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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice. See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010. Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government. Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen. Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017. It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice.  See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010.  Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government.  Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen.  Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017.  It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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ST. MARGUERITE MASS

On Thursday, January 12th at 10:00 a.m. the televised liturgy of the Eucharist honored St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.  Four CND sisters from Waterbury were in attendance.  Father Robert Russo from the Holy Family in Enfield celebrated the Mass.  I’m sure St. Marguerite was extremely gratified that the Holy Family honored her in this way.

Prayer of Love

Composed and read by Sister Terry Martin, cnd on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial Service held at Texana, N.C. on January 16, 2017 on the 25th anniversary of their Community Center which Sister Terry helped to establish and rebuild in the community.

Theme of the day: “There is but one human race” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lord, we come before you this morning realizing more deeply each day, that you truly are a loving God, that you are an unconditional lover.

We come before you with a grateful heart for the countless ways you have loved us.

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Prayer of Love

Composed and read by Sister Terry Martin, cnd on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial Service held at Texana, N.C. on January 16, 2017 on the 25th anniversary of their Community Center which Sister Terry helped to establish and rebuild in the community.

Theme of the day: “There is but one human race” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lord, we come before you this morning realizing more deeply each day, that you truly are a loving God, that you are an unconditional lover.

We come before you with a grateful heart for the countless ways you have loved us.

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Movie: Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty boasts a stellar cast. Will Smith (superb), Helen Millar (old and wise), Kate Winslet (compassion personified) and Jacob Latimore (talented teen) among others. Its story presents heavy issues of grief and a struggle to move on, and good friends desperate to help a gifted and well-respected business associate. Actors are hired to play Love, Time and Death in response to the outreach of the main character. Will Smith’s deep trouble is eventually resolved and there’s a kind of predictable “happy” ending for everyone. Though not a must-see, I liked this movie; no guns, explosions, car chases, gangsters, evil plots or pay back schemes. And it’s set in New York, complete with Christmas lights, fluffy snow and city magic. 

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Mass for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Mass celebrated on January 15th, world day of migrants and refugees, in the Chapel Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours.

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January Article for the Rhode Island Catholic

For the past fifty years January 1st has been celebrated as a World Day of Peace. There is hardly a country in the entire world that has not been involved in wars, police actions, uprisings or violent oppression of human rights.  Does the Day of Peace mean anything or is it merely a pious idea pushed by the Pope year after year? This question can only be answered in the human heart of every person who has lived during these past fifty years.

Some have never heard the word of peace and have lived in the midst of and perpetrated violence in its many forms: domestic and international. Some have heard the word, embraced it for a time and then resorted to violence in their own interpretation of extreme circumstances. Some have heard the cry for peace, prayed for strength and courage to whomever they name as their god, and held fast to the desire for peace by the nonviolence of their own lives.

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Being Truly Aware of God’s Presence and God’s Call

“I made profession in 1951. My name is Georgina MacInnis. I’m a very happy Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sister. I had a real definite conviction that that’s where I was to spend my life, and I never looked back.”

 

Sister Georgina did not always want to be a religious. She had decided after high school to go to Teacher’s College but, she says “I wasn’t even convinced after that that I wanted to teach!” She thought she would try it for a year. She was only 18, and taught in 8 grades in a small town along the Atlantic Ocean. None of the children in the school were Catholic: Sister Georgina had really opted for a situation that was different from all she knew. That radical choice lead her to an even more radical one after that, as she decided to enter religious life.

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Prayer service for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys, 2017

“Go to the peripheries.  In a spirit of mutuality and collaboration, respond in hope to the cries of our wounded world.” The second direction of the CND Orientation 2016-2021

Suggested Opening Song:  Mission Song (Ave, Kathleen Deignan, CND) you may wish to intersperse verses after each reading

We will gather up the Blood of the Savior,

which is shed by the ignorance of people.

We will gather up the Blood of the Lord.

 

We will teach the gospel of justice;

we will labor for the kingdom of peace.

 

We will sow the seeds of the Spirit;

we will harvest the fruit of new life.

 

We have come to the new land to labor

for the new world promised in Christ.

 

May there always be written on

our dwellings the great commandment of love.

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The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation

We are astounded at times by the new information unfolding about creation, about the world, about the changes that keep moving into our understanding, into our cultural sureness, and into our perception of just about everything. So what about our image of God? In Divine Dance, Richard Rohr writes of the Trinity as relationship. He uses descriptive words like “endless flow of giving and receiving;” of “rhythmic movement” among Father, Son, and Spirit, the kind of movement we experience in dancing. God is a dancer, and God is the dance itself! We are invited to join in. “It all comes to this: do you allow the free-flow or do you stop it by endless forms of resistance, judgment, negativity and fear?” This book is a treasure, a joyful treat that concludes with eighteen pages of ideas of how to practice the “divine dance that animates the cosmos and invites us in.” 

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Celebrating a History

One of the interesting experiences of living in a community of three congregations as we do here at Providence Mother House, is learning more about one another’s founding stories. On December 13, the Sisters of Providence of Kingston celebrated 155 years since the arrival of the first group of four Sisters who came from Montreal in 1861 at the request of Bishop Horan to begin a new foundation. They were preceded by the CND’s who came in 1841 for the education of girls and the RHSJ’s in 1845, whose mission was to care for the sick by opening a hospital. The Sisters of Providence came to serve the poor and destitute of the city. Their mission involved opening an orphanage, a home for the aged, visiting prisons, and supporting the poorest people of the society of the time. The celebration in honour of the founding Sisters took place in a beautiful prayer service during which the story of the founding days was recounted along with a time of remembrance of the Sisters who had entered the community in the first ten years. During the special meal that followed, Sister Sandra Shannon, General Superior, recognized the contribution of the two communities who had welcomed and supported them in those early days, and who are now living with one another within their Mother House. “It is now as it was in the beginning,” Sister Sandra reflected.

Throughout the meal, conversations continued with sharing other foundation and community stories of each of our communities.

Thank you, Sisters of Providence, for your 155 years of devoted, compassionate service to the people of Kingston and beyond. 

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“Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.”

And the angel said unto them

“Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.”

The shepherds heard such a message and we at Andrews of Charlottetown experienced God’s calling of two of our sisters. Sister Elizabeth, who every day greeted one with a smile, died the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016. She was known as one who showed joy and compassion throughout her teaching years on PEI and in her mingling with the Tahlton First Nation people at Mary Magdalene Mission in Dease Lake, BC.

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Area Gatherings

On Saturday, December 10th a profitable and enjoyable gathering of sisters and associates took place at St. Joseph Convent, Mabou. Sr. Ann Broderick led us in a reflective prayer followed by a wonderful overview of the General Chapter proceedings. The PowerPoint presentation showed the joyful spirit which permeated the event. Following a short tea/coffee break Sr. Connie MacIsaac led us in looking ahead to the upcoming Provincial Chapter which takes place from July 10-16, 2017. The personal sharing following both presentations gave all of us opportunities to bring the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Orientation 2016-2021 and Visitation Province Direction Statement to prayer and further implementation. A Reflective Prayer brought our gathering to a close with deep gratitude to Srs. Ann and Connie and to all for making this gathering possible despite the busyness of the Season.

Catherine MacEachern, CND

Photo taken by Sr. Becky McKenna

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A new leadership for Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Region!

Magnificat!

Leader: Martha Lucía Pérez Gutiérrez

Associate: Clara Marina Quintanilla Martínez

Councillors:

María Emelí Alba Teruel

Sandra Margarita Sierra Flores

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Regina is the Co-coordinator of the Associate Relationship for Blessed Sacrament Province. Her reflection reveals how the Advent scriptures bring light to our life’s concerns.

When I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I say a prayer and tell myself to turn the problem over to Jesus. I do this pretty often and since I don’t want to wear out my welcome, I switch over to others including Mary, Marguerite Bourgeoys and Therese of Lisieux. This advent season I’ve been worried about my sister and her accelerating memory loss which is more and more pronounced over time. My mother suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s and my anxiety is palpable and affecting my ability to focus and stay somewhat centered.

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Visit to the Maritimes (2)

Sister Ann Marie McDougall – A Mission of Compassion

On November 9, we met Sister Ann Marie at Parkland Residence in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sister Ann Marie would have been very happy to give us a filmed interview, only that a regrettable fall forced us to change our plans. Fortunately, Sister Ann Marie was not seriously hurt. However, because of the bruises on her face, it was best to put away the camera for another time. Still, nothing dampens Sister Ann Marie’s humour! To those who asked her what had happened to her, she laughingly answered in a heartbeat, “Oh, I won the fight!” While we remember her sense of humour from our interview, the two words that describe her are: gratitude and her compassion.

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Third Sunday of Advent

Jennifer lives in Ontario and works in an agency assisting new immigrants. She reminds us how important it is not to miss Advent and to discern how we are to respond to the invitation of Advent.

We rejoice this Gaudete Sunday. The birth of our Lord is near. The readings fill our thirst for justice, calm our fears and inspire us with great hope. We hear of “abundant flowers” and “everlasting joy” (Isaiah). “The blind regain their sight” and “the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” (Matthew) Wow! Feels like it may be Christmas already!

Not so fast. Our second reading reminds us to be patient. “Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it, until it receives the early and late rains. You too must be patient.” (James)

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CND World Social Forum Event Featured In Citizens For Public Justice Newsletter

A review of our event, "Climate Change: Hope in Action through the Arts" was featured in the most recent edition of The Catalyst. You can read it on line here: https://www.cpj.ca/climate-action-through-arts.

 

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A Meaningful Mini Retreat

A mini Advent retreat was held at Regis College on December 3, beginning at 12 o'clock with soup, bread and a beverage. It consisted of four sessions of a reading from scripture, a short reflection and 20 minutes of silent contemplation. The retreat ended with Eucharist at 4:15 pm. A meaningful pause during Advent! 

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