Our province has joined U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT). U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking is a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy in an effort to eradicate modern-day slavery. USCSAHT provides members with a public, corporate voice on the issue of human trafficking and the opportunity to share resources, experience, and expertise. Learn more about USCSAHT at their Website http://sistersagainsttrafficking.org/
FIRST ASSOCIATE ASSEMBLY, April 17-19, 2015, Wilton, CT:Call to Visitation: The Associate Relationship, Past, Present and Future. Energy of Visitation, enthusiasm for mission, pride in the Congregation of Notre Dame heritage and reality, gratitude for Associate Relationship, motivation to invite, connection to larger Congregation of Notre Dame community, confidence in the present and new hope for the future, importance of being Church, dedication of all to Associate Relationship, “explosion” of bonds connecting us in Congregation of Notre Dame charism! These were words heard during the weekend and written in evaluations.
Forty-eight associates, three associate candidates and twelve sisters participated in the whole weekend or all day Saturday. Two of the associates were Ann Gotfryd and Adele Mercier, the co-coordinators of the Congregation of Notre Dame Central Office for Associate Relationship.
Began meeting individually with Advisory Committee members
Began visiting sisters individually and observing their ministries, including Notre Dame Academy and the Children’s Community School in Waterbury
Scheduled future visits to sisters and missions in upcoming weeks
Cultivated donors with thank you calls to major and loyal donors ($100 + or have given for 3+ consecutive years)
Revised all thank you letters
Continued to drive engagement with the Congregation of Notre Dame through weekly or more Facebook postings
Deepened my knowledge of the Congregation of Notre Dame charism by attending the Associate Relationship assembly
Okayed final proof of the Spring Appeal letter, which will be mailed in May
Researched major and loyal donors and set up a schedule to meet with them individually
Continued work on a general case for support (document that will serve as basis for future appeals and constituent outreach) – this is an ongoing project that will be enhanced by visits to sisters, missions and donors
Scheduled a second Advisory Committee meeting for May 19
Scheduled attendance at an NCDC workshop on major gifts on May 5
Continued to consult with the Congregation’s Communications Services in Montreal about social media questions and the Congregation’s website
On a sunny and snow-free April 9th, sister Arlita Matte, of the Congregational Leadership Team, met with sisters and associates at the Visitation Province Centre in Bedford, NS. Halifax sisters and associates were joined by New Glasgow sisters, Truro associates and an associate co-coordinator.
Fans of Helen Mirren delight in watching her play an octogenarian widow, a refugee from Austria during WWII, in an 8-year fight to get back her family’s art treasures. She is feisty and firm and her young lawyer helps her persevere. The real Maria Altmann died in 2011.
Many thanks to the English-speaking sisters of Montreal for attending my 103rd birthday party on Sunday, April 12. Much work went into the preparations... namely the beautiful decorations, the delicious tea, enjoyable reminiscing including jokes with a few exaggerations added for good measure. Thank you, also, for the kind wishes by mail and telephone which were gratefully received. It is true that the third number in 103 is a not a common occurrence, so a "Merci, mon Dieu," is in order and a big thank you to all who contributed to this happy day. God bless!
The process has been well underway with letters from sister Josephine Badali and the province leadership team. Associates have been receiving material through the Central Office for Associate Relationship and groups of sisters and associates have been using the congregational resources and gathering in groups across the country to reflect upon and discuss the corporate stance and the issue of climate change and how to take climate action. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the JPIC Office.
The Canadian Council of Churches and Citizens for Public Justice have announced the schedule for their Justice Tour 2015. This series of faithful gatherings of concerned Christians will take place in cities across Canada from April 13 to May 13.
Come to pray, engage and learn what faith communities are saying and doing about climate change and poverty.
Find out how your voice can help!
We are happy to announce that our Province Assembly will provide an opportunity for a stroll through a ‘Market Place!’
On the Tuesday evening of the Assembly, the main room will be transformed into an array of booths proudly highlighting, celebrating and promoting current ministries of Visitation Province.
At this time we are inviting Sisters and Associates to reserve your booth/table – a place where you can proudly display your ministry and provide ongoing education and reflection. Indeed, this is an opportunity for various committees and facets of Visitation province life to be highlighted and honoured all in one convenient location. The possibilities are endless! Booths could show a video or board display or provide literature or simply interact and engage in conversation about a ministry thus, allowing ‘market strollers’ to learn more about the ministry, pick-up literature or simply interact with ‘booth vendors.’
Good Shepherd, Sunday, April 26 – Letter of Pope Francis
As we celebrate World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis’ letter might be a helpful resource for us, as personal reflection or background reading for community prayer and sharing. I invite all of us to join together with people around the world in prayer for vocations this Sunday, and I ask you to pray in a special way for those women who are presently discerning a call to religious life, and there are a few. Please see the April 20th letter.
Committed to hosting an ecumenical event that would be a way to expand our consciousness of Climate Change and to inspire us to take courageous action around the urgency of this issue we held our first film night April 13th. We had a turnout of 22 people, which is great for a small town. Our first film was a very moving one: The Wisdom to Survive. After our viewing of the film we had a 20-minute discussion making links with our local situation. It is obvious that people are very alarmed by the increasing signs of profound climate change and the effects on all life species, on those who are most poor and on the next generations. Five people volunteered to be part of a steering committee to research other good films that have relevance for us. A wonderful beginning!
In the United States, Arbor Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on the last Friday of April. It is a time for people to get their hands in the dirt and plant and/or care for trees, bushes and plants.
The members of the Wellness and Health Resource Team met in Summerside with the community leaders of our Senior Residences. Our guest speaker was Dr. Maureen Shea, who led us through a reflective and interesting day on the topic of “Care for the Caregiver.” We appreciated the way in which prayer was interspersed throughout the day. We benefited from Maureen’s wisdom and experience and from our sharing with our counterparts from Toronto, Montréal, Kingston, Sydney and Charlottetown and with our CLT liaison Sister Catherine Walker. Thanks to our Summerside sisters for the gracious hospitality. More details by the WHRT will follow in the Visitation News.
On March 27th, we enjoyed a visit from Father Tom Rosica, CSB, English Assistant to the Vatican Communication Office and CEO of Salt and Light Television. While he was visiting the students at UPEI, Sister Susan Kidd made arrangements to include us in his schedule. Father Tom showed a genuine interest in our community and spoke to us about Pope Francis and the Year of Consecrated Life. His close encounters with the Pope helped to make his presentation personal and most interesting. We are grateful to Sue for making this visit possible.