Sister Clemmie received an honorable mention, for her story "What I Learned from my Grandfather's Attic," which she entered in the Inter-generation Contest launched by the PEI Seniors Secretariat. She received an "Intergeneration Honor Roll" certificate "for uncommon and invaluable commitment to connecting generations." The accompanying letter stated, "The judges wanted to recognize your story with a prize (cheque) and honorable mention…" Clemmie also received a card of congratulations from Bush Dumville, MLA. We're proud of you, Clemmie!
People began arriving at the Congregation of Notre Dame ND cottage, Villa Consolata, on Howe Island for our annual retreat weekend at around 3:30 pm on Friday, September 18th. Some of those that arrived before dark enjoyed a swim in the pool, the water was beautiful as was the fellowship and the setting.
We enjoyed a prayer service Friday evening about identity; "The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me…" (Meister Eckhart). This was a great beginning to the weekend, thinking of who we are in the eyes of God, each other and ourselves.
Sunday, September 27, was the day chosen by Sister Charlotte Lockhart to celebrate her 95th birthday. Family members and friends gathered in the Penthouse at Windsor Court in Fredericton to bring best wishes. The staff prepared a bountiful table and the cake had plenty of candles on top. Sister Charlotte was decked out with a colorful crown, birthday ribbon and sparkling pin. She very much enjoyed the party arranged by friends and was especially grateful for the attendance of her nephews, a niece and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Sister Karen and I were pleased to be there to help with the happy celebration.
“Conscious Living, Conscious Aging” by Ron Pevny is the book that eighteen of us seniors, women and men, are reading this year in our spiritual book club. Ron Pevny is encouraging us to "embrace and savor" the present, while moving into the next stage in our lives. He skillfully does this by "offering fresh guidance for how to grow old consciously and with intention." Throughout the book he invites us into positive aging by helping us focus on our potential for growth, for visitation and spiritual fulfillment. He is helping us to distill wisdom from our many years of life experience, deal with our loss and grief, identify new passions, share our stories of pain and healin g, and essentially, help us to remain engaged and relevant as we move into the Essence of Elderhood. For many of us, this is the journey we are presently embracing. Let us find the Gift in our aging.
"The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet's capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world. The effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now." Pope Francis, Laudato Si (161).
A GOOD BOOK: Joyce Rupp has been one of my favorite authors for many years now. I've used some of her material in retreats and group processes to invite myself and others to a deeper sense of God within and without. Her latest book "Fly While You Still Have Wings" companioned me on my eight-day retreat in August. It is a series of reflections on what she verbalizes in the subtitle as "other lessons my resilient mother taught me." It was timely for me as I walk in the wake of my mother's death last year and my brother Marcel's death in June of this year, as well as a number of our Congregation of Notre-Dame companions here in Kingston. I have come to know that grief doesn't happen in the blink of an eye; it takes time and space. Joyce Rupp writes candidly and poignantly of her journey through grief 14 years after her mother's death. You may also enjoy the read!
Visitation Provincial Assembly “HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE?” September Assembly Presentations
Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross
Bernadette Fegan, Anna Rowley and I are in the process of visiting the Maritime Associate Groups to provide presentations about the information that we received at the Visitation Province Assembly in July on Contemplative Prayer and Dialogue and the Visitation Province Directional Statement.
In September, Anna and I visited with the Mabou Associates and Sisters on Sunday evening September 13 at the St Joseph Renewal Centre. On Monday morning, September 14, we met with the Sydney and Area Associates and Sisters at Parkland. The Miramichi Associates welcomed us on the 21st at St Mary’s Church Hall. Anna and Bernadette met with the Antigonish Associates on Sunday afternoon, September 27 at Sr Isabel MacLellan’s home. The Associates and Sisters who have attended the presentations to date have expressed gratitude for the information. We encouraged them to practice Contemplative Prayer.
Pope Francis - Visit To The U.S.: Through LCWR, Sr. Patricia McCarthy was allowed to participate at the Mass in Washington, DC. Sr. Ellen Gorman was at the White House Lawn. Through the Archdiocese of NY, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Sr. Joan Curtin, many of the CNDs were able to attend the Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Mass at Madison Square Gardens in NY. We carried all CNDs and Associates with us.
Sisters And Associates: An important new study of the associate-religious relationship of religious congregations in the United States and Canada is being conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). Associates are receiving this survey by email. Please take 15 minutes to access and complete this survey within the next four weeks.
And now we are trying something new … “A day in the life” is more than a Beatles song. It is social media tool that highlights people and events. Let’s mark the Year for Consecrated Life by using “A day in religious life.” How can you help?
This past Sunday was Catechetical Sunday and our first day of religious education at the Cathedral. As part of my welcoming and starting anew, I challenged grades 7-10, to celebrate The Year of Mercy doing works of mercy as the cathedral youth. I showed them our green t-shirt and showed them what their t-shirt would look like; Rooted in Jesus Christ, Cultivating Love and Compassion, with a picture of Pope Francis and the cathedral. Sign up is this coming Sunday. We hope to put out an event, gather whoever can participate that day with their t-shirts on. (Some teachers were already giving me ideas that we will pursue!) I will go this week to a Hartford T shirt place to price having them printed and look for t-shirts! We hope to do one event a month! This Sunday, we will put it together. We will let you know when you can don your shirts and join us!
On September 10, a hundred + people, including Sister Marie Hagen, CND, and myself, gathered in Charlottetown to urge civil, provincial and federal leaders to open the Canadian borders now to a significant number of Syrian Refugees.
Movie: A Walk in the Woods is based on a book about a personal journey in the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson, well-known American writer. It’s a comedy-adventure (my term) with two old guys, played by Robert Redford (still looks good even with wrinkles) and Nick Nolte. It’s entertaining, and the scenery is stunning at times. It has funny one-liners as well as a few deep conversational gems. Not a must-see, but enjoyable.
You can also access an online version of the Prezi presentation with this link.
I think the Prezi presentation is appropriate for JR High- Adults. Great for personal use/reflection too. A Journey of Faith seems geared to Grades 11,12, College , and ADULTS . Parts of it might be helpful for your own knowledge or to integrate into current curriculums and parish programs.
September 26 is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
In the richest and most prosperous country in the world, over 45 million people live in poverty. The younger you are, the more likely you are to live in poverty. One in five children live below the poverty line; and 23% or all children under six do. Over 16 million children live in food-insecure households. Programs such as SNAP (food stamps); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); School Lunches; and other food assistance are effective and must be protected to fight poverty and hunger.
Join places of worship across the nation, the Washington National Cathedral, the Newtown Foundation and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national denominations and faith-based organizations, to remember those who have lost their lives to gunfire, pray for those whose lives have been forever changed because of the loss of a loved one, and to educate one another on proven strategies to reduce gun violence.
The annual Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend this year will be December 10-14. It will begin with a kickoff event at the National Cathedral in Washington DC on December 10th. Then congregations across the nation will participate in weekend events of prayer, song, vigils and education. December 14th is the actual anniversary of the tragic Newtown shooting.
There are many resources on the December Sabbath website to help you plan. Let's keep raising our voices for change by pledging to participate in December Sabbath 2015.
On September 28, 2015, Sisters Josephine Badali and Françoise Boisvert will receive the 2015 Builders Award during a ceremony held by l’Association des Collèges privés du Québec (ACPQ). Created a few years ago in honour of the first builders of the subsidized private college system, this distinction is intended for the men and women who have had a significant influence on the development and quality of the private college network.
JPIC Update: Our Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Office has had a very busy summer. After the Corporate Stance process in May, our Core Committee members attended the national CRC JPIC in Toronto, and we had our own meeting afterward. In June, our JPIC circulated a Press Release to join our voice to the widespread public welcome to Laudato Si, from Pope Francis. In July, I was occupied preparing a presentation on the Encyclical for the Congregation of Notre Dame Social Justice Network taking place in August. We are currently joining with our sister organization Development & Peace, as they carry out a Climate Action fall campaign. In the short term we are focused on the Paris U.N. Climate Conference and our long-term sites will be worked out at our annual JPIC Core Committee meeting to be held in Montreal in October.
REFLECTION ON AREA DAY: Associate Suzanne Fandel shared this after being at the Waterbury Area Day. “On my ride home I thought of what really struck me in my sharing time with the sisters. “If this group of women (whose future is uncertain - and without a doubt will be different from what they expected when they made their vows) can use prayer as their guide and move forward trusting God will provide, then following their example, I can overcome any challenges in my own life. What a relief!” It was a blessed experience for me. Thank you for inviting me.”
Following the success of the online retreat entitled Source of Living Water offered for Lent on the Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s website, Sister Marie Azzarello and Sister Rachel Gaudreau wanted to offer a second five-week retreat. WithIn the Heart of the World, and with the Blessed Virgin Mary as model, Sister Marie and Sister Rachel invite us to reflect on the maternal Church and the values of mercy and compassion. The new online retreat will be launched on September 27, with new content added throughout the five week period. Once the retreat is completed, it will permanently remain on the Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s website for retreatants to return to or to experience at a time best suited to them. Participants are welcome to write to Sister Marie and Sister Rachel.