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Celebrating our Jubilarians

The Activity Room at Andrews of Charlottetown was bursting with life and activity from 2 to 4 PM on Sunday, June 19. We celebrated the jubilees of Sisters Sally MacPherson, Marie Fernande Arsenault and the Florence O'Keefe. (Although Sally's name is not on the Jubilee list, she entered with this group, then became part of the January ceremony. She wanted to celebrate with them.) Several of their family members were present as well as the PEI sisters. Other residents dropped in to offer their congratulations. They received flowers and other gifts and many cards containing glorious tributes to their life as CND's. A beautifully decorated Jubilee cake contributed to the festive atmosphere and refreshments were enjoyed by all. We are grateful to all who attended. Informal celebrations continued with our local community in the evening.

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St. Mary Magdalen

This month we learned that the July 22 memorial observance of St. Mary Magdalene is now a major feast in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. In recent years, the feast day has been promoted and celebrated as a significant way to help us learn about women leaders in our church history and to promote gender balance in scripture proclamation. According to Future Church (http://ncronline.org) every year 200 – 300 Magdala Day celebrations are organized around the world. We are fortunate in our area to have experienced this for several summers, on or close to July 22 in different churches close by. Rosemary Radford Ruether wrote in a 2001 article in NCR that “for the first five centuries no writer misinterpreted Mary Magdalene as a prostitute. Rather she was seen as a leading disciple and image of the church.” Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of Future Church writes: “It is gratifying and heartening to learn that this message is now echoing from the Vatican and that they now recognize her for her role as the primary witness to the Resurrection and a key figure in our salvation history with equal standing to her male counterparts.”

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Truth, Reconciliation and Hope: A Vision for a new Canada

A one-day conference guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action, #62, was co-hosted by St. Michael’s University, Toronto, and the Jesuits in English Canada on Wednesday, June 22. The day began with a smudging ceremony followed by a number of presentations and talks by speakers; such as, Knowledge Keeper Noel Starblanket, Charlie Angus, the Honourable Paul Martin, and a number of aboriginal leaders and youth. The focus of the day was to acknowledge the systemic injustices visited upon our native peoples, which was lead by Fr. Peter Bisson, President of the Jesuits in English Canada, who presented the Jesuit apology and Statement of Reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivered in 2013, and to begin the process of moving to take concrete steps toward creating a Canada characterized by mutual reverence and partnership. This gathering was a beginning step toward education, awareness, and the call to action that will hopefully be followed by more such opportunities in the future.

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