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From August 23-26, 2016, Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, gathered in General Chapter, are discerning and entering an election process.
During Chapter, delegates elect the sisters who will form the new leadership team for the next five years: the Congregation Leader, the Associate to the Congregation Leader and the other councillors. The election process unfolds in several stages:
Thursday, August 18, 2016
“Rooted in Jesus Christ, let us cultivate love and compassion”
Morning contemplative prayer included individual requests from several delegates for prayer. All were united in prayers of petition. Each morning the facilitator focuses the delegates on the tasks of the day.
On Monday August 1, 2016 Visi Edwin, the Ok consultant and engineer for eight years, assumed the new role of COUNTRY DIRECTOR. He will be assisted by Litika Collins as the COMMUNITY LIASON OFFICER.
The “handing over” is a major step forward for the OK project as it moves towards its goals of becoming an Association recognized by the Cameroonian government and achieving financial sustainability. The OK Committee in Ottawa supports these efforts wholeheartedly and has committed itself to continue to provide assistance for three years.
The “handing over” which took place at the new office of the OK project was attended by members of the Advisory Committee and a few collaborators.
Thank you for your support over the years.
World Social Forum
Friday, August 12, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Monument National, 1182 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal
Asking if this was their first visit to Bon Secours, I zeroed in on the Anglophone tourists as they entered the church. Their names escape me, as do most of their faces, but they came from every continent, spoke English with every accent. Most were open to hearing the “five-minute version” of Marguerite’s life. The young woman from Taiwan listened thoughtfully, murmuring “Cool!” at each of my pauses. The tall blonde German girl was wide-eyed, completely surprised at nearly everything she heard. The confident young woman from Vancouver, backpacking across Canada, exuded deep appreciation of Marguerite’s courage.
Most of their questions I could answer; a few I had to pass on to the attractive and quite knowledgeable young guides in 17th-century attire. If necessary, I asked Sr. Joyce Roberts for her help, which she gladly gave: “Yes, Jeanne Le Ber’s bones are buried in the east wall of the chapel. They were brought here from the Westmount Avenue mother house in 2005. Before the process was begun, the doctors and canon lawyers had examined the bones: definitely female, knees very worn from kneeling, front teeth worn from cutting threads.”
True to our mandate, on Wednesday, June 29th, the members of Comité vert enjoyed un vrai pique-nique écologique to mark the end of the year.
Nourished by delicious tamales made by Carmen, one of the members of the Committee, we then walked over to Dawson College where Chris Adam welcomed us. Chris, who is the heart and soul of the Living Campus Project at Dawson, facilitated the next part of our activity. With passion and energy he spoke of education at Dawson, care for the students and all creation. We then spent a few moments in the Peace Garden which made our hour together very special.
We are half through our programming year and we are off to a good start. Our main focus being action as follow-up to our Corporate Stance commitment for climate action around the Paris talks, we have been participating as a Province in the CRC Post-Paris Conference cross Canada event. Sessions have already been held in Ottawa and Toronto and dates for Montreal, Kingston, Halifax and Vancouver are soon to be announced. We are also continuing to work on dates for Charlottetown, Kamloops and other Congregation of Notre Dame connected locations. We are waiting for the video version to be ready, so that it can be distributed to those who were not able to attend the ‘live’ version and then planning can begin for the Congregation of Notre Dame reflection day connected to the conference. In addition, we have been engaging in advocacy with the federal government as they consult on the content for the national plan on climate action that will be released at the end of this year. Many of us used the on line form to contribute our opinions electronically and requested, attended and spoke at Town Halls hosted by MP’s and community groups.
Finding Dory, with Ellen DeGeneres speaking for Dory, is fun. I was not fortunate enough to have a child to take with me to enjoy the story but I went with two adults who allowed their inner child to join mine. Dory suffers from short-term memory loss – every 10 seconds or so – but she never forgets home and what she learned there. Some catchy one-liners along the way. Brilliant color photography and 3D glasses provided! Imagination required!
Over the last twenty (20) to forty (40) years we have become acutely aware of our growing diminishment. Downsizing our infrastructure in recent years is one visible sign of diminishment. The average age of our sisters continues to rise. There has been a major decline in the number of Sisters in active ministry. We see an increase in the number of Sisters moving into assisted living and long term care, not to mention the number that die each year. During these years, we have witnessed a huge decline in new vocations. This familiar landscape, common to all Religious Congregations, is explored by Sister Amy Hereford, CSJ in an article entitled “Vocation Ministry on the Precipice”.
The Status of Women website provides information about a number of initiatives in support of gender equality and the development of a Federal Strategy against Gender-based Violence. There is a good section on gender-based analysis i.e. measuring gender equality. There is information about funding possibilities and links to publications. You can view at http://swc-cfc.gc.ca/index-en.html
On Saturday, June 25th the Miramichi Branch of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society welcomed author and journalist Sally Armstrong. Sally spoke mainly about her books: The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, the story of her great-great-great grandmother; and Ascent of Women, with stories of her work in Afghanistan. Charlotte Taylor was a courageous early settler in the Miramichi area. Archival research shows she made the journey on foot (snowshoes, mostly) from Miramichi to Fredericton to lay claim to her late husband’s property. The book (Vintage Press: 2007) is a fascinating story of a strong woman who survived and thrived in hard times; she lived from 1755 to 1841. Her extended family continues to hold a reunion every five years.
Sally’s presentation was at the Friendly Neighbor Senior Citizens Centre in Nelson-Miramichi, N.B. The building used to be what we called “the little white school,” a small elementary school where many of our CND sisters taught in decades past!
Environment Minister McKenna has invited Canadians to participate in crafting the principles of Canada's Climate Action Plan. It has been suggested by Government that Members of Parliament host Town Hall meetings in their ridings. On PEI we have four MPs and I am pleased to share the good news that they will be co-hosting Town Hall consultations on Climate Change with ECOPEI. This is scheduled for August 10 at Confederation Landing, Charlottetown from 5pm to 7pm. As well, each of the MPs will be hosting their own within their constituency. To date Wayne Easter announced that his Town Hall will be held in Hunter River on July 13. For further information there will be an ad in both the July and August editions of the Buzz paper.
Hopefully, those of us living near will make every effort to participate and to encourage others, family and friends to come out and to show support to those more involved. Presently, I don't know what the format will be, however it would be easy to get this information.
Let us pray that there will be many Town Hall consultations across the country and that our government will move forward in the right direction.
June 2 & 3, 2017
Theme: Greening Our Hearts: Creation Spirituality Today
Facilitator: Dolores Hall
Mount Saint Vincent University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
By Kathleen Deignan and Kevin Cawley
An e-course is being offered by Spirituality and Practice
July 4 – 29, 2016 at a cost of $59.95 [US funds]
Try something new... it’s easy. You can do it!
An exploration of the contemplative depth and call to practice in Thomas Berry's works.
Kathleen and Kevin share a mission to bring ecological wisdom to faith and education communities, particularly the legacy of Thomas Berry and also the challenges of Pope Francis, whose recent letter to the world — Laudato Si — is a global summons to care for our common home. In this way they hope to contribute to The Great Work of our time: healing the human soul that we might heal the Earth.
In this exclusive e-course developed for Spirituality & Practice, Kathleen and Kevin will draw out the contemplative depth and call to practice in Berry's works. They will focus on foundational themes from his life -- like Storyteller of the Universe, Mystic of the Meadow, and Master of Creation Spirituality -- drawn from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community, published by Orbis in 2014.
You can register for this e-course at: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses