On Sunday, October 19th still filled with the enthusiasm of her participation in the People’s March for Climate Change in New York, Monica Lambton shared her experience of the event at the monthly gathering of the Sisters and Associates. She said she was impressed with the immensity of the march, the intensity of it and the number and variety of people who took part in this now world-wide movement. Monica spoke of Sister Kathleen Deignan, CND who has been researching the relationship between Marguerite Bourgeoys and those who have been involved in the pursuit of remedies for climate change as far back as St. Francis, and as recently as Thomas Berry and Thomas Merton. Kathleen sees Marguerite Bourgeoys’ era as an Age of Destruction as is ours today. In Marguerite’s time the way of life of the aboriginal peoples in the New World was being destroyed and Marguerite set about building up an alternative life.
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, Father Bill Burke spoke of the need for someone like Marguerite Bourgeoys at a time of great changes in the Church, in our Diocese and in Canada.
Sisters and associates from the Sydney area as well as Mabou, Antigonish, and Prince Edward Island gathered with the parishioners and friends at the former St. Joseph Church in Sydney. Bishop Brian Dunn celebrated Eucharist and dedicated the church to Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. He blessed the two beautiful statues of Marguerite, one located outside the church and the other in the foyer. The relic of St. Marguerite was carried in procession and placed in the altar. In renaming and officially placing the parish under the patronage of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, Father Bill paid tribute to Marguerite and to all her daughters who contributed to education in Cape Breton and in the rest of Canada. He invited all sisters present to stand and be acknowledged.
I will soon be beginning an on-line Formation community for the Associate Relationship. Right now, there are seven women who are eager to participate and I have invited others to consider this opportunity. Is there anyone you know whom you would like to invite to Associate Relationship and for whom the on-line formation blog would be a good fit?
Sisters Joan Mahoney and Patricia McCarthy (April 2014)
The Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Congregation of Notre Dame & UPEI Chaplaincy Centre Invite Students, Staff and Faculty to meet with Monica Lambton, JPIC Coordinator from Montreal, Friday October 31 2014 / UPEI Chaplaincy Centre. Gather @ 11:00 am ~ Presentation 11:30-12:30 ~ Q&A til 1:00.
The Visit from our General Administration Team from Montreal has just been completed. Eight Sisters waved them off from the front door of Wilton SSND Community a few minutes ago. We even attempted one verse of “Ave Maris Stella.”
This past week was spent visiting some places in New York City and Connecticut. Thank God we had good weather for all the days we needed it. Beginning at St. Jean Baptiste High School we met students, staff and Board Members. Our schools are exciting, inspiring places of liberating education. From SJB we split into three groups to visit Covenant House, Encore (SRO for the poor) and the Archdiocesan offices.
Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame with Archbishop Blair of Hartford, CT
Associates in NB will gather at St Anthony’s Parish Hall in Fredericton on Saturday, November 1 from 10:00-3:00. Sr Della Gaudet, CND, who lived in Troyes, France for 10 years, will provide a presentation on the life of Marguerite Bourgeoys. Winnie and Marjorie will provide updates about their work and the committees that they participate in.
The Toronto conference planning group is thrilled to announce that our keynote speaker will be Canadian human rights activist, journalist and author, Sally Armstrong.
Sally “has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to Rwanda and Afghanistan, her eyewitness reports have earned her the Amnesty International Media Award three times over, as well as acclaim all over the world.”
Sally Armstrong’s book, Ascent of Women (2013) is highly recommended reading and “shows us why empowering women and girls is the way forward.”
MICHAEL MORWOOD: THROUGH A 21ST CENTURY LENS October 19-21, 2014 Sunday, 7 pm to Tuesday 4 pm Michael Morwood encourages people to examine their perceptions of Jesus and raises challenging questions for traditional Christian belief, while providing solid ground on which to articulate Christian faith today. His speaking and writing have focused on the urgent need to shape Christian belief and practice in the understanding that the Divine Presence has always permeated everything that exists.
As a chaplain of Saint Marguerite School in Innisfail, one of my ministries is to participate in the distribution of the Bibles for the grade four students. The Red Deer Catholic School District gathers all the grade four students for a liturgical celebration and they number about five hundred students.
The Sisters of Notre Dame Community of Andrews of Charlottetown have completed our yearly retreat which comprised three days in May and three days in October. We were truly blessed to have had Father Keith Kennific, pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish in Tracadie, PE, as our director. Father Keith’s knowledge of the scriptures and his ability to help us apply them to our everyday lives has been and is a wonderful gift as we continue our journey with our God.
For anyone who likes mysteries, and court cases, and who can handle one more dysfunctional family story, this movie is a gripper. Robert Duvall (83 years young) is totally credible as the aging judge and Robert Downey Jr. is as real as it gets playing the successful (career-wise) son who “got away” from his family and hometown. It’s a long movie – 2 hours - but the time doesn’t seem long because the story is fast-paced and opens up like a Grisham novel. In spite of some reviews I read beforehand, I liked this movie. It shows how forgiveness can happen (or not) and how we can move on (or not) in our own story.
D&P, you will remember, is an important part of our Canadian church. For the past 45 years we have been supporting and empowering the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
During the 2014 Lent campaign, D&P focused on the issue of hunger and food production. Since more than one billion people still suffer from hunger around the world, D&P is making this the focus of its 2014 education campaign.
The “Conversations of the Heart" group met at Sr. Sue Kidd's in Charlottetown to view and discuss the video, WHERE ARE YOU the presentation which was given to the Formation personnel by Nancy Schreck. What a challenging presentation! We were all particularly struck by her use of God's words in the garden: WHERE ARE YOU? Where am I? Where are we? We will, I am sure, ponder that, as we struggle, as she said, to walk the tight rope on the margins of this new/different world to which we are called to be God's presence.
My dear Sisters, I am writing to you today with a heavy heart. I have been reading many of the news reports about the Ebola virus, as I am sure most of you have been. However, there was a news report in the NYT today, 10/10/14 about a mother who went into preterm labor at 8 months and delivered a little girl. She continued to hemorrhage profusely after delivery and was brought by her boyfriend and parents to 3 different hospitals before she was seen where she died. She was just 36 years old and died in the absence of compassion or tenderness. We cannot blame the caretakers or the health care providers because they too are afraid of catching the virus and dying themselves. This is the new leprosy and the infected have become that person on the road where people are afraid to come to his/her aide. What can I do? I find myself crying out to Jesus asking this exact question.
Kamloops associates gathered on Sunday, September 28, a sunny warm fall day, for a retreat presented by Sr. Nancy Hurren, CND and Pat Weicker, Visitation West co-coordinators. The day focused on Pope Frances' encyclical "The Joy of the Gospel" which invites us all to live more simply and in greater solidarity with the poor. There was time for reflection, prayer, sharing and visitation and everyone reflected that they came away from the day spiritually nourished and refreshed. We were introduced to a 14-step program, "The Joy of Just Living" developed by Bill Huebsch which can be used during the year to help us discover the joy of just living simply, just living happily, living justly so that others may also live.
The purpose of this week was focused on bringing generations of people together. To celebrate this week, the Seniors’ Secretariat launched a contest in PEI. The idea was to submit stories about RESPECT to help people of all generations learn more about other generations. The Secretariat believes that people of all ages can develop greater respect for one another. Prizes were awarded to the top three winners across the province. Sister Réjeanne Bourque was the 2nd place winner for her story “Little Sam’s Respect for Seniors” (actually a real happening). The prize and certificate were presented by Mary Hughes, chair of the Seniors’ Secretariat for PEI. Little Sam and his family were present for the occasion. Congratulations, Sister Réjeanne!
I am not sure about all of my companions, but I know I am still marching. September 21 was a marvelous and grace-filled day. Being part of such a peaceful mass of people whose intention was to change the patterns of our treatment of creation was just exhilarating. To do so in such good company was an extra benefit. We were so conscious that we were marching in the name of all of us: Sisters, Associates, Friends, Colleagues, and Students. We made the Congregation of Notre Dame present in an historic event.
WELCOME FIVE NEW ASSOCIATES: At the joyous Liturgy for the Associate Retreat at Quonnie, five women became CND Associates. Three of them had their formation in Wilton, CT and two online with the use of a blog. How blessed we are in these five new Associates of the Congregation of Notre Dame!
Quonnie Associate Retreat, September 12-14, 2014
The thirty-three Associates and five Sisters pictured above enjoyed a weekend of discernment, prayer, celebration of five women becoming Associates, wonderful meals and many Visitations in the beautiful setting of Quonnie.