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Teaching Religion to the Youngest Among Us – Thanks to You!

Sr. Joan Brennan, CND, needs to apply all her 60+ years of experience as an educator when teaching religion to three and four-year olds. Yes, that’s three and four-year old preschoolers at Notre Dame Academy in Staten Island, NY. She begins her classes with a song many of us learned in school: Rise and Shine and Give God Your Glory Glory. She tells them the creation story. She employs artwork as well as songs to get her youngest pupils to think about where and how do we see God? How do we find God in our life every day?

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New parish names in New Brunswick

In the Diocese of Saint John N.B. churches are being combined to form new parishes with new names. Parishioners were invited to suggest names. The new parish in the Miramichi area (Newcastle side) is now named Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish. Local churches are designated “worship sites” within the large (new) parish structure; they will maintain their “church name” for now. Our Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates and friends were very active in promoting Saint Marguerite. It is appropriate that the Miramichi area where the Sisters of the Congregation worked for over 100 years receive this honor. Sisters and associates familiar with the Miramichi are very pleased, as are former students and friends of the sisters.

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Montreal Associates

Nearly 200 brave souls battled the elements in Montréal’s freak autumn snowfall last Friday to attend the Catholic Rally organized by the English-speaking Catholic Council. This biennial event brings together and showcases many of the organizations that make up the Catholic Church of Montréal. For the first time the Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates from Montréal were also present with a booth. Associates Sharon DiFruscia, Donna Quelch and Charles Taker were on hand to talk about Associate Relationship to those who called by our booth. A fair bit of interest was generated and we will be following-up over the next few weeks and inviting them to come and see who we are and what we are about.

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Journaling with Mary…

Waiting for baby

I awake each morning

A song of praise on my lips;

I, Mary of Nazareth, wife, of Joseph the carpenter

Carry within my being the child of the Promise.

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Afternoon tea at St. Joseph’s Parish, Kingston

As the Christmas Season approaches, Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame in Kingston were invited to an afternoon tea at St. Joseph’s Parish. Since the closure of our Residence on Wright Crescent, Monsignor Joseph Lynch, Pastor of the parish, has honoured us in appreciation of our involvement in the parish and open invitation to the Pastor and Priest Assistant over the years to share meals with us.

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A little child will lead them

There is a city in New England that has a cross on a hill overlooking the city. At night the cross is lit and can be seen from most of the city which is built on six additional hills. A little five year old girl knelt by her window one night. She was facing the cross and told her Mommy she was praying to God.

I understand why Jesus loved little children, let them come to him when others were pushing them aside, and told all of us to become like little children if we wish to enter into his life. Of the tens of thousands of people who see that cross every night, how many turn their hearts to God in prayer?

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Redesign Of The Virtual Exhibit Faith In Action

Montréal, December 5, 2018 – The Archives Services of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame is proud to present the brand new platform of the virtual exhibit Faith in Action: Centuries of Education by Marguerite Bourgeoys and the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.

First launched in 2011 in collaboration with the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum, the website has been completely redesigned and improved...

 

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An Immigrant Woman Becomes Visible – Speaks Out

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

Yes, as the title states, an immigrant woman becomes visible: I, myself, and all those who are immigrants, particularly “the caravan of migrants currently in Mexico.” Yes, they have become visible because they have shown the necessary strength to leave their beloved country, the strength to show the world the desperate situation in which the majority of Honduran people live.

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Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 2018

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

Today’s readings invite us to encourage one another to change our ways to prepare for the coming of Christ. What does this message mean for us, followers of Marguerite Bourgeoys, who patterned her own life on the role of Mary in the Visitation and in the early church?  Mary’s role, as they gathered to await the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, was to be a source of encouragement to all in the early church.

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Reflection - First Sunday of Advent 2018

After Thanksgiving, I start to think about Advent and Christmas immediately. I love Advent! Maybe it’s the purple and pink candles (I love colors!) or maybe it’s the anticipation leading up to Christmas, but I have always enjoyed Advent. I am usually ready to take a break from the busy-ness of life, shift gears to a more reflective mode of anticipation and preparation, and simply ponder the joy of the all that comes with the celebration Christ’s birth at Christmas. With this peaceful longing, I sat down to read this Sunday’s readings and prepare my thoughts. At the age of 43, I know that I have heard all of these readings before, many times, and yet they still surprise me. This week, these readings shook me out of my “peaceful preparation” mode and woke me up a bit.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

From Our Leadership Team

The very full days of our November 17-18 meeting in Chicago were punctuated by a birthday celebration for Sister Darleen and a welcome home call to Sister Bea Baker.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

The JPIC Core Committee met at the mother house November 23 – 25, to review previous work, projects in progress, and plans for next steps. During our meeting we were joined by Sister Becky McKenna and we included, by conference call, Sister Eileen McQuaid and Sister Maureen MacIsaac in Bedford. Stay tuned for ways we can all stay informed and involved in activities of peace and justice.

Eleanor McCloskey, for JPIC

 

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Advent Prayer Service

Opening Song

Leader:  During this season of Advent, we pray for the openness and grace we need to live and grow as God’s people.  May God’s light shine brightly through us!

Candle One: Hope

Glory to you, God of Hope…breathe into us new life, new meaning, new hope this Advent.

Candle Two:  Peace

Glory to you, God of Peace…guide our footsteps and lead us in the way of peace and justice.

Candle Three:  Joy

Glory to you, God of Joy…may we be bearers of Visitation joy and welcome to all we meet.

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First Sunday of Advent Reflection

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

I have been invited to share some Advent reflections with you

Imagine you are a ten year old child getting excited about Christmas and hoping for your favorite gift. Imagine you are a University student preparing for end of semester exams at the beginning of Advent. Imagine you are young parents with three children worried about finding enough money to be able to celebrate this Christmas. Imagine you are an elderly person longing for Christ to come and take her home.

What will you say about Advent to each of these people?

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News from Maria Province (Japan)

Notre Dame de Bon Secours, Pray for us.

As we approach the end of autumn and the month of remembering the souls of the deceased, we recall the memory of our sisters who died this year and their families. Also it is the season of reflecting back on this year.


Associates

A meeting of the Associates’ Committee will be held on November 24 at Sensui cho convent. As our membership ages we feel the need to deepen our spirituality related to our activities. We are committed to returning to the true CND identity of Associates which includes more conversation among the associates themselves. Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit during this meeting.

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A photography exhibition at Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum

Sacred sites of timeless land displayed for the first time outside of Italy

Starting December 5, 2018, Universal Jerusalem – Gerusalemme universale, the new temporary exhibition at the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum, will explore the historic and cultural importance and the universal nature of the city of Jerusalem, long considered the centre of the world.

Holy city, centre of the world… just two of the names given to Jerusalem over the centuries. Stéphan Martel, historian at the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum, says that “Jerusalem’s shared spiritual value has made it a universal human heritage that we could have examined from the perspective of any of the three great religions of the Book.”

 

 

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Conversations of the Heart: Charlottetown

Our group met on Sunday, November 18th; enjoying, as always, the warm hospitality provided by Sister Sue Kidd. We began with the Prayer for Internationality by lighting a candle as we prayed for each country, and using as a centerpiece the flags of each country. This was followed by the continuation of our sharing personal stories which we had begun earlier in the fall. We continued to be moved by the sometimes sad but, most of all, courageous, interesting and funny stories of our CND journeys from "then until now." We hope to finish these stories at our next gathering and if our memories serve us well, hope to continue to have an appreciation and respect for one another's backgrounds and contributions to Congregation de Notre-Dame life and mission.

Anne T. Gillis, CND

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Dorothy Day: A Modern-Day Saint

On November 8, 1897, Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn, New York. On November 29, 1980, Dorothy Day died in the Bowery section of Manhattan. A bridge separates these two boroughs of New York.

Dorothy’s life was a bridge, a bridge connecting the homeless with a safe shelter, workers with their rights, the young with a vision for a different future based on cooperation rather than competitiveness, the Catholic with the radical message of the Sermon on the Mount.

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Congregation de Notre-Dame at the Parliament of World Religions

Last week over 10,000 people from many different countries and religious traditions gathered in Toronto for the Parliament of World Religions. I was there on behalf of JPIC to present a workshop featuring the dance performance we had commissioned for the 2016 World Social Forum. The title of our session was "Climate Change: Hope in Action through the Arts". Over 15 keen people were present, several sharing their contact information and asking for copies of the DVD of the dance. Many seeds were planted with this invitation to nurture caring for our common home in new and creative ways. Many thanks to Toronto Associate Karen Volpe who was on hand for tech support.

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PeaceQuest Moves to Next Phase

From the beginning, Visitation Province of the Congregation de Notre-Dame has been supporting PeaceQuest in its goal of creating an alternative recognition of the First World War. Following the four streams of faith, culture, education and policy, for five years events, resources and advocacy actions have been organized across the country. On the occasion of the centenary of the Armistice from WWI, over a hundred people gathered in Kingston last week-end to express gratitude for all that was accomplished and to reflect together on how to continue the vision and momentum of PeaceQuest as it takes on a new form apart from the WWI connection.

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