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Appalled by the plight of refugees, hearing of their sufferings and being challenged by situations of injustice 20 Roman Catholic religious congregations established Becoming Neighbours. This is a programme that matches newcomers to Canada with established Torontonians who provide a presence and act as friends, guides and mentors during the newcomer’s initial adjustment to Canadian society. One of the founding congregations is the Congregation of Notre Dame whose sisters established Notre Dame Catholic High School in 1941.
Earth Day – April 22nd
Heavenly Father and Mother, thank you for our life-giving Earth that we celebrate today on Earth Day. Bless all the celebrations, educational programs, and projects that seek to express our appreciation for this great gift. May we be zealous for the Earth not just today, but every day of our lives. Guide us in the monumental and important mission of restoring the integrity of creation. We dedicate our lives anew to you and to this great work of our time. This we pray through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer from the CSJ Ministry for Social Justice, Peace, and Care of Earth
The radio stated that Queen Elizabeth is hitting age 90! What a coincidence that our Elizabeth Scully is also turning 90!
On Wednesday, April 20, Sister Elizabeth Scully will celebrate her 90th Birthday. We will have a small celebration on the actual day, but the real celebration will take place on Saturday, April 23 between 2:00 and 4:00. We will gather in the big parlor to the left of the main door. We invite CND Sisters to "drop in for a short visit" with her to share some memories and some simple refreshments. If you are not free that day, come and visit with her at your convenience. She loves visitors! Think of this as coming to "parlor" with someone who has given so much to so many of us CND's.
Marguerite Bourgeoys and Respect for Creation
In the Bible, the Book of Genesis, it is written that on the sixth day of creation God saw all he had made, and indeed, it was very good (Gn 1:31).
We can also say that, indeed, it was, and still is, very good. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell spoke about seeing Earth from space in this way:
Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth … home.
Friday, April 22, 2016, is Earth Day. This year’s theme is: Trees for the Earth
It is a day our attention is directed to promoting ecology concerns and respect for life on the planet, as well as to the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. Earth Day began in 1970 and there is a current focus on planting trees.
Eleanor McCloskey for JPIC
CBC presentation entitled “Still Standing”
Early in February, we, at St. Joseph Convent, Mabou were invited by Michael Schultz, Producer, to take part in a future CBC presentation entitled “Still Standing.” Visiting small communities throughout Canada, getting to know the local people, what makes them unique and what we as a country can learn from one another is the goal of such visitations. While we were unsure as to what our contribution might be, we agreed to be interviewed by Michael who was interested in knowing our contribution to the community of Mabou as members of the Congregation of Notre Dame community. Dating back to our foundation in 1887 when our Sisters became involved in education and having a presence among the people of Mabou and outlying communities sparked a keen interest on Michael’s part. This resulted in our agreeing to have a visit on March 2 from other members of the group who arrived in the village to spend several days getting to know its spirit. The hospitality shown them at the Mabou River Inn, Dalbrae Academy, the Red Shoe, the West Mabou Square Dance, the Trans Canada Trail on ATV’s , the local museum (An Drochaid), Glenora Distillary and an enjoyable cup of tea with the Sisters at SJC was rewarded with a wonderful gathering in the Mabou Community Hall on the eve of their departure. The highlight of this evening was a stand-up comedy show where host and guest comedian, Johnny Harris, incorporated the experiences of the group during their week among us into his humorous script. It was a wonderful evening of good cheer and genuine hospitality. We look forward to seeing Mabou’s contribution to “Still Standing” at some time during the year and will inform everyone as to the date.
Sisters of St. Joseph Convent, Mabou
Lourdes was evaluated by the State of Connecticut last week and received a deficiency free facility report. Our Congratulations to Lourdes and to all of the staff. This is a remarkable accomplishment.
Delegates to the General Chapter
Back Row: Joan Mahoney, CND; Jackie Hanrahan, CND; Maryann Calabrese, CND; Vicki Remson, Associate; Mary Anne Powers, CND; Joan Curtin, CND; Ona Bessette, CND; Mary Jo Hoag, Associate Front Row: Nancy Downing, CND; Alicia Parkinson, Associate; Maco Cassetta, CND; Beatrice Baker, CND; Patricia McCarthy, CND Missing – Patricia Flattery, CND
35th Anniversary of Associate Relationship Update
Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross
The 35th Anniversary Committee invites groups to think of activities that they can do to commemorate this special milestone in the life of the Congregation de Notre Dame. One idea that has been encouraged is for groups to plant a tree, shrub, flowers or vegetable garden. This would be a symbol of solidarity with the tree planted at the mother house. A Facebook page called, “35th Anniversary Living Network” was launched on February 11. It is a place where we can inform others about our 35th Anniversary activities.
The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee in Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Breakfast in Port Felix
On Sunday, February 21, 2016, the Parishioners of St. Joseph's Parish in Port Felix had their annual breakfast of bacon, sausage, bologna, hash browns, scramble eggs, pancakes, toast, Pearl's homemade jams, corn fritters, juice, tea and coffee. People come from far and near to enjoy Sister Alma's delicious corn fritters which she makes from scratch. Everyone leaves with a full belly.
Joan Tibbo, friend of CND
Sr. Cathy Crowley and her two animal “friends” hosted a celebration at Lourdes on Saturday, March 20th for our Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters. Commemorating the coming of Spring and the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Sisters enjoyed entertainment, an ice cream cake, gifts and the affectionate greetings of Cathy and the animals! As always, the getting together and a CND visitor were the best parts. THANKS, Cathy!
SEEDS is a Porte Parole Production (Montreal) written by Annabel Soutar and starring Eric Peterson (of Corner Gas and Street Legal fame). SEEDS has played in major Canadian cities since 2010, on tour from BC eastward, closing in Fredericton, March 19th. The local Raging Grannies were there, singing some great parodies about Monsanto.
This documentary theatre piece is the story of Saskatchewan canola farmer Percy Schmeiser's four-year legal battle with biotech giant Monsanto (1998-2004). Mr. Schmeiser continues to travel the world — he’s 84 now — talking about genetically modified organisms, the dangers of them, and the environmental and health and political ramifications of multinational corporations being able to copyright a seed. It continues to confront us with very serious questions. The answer to Schmeiser’s “Who owns Life?” question is about the future of our food system.
Eleanor McCloskey, CND, for JPIC
“April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.”
T.S.Eliot, the author of these first seven lines of his famous poem, “The Waste Land,” could well be a contemporary columnist for any paper in the world today. For New Englanders, April is always a tease for spring. The days can flip from sunny warm weather where coats are shed and windows opened to a late wintry blizzard which forces us to shovel, plow and keeps us inside by a fire.
For our last refection for Lent 2016, Sr. Réjeanne Bourque, CND invites us to Easter excitement and the wonder of the Resurrection. Sr. Réjeanne is a CND Sister in Visitation Province and lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. I am grateful that Anna Rowley, an Associate Co-Coordinator for Eastern Canada, sent me this reflection to share with all of you. And I am grateful to all who have contributed to our Lenten reflections, Sharon Norton, Kathy Chadwick, Barbara Houlihan Hecht, Dolores Libby and Christine Mc Michael. Thank you, too, to all of you who have prayerfully participated in our Lenten community by reading and reflecting each week and to those who shared their responses. May the beautiful season of Easter gladden each of us with the joy, peace and hope of the Risen Christ among us! Sr. Joan Mahoney, CND
The center of this Sunday’s readings is: The Passion of the Lord. At the risk of stating the obvious; the readings on Palm Sunday are long!
My thoughts about The Passion vary considerably based on the role I am fulfilling at the moment.
Back in the day, as a young, idealistic, single woman, I loved going to Mass on Palm Sunday by myself. Sure it was a long Mass, that was a given, but it was beautiful and peaceful, too. During those times, I would ponder so many complexities of the plot and the Passion narrative. In those times, I would be thinking like someone from the 21st century wanting to right the ills 21 centuries prior. I would get to Mass early and prayer fully ponder the 'what ifs?'. What if Pilate had been more resolute in his assertion of Jesus' innocence? What if Jesus behaved…differently? What if justice and love prevailed? What if? What if?
Earth Hour 2016 – The Future Starts Today
Saturday, March 19 at 8:30 - 9:30 pm local time
One hour without (non-essential) lighting, appliances or electrical devices. Last year, participation was reported in 172 countries and territories.
Our actions in our time will determine what the world will be like for generations to come. For a short video listing some good things that have resulted from decisions to act, see www.earthour.org
Eleanor McCloskey, CND for JPIC
2016 CND General Chapter
Rooted in Jesus Christ, Let us Cultivate Love and Compassion
General Chapter Associate Preparation
Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross
All associates are now being asked to read and reflect prayerfully upon the six associate and six sisters letters from the six areas of the Congregation (Canada, France, US, Japan, Central America and Cameroon) that we received in January.
Welcome CND associates and friends. My name is Dolores Libby, future associate who lives in Hayesville North Carolina and attends Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
John invites us in the March 13, 2016 Gospel, the fifth Sunday of Lent, to examine the words and actions of Jesus as He, Jesus, confronts the old law with the new. He teaches us that humankind should never judge or condemn for we all are sinners, and only God is without sin. He refused to mock, scold, ridicule or cast a sentence upon the woman caught in adultery because he was and is the essence of forgiveness and compassion. The only penance Jesus gave her was to go and sin no more.
On March 8th, St. Thomas Chaplaincy and the Diocesan Council of Development and Peace hosted a talk by Professor Tor Iorapuu, Executive Director of Youth Adolescent Reflection and Action Centre (YARAC) in North-Central Nigeria. A Development and Peace partner, YARAC is actively involved in peace building among and between Christians and Muslims in a country with a decades-long history of violence between ethnic and religious groups. They also have programs to empower women, to encourage entrepreneurs, and to promote the need for ecological and social justice in their country. Professor Iorapuu credits much of YARAC's success, particularly in "planting trees of social cohesion" among a new generation of young Nigerians, to the aid of Development and Peace and its generous supporters. I appreciated being there for the presentation and found him to be one of the best speaker-visitors. Also enjoyed the discussion after the formal talk! More info about D&P is available at www.devp.org