On vacation in Kribi, Cameroon, Sisters MENGUE Évangéline and Thelma Renaud on the beach preparing fish for their meal.
Photo, CND, 2010

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VISITATION EAST - July 2015 - CND Associate Relationship Newsletter

Winnie’s Heartfelt Thanks to Associates

For most of us, the saying “time flies” is very familiar. As June 30th approaches this saying is all too familiar to me, I’m left to wonder how six years could go by so quickly.

These years have been a blessed gift that began one morning when Sister Maura McGrath phoned and asked me if I was still interested in the co-Coordinator position for Visitation East and of course, my answer was “yes”! I could hardly contain the joy that welled up in my heart as I phoned Sister Theresa Sampson to let her know that her prayers were answered and so a journey of “visitation” began with Sister Phyllis Gallant at my side, guiding me through the first five years. Looking back gives me many reasons to thank God, Mary and Saint Marguerite for accompanying us as we travelled to the hearts and homes of the sisters and associates of New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia who showed us so much love and warmth.

 

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Our Voices Wave

Sisters from the Blessed Sacrament (USA) Province joined the Our Voices Wave, urging our leaders to prevent  climate change, while attending a conference in Wilton, CT.

These are photos from our Our Voices Celebration,  on Sunday June 28th 2015.

 

  

  

  

Corporate Stance on Climate Change

On Friday, June 25, Sister Josephine Badali signed a letter sent to the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec, Mr. Philippe Couillard. In this letter we express our concern for the environment and we “strongly call upon (…) the Heads of State, to make a firm, concerted and binding commitment against the threat of global warming and to counteract the catastrophic consequences. For our part, we commit to support the positive decisions you will make on this matter.”

The letter will be sent to a list of decision-makers presented by the social justice team of our provinces and regions.

 Read the letter sent to the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec, Mr. Philippe Couillard.

Corporate Stance on Climate Change

On Friday, June 25, Sister Josephine Badali signed a letter sent to the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec, Mr. Philippe Couillard. In this letter we express our concern for the environment and we “strongly call upon (…) the Heads of State, to make a firm, concerted and binding commitment against the threat of global warming and to counteract the catastrophic consequences. For our part, we commit to support the positive decisions you will make on this matter.”

The letter will be sent to a list of decision-makers presented by the social justice team of our provinces and regions.

 Read the letter sent to the Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec, Mr. Philippe Couillard.

News from Visitation Province

Welcome to the New cndvisitation.ca Website

When was the last time you visited our Visitation Province website (cndvisitation.ca)? Beginning this weekend, our website will have a new look because it is changing to a blog. For those of you who do not know much about the differences, you might not notice, however, you will see that it has a fresh look and is easier to navigate. You already might be familiar with the blog that Sr. Sheila Sullivan has and that Sr. Becky McKenna has for “The Small Plot.” The address for our updated Visitation website will remain the same, so you will not have trouble getting into it. Add it to your favorites or bookmarks, so that you can get in easily.

This site is a great way for your friends and other people outside the Congregation of Notre Dame to get to know the sisters and associates of Visitation Province and the global and local concerns that reflect our charism and commitment to justice. Anyone who visits the site will also be able to request prayers for a special intention. We need your help to keep our site current and meaningful. You can write up your own story and send pictures or have someone from the committee assist you with this. Committee Members are: Connie MacIsaac, Becky McKenna, June Wilkins, Karen Volpe, Congregation of Notre Dame associate, and Donna Kelly.

Donna Kelly, CND 

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Associate Newsletter: Visitation Province West/North, June 2015

VISITATION PROVINCE ASSEMBLY July 6- 10

Please join us in prayer during the week of the Assembly in Toronto

Prayer for Assembly

O God, ever ancient and ever new,
may your Spirit abide deeply in us.
Pour out on us the graces of
deep listening
expansive imagination
extravagant trust
audacious hope
as you call us forward.
Dwell in us as the source of love
as holy mystery
as creator
as presence
so together we can
transform and be transformed
create and be created
renew and be renewed.
We ask this trusting in the promise
that you will make all things new.
(Rhonda Miska, Adapted)

 

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Experiencing Community Life

Sisters in West Haven this week said good-by to Alyssa Brelsford, who has been with them in community for five weeks. Alyssa, social worker in Bridgeport, begins graduate studies at Columbia University this summer. During Holy Week in March, Alyssa, following the advice of the diocesan Vocation Director, reached out to religious communities in the area. She was asking to live in and share community life as she transitioned from job to Columbia.

West Haven’s own Sisters Marilyn, Dolores, Catherine and Rita welcomed Alyssa fully. Each evening since mid-May, Alyssa gratefully received their kind and generous interest in her life when she joined them for meals and prayer.

In addition, Alyssa, happy and capable in a kitchen, became the Monday night cook! “Alyssa has been a gift” say Catherine, Marilyn, Rita and Dolores, and so too have the Sisters been a gift in Alyssa’s life, in her journey to understand God’s will for her. Thank you, West HavenJ Your generosity models Marguerite as she heads down to the St. Lawrence to welcome the women of France to offer them trust and shelter.

 

Laudato Si and Science

YOU MAY HEAR THAT POPE FRANCIS is not scientifically qualified to write an Encyclical on Climate Change. Pope Francis makes it clear that he has consulted with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Academy includes 80 of the world’s top scientists, who hail from 36 countries. The Academy’s members have won 48 Nobel Prizes to date.

Stamford Catholic High School Reunion

REUNION: All Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters who served in 1965 at Stamford Catholic High School or who graduated around that time from SCH are invited as honored guests to a reunion celebration on October 16, 2015. Mass will be celebrated at 4:00 pm at Trinity Catholic High School followed by a tour of the school. From 6:00 to 10:00 pm there will be a reception at the Italian Center in Stamford. 

If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission

If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission (by Jo Piazza, Open Road Media, 2014, 258 p.),  tells the stories, briefly, of ten remarkable women, movers and shakers motivated by faith and conviction in their calling to do something! The author has confidence that if nuns ruled the world, things would get done! Jo describes herself as an agnostic. She is a reporter, an accomplished journalist, a fine story-teller and has been a commentator on CNN and FOX News, among other programs. She spent quality time learning from these women. She says Simone Campbell, of Nuns-on-the-bus, refers to the Pope as Frank(!) and she concludes this book with a lengthy quote from Joan Chittister’s 2012 address to the graduating class at Stanford University. It’s about being a leader and what that means. Inspirational read! 

Breaking the Silence Network Presentation

On June 10, Breaking the Silence Network of PEI brought in Crisanta Perez who is an indigenous Maya Mam woman from San Miguel, Guatemala. She is known as “the voice of resistance” against what is happening in their village and surrounding villages due to the activities of Gold Corp in the Marlin Mine, an open pit mine. It was heartbreaking to hear her testimony of their struggle to protect their land, their drinking water and the whole environment in which they live. She spoke about how divisive it is because some are selling their land and others are not. She is a courageous woman. Her presentation was followed by another one, about how we on PEI need to protect our natural resources particularly our water. A member of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water spoke about the High Capacity Wells (Deep Water Wells) issue and the belief that eventually the government is going to succumb to the pressure although they are saying they are in the process of drafting a Water Act. One startling statistic she quoted is that McCain Foods uses 9 million gallons of water a day to produce French Fries. 

Year of Consecrated Life – Cornwall

The Catholic Women’s League of St. Francis of Assisi Parish invited the sisters who worked or lived in St. Francis of Assisi Parish to a gathering to celebrate the year of Consecrated Life by a dinner and sharing. Dianne McCarville, president of the CWL, welcomed the sisters and members. The evening began with a short prayer service that ended with the words of Pope Francis: “Wake the world with daunting joy.” 

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Climate Action at Sydney Health Care Center

Our commitment to personal health and well-being must extend to the health of our beautiful planet Earth. That being said, we recently took measures to ensure that our ailing oil furnace be replaced by one that would do the least amount of harm to the environment. We are pleased to report that our furnace room now is home to a state of the art eco-stream boiler (furnace) that is considerably more efficient, produces significantly lower emissions and over time, will be happily more economical. What’s not to like about that! 

The photo above shows residents Sisters Agnes Cordeau, Catherine MacPhee and Edna Pertus taken on a recent visit to the bowels of our facility. Note their mode of transportation is one of our manually operated vehicles, that effectively reduces our carbon footprint while providing the added personal health benefit of daily exercise!

 

JPIC Welcomes the Pope's Encyclical

This is an historic moment as Pope Francis releases his much anticipated Encyclical on the environment and care for the Earth. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to promote awareness around the Pope's message to think not only of the human family but of all of natural creation. We encourage you to contact your local community and city media with news of the Encyclical.

Link to the encyclical in English:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

Province Assembly

O God, ever ancient and ever new, may your Spirit abide deeply in us.

How fitting that during this week of the publication of Pope Francis' Encyclical on the environment, we pray deep listening, expansive imagination, extravagant trust and audacious hope. The planning committee counts on the prayers of the whole province in the days of final preparation! Sister and associate participants received copies of the Province Assembly prayer. Copies were sent via email to associate co-coordinators to be circulated according to their usual practices. We will pray this together in Toronto and invite all those not physically present to join us so that we can transform and be transformed, create and be created, renew and be renewed.

Thanks!

News from Blessed Sacrament Province

General Conference: Sisters, The General Conference was a great success. Thank you to all who in any way welcomed our international sisters. They were deeply impressed by our Province enthusiasm and creativity for mission. Many were involved in this hospitality and we are grateful to all of you. The Provincial Council

 

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St. Matthew High School Supports the OK Clean Water Project

St. Matthew’s Social Justice Club under the direction of Fr. Zenon Hentosz presented their generous donation to OK Clean Water on Tuesday, June 16. The Social Justice Club organized a Bake Sale with many delicious goodies for the school population to purchase in support of the life-giving water cause in Kumbo, Cameroon. During the school year 2014-2015 an amazing total of $32,499.50 has been donated from 26 schools. Your generous support will enable more villagers to enjoy clean water and a better quality of life. A huge thank you to all. Blessings for a safe and happy summer!

www.okcleanwaterproject.org

Peace & Justice News - Blessed Sacrament Province

Blessed Sacrament Province has a Corporate Stand against the use of Torture and Pre-emptive War.

It is startling to learn that the USA accounts for 5% of the world’s population and 25 % of the world’s incarcerated population. It is saddening to learn that 122 men are still being held in Guantanamo Bay Detention Center even though 57 of them have been approved for transfer to home or third countries. It is devastating to learn that the USA holds more prisoners in solitary confinement than any other democratic nation. It is appalling to learn that for-profit prisons are thriving and that there are more than 40 state-run super-max prisons and one federal super-max prison in our country. All super-max prisons hold all prisoners in solitary confinement. Denied all meaningful contact with other people, those who have survived it describe the experience as being "buried alive." In the face of all of this, what can you do?

  1. You are invited to spend 23 hours fasting in solidarity with people who face 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. You pick the day and time. Click here to sign up to join the 23 Hour Fast for a #TortureFreeWorld.
  2. Visit www.nrcat.org for additional information and ideas for action.

I am very grateful for the wonderful solidarity demonstrated by you in your support of the proposed Corporate Stand on Climate Change. Have a blessed, restful summer.

News from Blessed Sacrament Province

GENERAL CHAPTER: We have all received the Preparation Booklet for the General Chapter of 2016. This comes from the Pre-Chapter Committee in Montreal. Just a heads up that the first step of the process is Personal Sharing followed by Group Sharing. The responses to this part are due by September 1st.

 
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News from Visitation Province

Mission Group

Seven members of the Planetary Pilgrims Mission Group gathered in sunny Summerside, June 5-6. At 7 p.m. on Friday all met to meet and greet and update. On Saturday morning, Maureen Baldwin, CND, led us in a discussion centered around the articles by Nancy Sylvester, IHM, including a contemplative listening sharing based on our Visitation Province Direction Statement.

Virginia Sullivan, CND 

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