and … what is the wisdom we hear in our heart about our Congregation of Notre Dame life. A great sharing took place before we gathered around the table for nourishment.

L-R Angela MacKinnon, Marg Berger, Mary McKenzie, Brenda MacPherson, Gerald Odo, Marilyn Clements, Winnie Odo.

Woodstock and Fredericton, NB

The Feast of St Marguerite was celebrated on January 11 with Sister Eleanor McCloskey and the Woodstock and Fredericton. Associates who were able to travel to Woodstock. We all attended the Sunday morning Mass. At the end of the Mass, Mary Young provided a short presentation, summarizing the life of Marguerite and the birth and growth of the Associate Relationship. The week following her presentation, we received a call from a parishioner who is interested in learning more about the Associates and plans to attend our next meeting. Following Mass, we gathered at the home of Cyril and Helen’s Ross for a Marguerite Prayer and a Pot Luck Lunch. Of course, we posed for the group photo!! We extended our visitations to those who no longer live in Woodstock by sending cards to them (Anna Rowley and Sisters Therese Arsenault, Esther Clarkin and Cecile Buote) and a Get Well Card for Lynda Markey and Winnie Odo. We also called Winnie to wish her well with her cataract surgery.

Posing in the photo are: Back row: Mary Young, Sr Eleanor McCloskey, Doris Markey, Vienna Hall, Isabel Mercer, Marg McCallum. In front row are Marjorie Allison-Ross, Mary Hanson, Anne McEvoy, Anna Gallivan and Edy Corbett.


Happy Feast Day! From Innisfail, Alberta

Submitted by Dolores MacGillivary

My husband and I attended the Associate Feast Day Celebration at Our Lady Of Peace Parish in Innisfail which is a 45 minute drive from our house in Airdrie. Sister Marie Clarkin and a former teacher, Sister Paula Maher, who I taught school with at Sir William Dawson School in Pictou, NS, live in Innisfail. Sisters Paula Maher and Marie Clarkin hosted the Associates for the Feast Day Celebration. We received a very warm welcome from the Sisters and Associates. We enjoyed pizza and dessert. There was lots of laughs and loving words shared by all. Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys was with us and makes us women and men of Compassion and Love as we shared our feelings about the LOVING solidarity shown recently in PARIS. Best wishes to my fellow Associated in Pictou. NS as this is my first Feast Day not in Pictou. Blessings and joyous visitations to all you wonderful Sisters and fellow Associates. Peace, Dolores MacGillivary

Sr Marie Clarkin, Dolores MacGillivary, Sr Paula Maher in Innisfail, Alberta.



Dolores MacGillivary and her husband pose with Sisters Paula Maher and Marie Clarkin

Pictures and Message are from a Newsletter from Sr Maura McGrath, CND

December 23, 2014 marked the 50th Anniversary of Congregation of Notre Dame presence in Guatemala. Thank you Sisters for all the prayerful work, past and present, you invested in mission.

As you can well imagine the time here has been graced. There are so many incredible moments. The celebration of the 50th in Guatemala was absolutely awesome – about 1500 people lined the streets to welcome us to San Francisco la Union where the four sisters first went a few days before Christmas in 1964. It was great to have sister Mary MacIsaac and sister Rita Rompre with us – two of the foundresses. Our time here is coming to a close. Lorraine Costello and I are the only foreigners as sisters Ligia, a Hondurean and Maria Jose, a Guatemalan live here. I am attaching a few pictures …

All this to say ... love and deep union in mission, Maura McGrath, CND


Ministry in Mabou Submitted by Carl Madigan

We asked Carl Madigan to write an article for the Newsletter describing their Ministry at the St Joseph Renewal Centre in Mabou, NS.

These past four years have been a great gift and a deeply felt blessing for Peg and I being part of the team at St. Joseph Renewal Centre in Mabou, NS.

In 2008 we were on retreat at the Centre and Fr. Philip Chircop, our retreat facilitator, recognized that we were being called to something. He urged us to approach our community, which we subsequently did.

After a year of discernment with them, the possibility of becoming a part of the team at the Renewal Centre was brought forth. Our immediate response was “YES” and “How soon?” It was an answer to a life-long dream of ours, to some day open a house of prayer and here we were being asked to consider working at one. What a joyous blessing.

The next year and a half were spent preparing ourselves for this ministry. Working with the Jesuits in Halifax we reviewed and renewed our training as Spiritual Companions/Spiritual Directors. In May 2011 we said goodbye to our lives in Truro, NS and moved to the beautiful hills of Mabou.

At St. Joseph’s we are involved in developing and presenting new programs, retreats for various groups, on-going spiritual direction, and hosting, in the spirit of Visitation, all who individuals and various groups that come to use our facility. Every morning we awaken to a new and exciting day and every night we go to bed with thanksgiving for a day well spent. Our days are filled with Presence and with a deepening awareness of the blessed-ness of all life and we give thanks for the gifts of living and loving that are a deep inner reality of our being. One of our greatest joys is working with one another and growing in our relationship with each other, with self, with ours, and with our God.

Photo taken in Mabou in September 2014. From left: Peg Madigan, Winnie Odo, Carl Madigan, Sr Catherine Ann MacEachern.

St Joseph Renewal Centre has Facebook

Sr Catherine Ann MacEachern, Director of St Joseph Renewal Centre, advised that the Centre has recently developed a Facebook page as a means of bettering our communications with people who wish to avail themselves of some of the various activities taking place at the Centre. We ask that you use the link below to access our page and proceeding to “like” it. This will then enable you to receive all the postings made in the future from the Centre.



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