Sisters Mariana de Jesús Sagastume Ventura, Janet Lawrence (novice) and Claudia Margarita Juárez Juárez in Montreal during an international formation programme.
Photo, CND,2010

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This Changes Everything

Watch for a screening in your area of the documentary This Changes Everything. The film is inspired by Naomi Klein’s non-fiction book of the same name and visits communities around the world. Naomi narrates and shares her ideas that climate change crisis can help us see ways to improve our economic system. We have, through history, developed a disconnect with the natural world; we’ve worked to “control” and “master” nature. This film is about the power of people working together to promote change and make things happen differently. Groups and committees are arranging to show the film, often for no charge. 

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month

As November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, the students of Sydney Academy arranged a fundraiser to “Put your teacher in jail” for one class period. Each homeroom class was to bring in money to their homeroom teacher. The class who raised the greatest amount would then have their teacher arrested by staff member Constable Sonya Spencer of the Cape Breton Regional Police. The teacher would then be taken to a makeshift jail in the school cafeteria.

Congratulations to Sister Maureen Baldwin!

Congratulations to Dr. Maureen Baldwin, CND, who graduated with her Doctorate from Regis College and the University of Toronto on the Feast of Christ the King. Celebrating the occasion with the CNDs present were five members of her immediate family, as well as an aunt, an uncle and three cousins. A grand party followed at 877 Broadview Ave. 

Prayers for Paris

The UN Climate Conference in Paris starts in just a few days.

Don't forget to sign up for one hour of prayer with the Prayer Chain organized by Citizens for Public Justice. You can sign up and see who’s praying at: There are still lots of empty spots, especially in the second week. Click on the arrow on the calendar to see the empty slots available in week two. 

Advent Reflection for November 29, 2015 – First Sunday of Advent

Greetings fellow travelers!  Our Advent journey begins today.  I am Kathy Chadwick.  I am a retired high school teacher from Pensacola, Florida.  I have had the privilege of being an associate for nearly 17 years.

Today’s Gospel urges us to “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

I got stuck on the word stand.  There are many different ways we use that word in our ordinary speech.  I counted 21.  How many can you think of?  Stand up, stand for, stand with, stand together are just a few.  As I thought about this, I realized that most Visitation moments include the word stand.  We stand for something to those we meet.  We stand with others in a time of need.  We stand behind the weak to give them strength.  We stand up for the persecuted.

Year of Consecrated Life the parishioners at Saint Mary’s Parish, Montague, PE

To acknowledge The Year of Consecrated Life the parishioners of Saint Mary’s Parish, Montague, PE, invited Congregation of Notre Dame sisters who were born in the area, and sisters who ministered as teachers in the local schools or as Pastoral Associates to celebrate the Sunday Liturgy on September 29th. Sisters Clemmie and Elizabeth McCarron, Elizabeth Dunn, Joan Marie Chaisson, Bernadette Gallant, Noreen MacDonald and Regina McQuaid were able to come celebrate. This was a joyous occasion and an opportunity for the people to acknowledge and give thanks for all the sisters had done with and for the people in the area. Time to renew friendships over a cup of tea and homemade cookies brought back many memories. Father Gerard Chaisson was especially glad to see Sr. Clemmie, his high school English teacher. The sisters were treated to a dinner before their trip home. Clemmie summed it up this way: “I was not tired out but renewed from the wonderful gathering.” (photo left-right: Sr. Clemmie, Helen Martell, parishioner and Sr. Elizabeth).


Visistation To Paris ~ Climate Conference

UPDATE  as of SUNDAY November 22, 2015 for CND Community (update 11/25)

As we all grapple with and pray through the suffering, death and carnage  of this past week in Paris, and other terrorized spaces throughout the world: safety, security, violence, war, hatred, mercy, courage, anger, justice, peace, home, transformation,  jump through our minds in ever shifting patterns. Considering all of this while listening and living our way through decisions about the Climate Conference has produced a heightened awareness of this for me and my partners heading to Paris.  There is an emerging belief that the terror attacks reflective of the world’s destructive, destructive and dominating powers and despair, and the Climate Conference drawing thousands of people to Paris in hope that we can change the way we understand, see and act toward our Earth and all her creatures and one another.

Once again our brother Francis has put it so well in a recent address:  we are not just living in an era of change, we in the changing of eras... and all creation is on tip toe to see the sons and daughters of the human species come into their own... from Mary to Marguerite and all her descendants as we begin a new visitation...

More from Paris:  Michele Morek and I will be sending updates from Paris using the UNANIMA website, and I will post to our CND sites as well.  

60 Years of Religious Life

On November 1, 2015 at the 10:00 o’clock Mass celebrated by Father Odilon, SVD in Tobata Catholic Church, Sister Mary Gillis and Sister Teruko Suga celebrated the 60th Anniversary of their profession. A large number of parishioners were in attendance, and after Mass a celebratory homemade lunch prepared by the women of the parish and the sisters was enjoyed by all. Our two sisters were filled with joy. Sister Mary Gillis, speaking for both of them, shared the stories of their call and the role that encounter (deai) had played in each one, and they thanked everyone for the celebration. The sisters from both of our houses in Tobata then sang a song called “Ito” (Thread), which has “deai” as its theme. It is one of Miyuki Nakashima’s songs.

We all renewed our resolve to live as “daughters of the parish” in the tradition left to us by our foundress, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. 


Taking Action For The Paris Climate Conference

As we get closer to the Paris Conference, we are all invited to take action in whatever way we can. JPIC is highlighting two ways to get involved:

1. Join in the walk for 100% Possible: Marching Together for Climate Solutions. The weekend of November 28/29, just before the Climate Conference starts, the world will stand together for a weekend of global action to send a powerful message to global governments: Keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

Fun-Filled Day In Port Felix

On Saturday, Sep. 26, 2015 Sister Alma MacLellan presented the Myers Briggs Personality Test results to the ladies at St. Joseph's Parish Hall in Port Felix, Guysborough County. The ladies had previously completed a questionnaire and forwarded it to Sister Alma. The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type. The fun-filled day included lots of wonderful friends, food and laughs. 

Internationality Day

Gathered together in a circle in our Chapel and united with our sisters and associates around the globe, we were “Together, Beyond Borders.” Our opening song, “All People That on Earth Do Dwell,” reminded us that we were praying for all of humanity. As we placed the flags of the countries where our sisters minister on the center table, we prayed for those countries. We had a special remembrance for France, still grieving their terrible tragedy. Our periods of contemplative silence helped us to internalize the spirit of unity that prevails in our international community. The closing Blessing expresses it well: “Together, beyond borders, may we become for others, in community and with our sisters and brothers inhumanity, a blessing of peace and joy!” 

Two wonderful resources

1. Creation Care Kids Mini-Curriculum. This series of resources uses stories, activities and Scripture to bring the Laudato Si’ message alive. There are two editions, one for ages 5 – 8 and another for ages 9 – 12. This resource can be ordered from The Pastoral Centre in Alameda, CA.

2. A People’s Curriculum for the Earth. Edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart is a Rethinking Schools Publication. The website is This resource is good for older students and adults. 

Nk'mip Band First Nations women

Nk'mip Band First Nations women from Oliver are gathering together one evening a week to learn how to bead. So far, earrings, medallions and last week poppies have been made by the group. Some eventually want to learn how to make moccasins. A tradition that was almost lost because of Residential School. I am teaching the beading as I was taught from the elders when working in the Yukon.

An important time to stand with refugees

What a hard week-end this has been. Adding to all the suffering in Paris is the concern about what kind of backlash is being directed at the Syrian refugees. Already there is significant hesitation about Canada accepting Syrian refugees from governments, politicians and social media campaigns. In this time of heaviness, it is important to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable who are in danger of being further marginalized. Many of the Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters in Toronto are part of the Becoming Neighbours project which welcomes and supports refugees. Becoming Neighbours is very concerned about the anger and blame they are seeing flare up at this time. They are urging us to be a public voice of friendship and welcome by signing one of the two petitions below:

or by contacting your federal Member of Parliament to let her or him know that you urge them to continue to honour their pledge to welcome the Syrian refugees to Canada. 

UNANIMA is coming to Paris!

UNANIMA Board Chair Stacy Hanrahan CND, Coalition Coordinator Michele Morek OSU, and some other UNANIMA community representatives (e.g. SNJM) will attend the UN Climate Change Conference from November 30th to December 11th.  If there are any UNANIMA groups who would like for us to give a presentation on your work at the United Nations while we are there, please notify Michele at In Paris we will be staying with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion, but hope to meet other UNANIMA members who might be attending the conference… would you please contact us if you plan to attend? Maybe we can meet for tea.

The Conference Centre where the UN will meet (in Le Bourget, Paris) will not be accessible to all, but France has built a lovely big place for the general public, right next to the Conference Centre. This vast space is open to all, and will host debates, conferences, cultural exhibitions, film screenings, and civil society displays on climate change. For more information check the French government’s website (in French, English and Spanish) at


"Impression": A Commemorative Sculpture in Honour of the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame

On Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. across from the building at 2 Sainte-Anne Street, the public artwork entitled Impression, a work commissioned by the City of Pointe-Claire and a collaborative creation by artists Eileen Finn and Shelley Miller, was unveiled.

The sculpture was created to recognize the 230-year presence of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame in Pointe-Claire. As teachers, neighbours and as friends, the six hundred five sisters who lived at the convent and later at the CND retirement facility (when the building’s vocation changed), had a marked impact on the community. Indeed, well into the 21st century they continued to be involved in the community; some provided help to students with school work or offered spirituality classes.


Stay Awake and Wake Up The World

On October 18th Sister Lorraine Caza CND gave a talk on the Year of Consecrated Life at St. Pius X Church in Charlottetown. 


Click here to read the full text of her wonderful talk.

Internationality Celebrations at the Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Together with our holy foundress, who arrived in Ville-Marie with “La Grande Recrue” on November 16, 1653, we celebrate, for the 18th consecutive year, CND internationality. 

In solidarity with all the sisters and associates of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, we are invited to live this prayer centred on mutuality and interculturality.

United with consecrated persons during this year of consecrated life, and thinking of the migrants and of all the situations of misery that this crisis causes.

 Together, Beyond Borders 

News from Visitation Province

Internationality Prayer

We are celebrating for the 18th year, Congregation of Notre Dame Internationality on November 16th. We have received a prayer “Together Beyond Borders” prepared for the whole community for our CND celebration of Internationality.

Nina Glinski, with members of the leadership team 

News from Visitation Province

Greetings to Everyone in This Month of All Saints

As we begin a new month, let’s remember that not all saints are canonized. We are connecting with saints every day, so let us celebrate the saints within us and all around us.

We also remember all those veterans who gave their lives so that we can live a life of freedom.