On Saturday, February 21, at St. Dunstan's Church in Fredericton, NB, the Regional Council held a consultative meeting. Attendance by members from Saint John, Woodstock, New Maryland and three of the Fredericton parishes made for lively discussions. Our meeting opened with an appropriate prayer service sharing selected quotes from Pope Francis. The objective of this consultative meeting was to launch a reflection among our members, at the local and diocesan levels, on the current and future contexts and issues surrounding Development and Peace, as part of the discussions leading to the Orientation Assembly. Breaking into groups to discuss the questions with which we were presented gave us ample areas to cover and resulted in a report that will prepare our reps to be well informed for the Orientation Assembly. Two members were then selected to attend that event to be held in Otterburne, Manitoba, June 12 - 14, 2015.
Biblical history reveals that journeys to the mountain were occasions for Divine encounters. When Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain, no doubt they anticipated that something of wondrous magnitude would occur. We can only imagine their thoughts as they journeyed up the mountain led by their beloved rabbi, and how they were transformed by their mountain experience.
In Genesis 22, the first reading, Abraham is called upon to sacrifice what is most precious to him, Isaac. Abraham is tested to see how far he will go to keep his covenant with God. Take some time to reflect on who or what you have sacrificed in your past to keep your covenant with God. Recently for me, it was staying in a marriage where my husband did not share the spiritual journey with me in order to keep my family together and to honor our marriage covenant. What about now? Who or what keeps you from that divine union where nothing else matters? I ask myself, am I afraid to leave the comfort of friends to journey to the unknown? Am I too comfortable to risk setting out on my own with no clear path forward? Is my parish family one I am called to leave behind to find my current calling, but where I can also be fed?
Holy Cross Center, 357 Island Pond Road, Manchester, NH; July 27 – August 2, 2015 – Saying “YES” to the Call of Aging - Presenter: Ann Billard, OLM Ph.D. Direction available with: Pauline Plante, CSC and Mary Schneiders, OP
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel in Montreal is looking for Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters to volunteer during the summer. The request is going to the whole Congregation. There is no need to speak French. They simply want a Sister presence in the chapel during the day to meet visitors, many of whom are from the USA. There are people there to give tours; the need is just for a presence.
On Sunday, March 15th at 2 p.m. a slide show titled "Honoring Women, their lives and their gifts" will be presented at Andrus. Three Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters are among the women being honored: Sisters Dorothy Siemsen, Eileen Kelly and Carolyn Kinnamon. The women highlighted have been photographed and their gifts and life's passions will be highlighted. This exhibit recognizes women who have dedicated their lives to helping people. Congratulations to Sisters Dorothy, Eileen and Carolyn!!! All are invited to attend who are able. The accompanying exhibit will run from February 26th through March 30th at Andrus.
THANK YOU: A big THANK YOU from Sr. Beth Davies for your messages of support and concern following the Feb 12th total fire loss of the Pennington Gap Virginia Town Hall, the location of the Addiction Education Center where Sister Beth has ministered since 1982. The work of re-organizing for Sister Beth is on hold while our area also deals with the recent snow, cold, flooding and survival needs of both Lee and Wise Counties. Both counties are now under states of emergency with the National Guard. Many folks are homebound during this time, including Sister Beth. Internet and cell service for Sister Beth is unavailable at her home so for now her message is, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for you love and prayers.”
Central Region CND associate representatives from Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and Toronto met on February 13th and 14th in Kingston to share ideas and information and plan for the future. The week-end also included prayers of thanksgiving, a wine and cheese social and a shared meal. We enjoyed the hospitality at the Providence Motherhouse and out-of-town representatives were billeted with Kingston Associates.
The Vocation/Formation Committee met this past weekend at the Mother House. We were heartened to hear reports about how Consecrated Life is being celebrated in different corners of the province, both at the diocesan level and within our Congregation of Notre Dame communities. Let us continue to give thanks for the wonderful contribution made by religious to Church and Society over the ages. - Sheila Sullivan, CND
The committee members, Susan Kidd, Maureen Baldwin, Maureen MacIsaac, Rebecca McKenna and PLT Liaison Catherine Walker have had several conference calls and a two-day meeting in Bedford which included a telephone call with Nancy Sylvester. More conference calls are scheduled along with a weekend meeting in May at The Small Plot. We are a small but enthusiastic committee. Our journey continues...
The facilitator Nancy Sylvester, IHM
The theme for the Assembly will be, “How Then Shall We Live?”
The logo will be an image of a hedge fence.
Theme songs for the Assembly will be “If Not Now, Tell Me When” by Carrie Newcomer, and “How Then Shall We Live” by Linnea Good.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) presents a new book, I Will Give You the Treasures of Darkness, a reflective resource for our spiritual journey.
As the world lives through chaotic and often difficult times, one of the most important skis we can develop is a capacity to live peacefully in dark and murky experiences. Based on the text of Isaiah 45:3, “I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places,: the book focuses on God’s work in our lives in the midst of the mystery of darkness.
The images and stories are shared with the hope that they will assist readers to plumb the richness of the dark experiences in their own lives and find the wisdom there that God may be inviting them to discover.
A copy of the 2015 Reflection Booklet has been ordered for each sister. When they arrive in the Bedford office, they will make their way to you either by mail or personal delivery with someone travelling your way.
Three of our beloved community members left us in December to celebrate Christmas in the joy of New Life: Sisters Dorothy McCarron, Alfreda Rogers and Margaret Arsenault. Then came the shock of the sudden death of our dear companion, Sister Mary Cummiskey, on January 18. We miss them and mourn the loss of these four beautiful women. However, we are consoled by the tremendous display of sympathy and support we received from community, family members and friends. We are grateful for the beautiful messages from our Provincial Administration Team and so many others from Visitation Province and beyond: letters, cards, emails, telephone calls, etc. We deeply appreciated the presence of our many CND sisters and family members who shared their memories of our loved ones so beautifully at the Memorial Services held before the wakes! The outpouring of visitors at the wakes and funerals and the eloquent tributes expressed by our pastor, Fr. Floyd Gallant, were touching manifestations of the high esteem in which our departed loved ones were held. Our heartfelt thanks to all who showed their love and concern in so many ways!
In the past year we have seen the move to two associate co-coordinators in both the Central and Eastern Regions. In June we will see the completion of Winnie Odo’s second term as associate co-coordinator for the Eastern Region. We, the leadership team, are very grateful for Winnie’s many years of creative and generous service to and with associates and sisters. We extend to Winnie our best wishes for a future full of hope and continuing service in new and wonderful directions.
A highlight of the January 2015 General Conference was the two-day workshop with Father Anthony Gittins, CSSp. All Province and Region team members were invited to attend this workshop. Father Gittins has taught Theology and Cultural Anthropology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago since 1984 and he is the author of many books. His new book, Living Mission Interculturally – Faith and Culture, will be published in the spring. It was a gift that all members of our Administration Team participated in this workshop with the hope of sharing it in some way with all our membership.
Bernadette Gallant generously accepted "to go on mission"; she left her beloved Rustico to come to the "big city." She courageously took over a new ministry as local leader at Mary of Peace Community at the Infirmary in Montreal. And since her mandate has been completed, she will be returning "home" to PEI.
On January 30, 2015, the sisters at Mary of Peace Community held a farewell party to express their gratitude to Bernadette for three years of dedicated service. A few other sisters as well as the Infirmary chaplain, Bishop Wingle, joined the group. Our dining room/community room was artistically decorated, gifts were presented and delicious refreshments were served. Bernadette's many positive characteristics were highlighted, especially her untiring dedication to meet the different needs of one and all.
Our happy get-together ended with an appropriate Evening Prayer using as the opening hymn, "The Journey," a theme that was repeated several times during the prayer.
How true is the old saying, "Many hands make light work"! We were fortunate to have the help of the Sisters from de Sève as well as the Infirmary staff in order to pay a fitting tribute to Bernadette.
Both of these are finely acted and deal with issues of faith and identity unfolding as mysteries in terms of choices to be made. Although there are glimpses of hope and redemption, they deal with some difficult realities, one with the Holocaust in Poland and one with clerical sexual abuse in Ireland. IDA, which is nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film, is set in 1960s in Poland and involves a young woman left as an infant and raised by a community of nuns. Upon approaching final profession within the community, she discovers she was from a Jewish family. CALVARY is set in a small town in Ireland and concerns a priest who is told in the confessional that within a week he will be killed by someone seeking revenge: someone who suffered sexual abuse as a child by another priest. Both of these likely available as ppv by your tv provider.
As was previously announced, Winnie Odo will be completing her mandate as co-coordinator in the East in June.
Sisters and associates who may be interested and feel called to discern the possibility of becoming a co-coordinator, or would like to nominate someone who is eligible, is reminded to submit names to Sr. Nina Glinski (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 28, 2015. We ask that you keep in prayer those who are considering offering their name to be part of the discernment process.