Sisters KONAÏ Justine and NGO NGOK Angèle during a meeting of newer members of the CND in Central America.
Photo, CND, 2009

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Goats at Parkland Fredericton

Residents of Brunswick Hall at Parkland Fredericton received a visit from two baby goats in November. The goats were so small that the owner was not sure they would survive, but with lots of tender loving care, he is happy to report that the twins are growing stronger every day! Pictured here with one of the baby goats is our very own Sister Ellen Hickey, CND. 


Celebration of St. Marguerite’s Feast Day at Holy Redeemer Convent, Sydney

The Parish Mass is celebrated in our chapel four days a week. Although Monday, January 12th, was our pastor, Father Paul Murphy’s day off, he was very accommodating when asked if he would celebrate Mass on that day. We were delighted and inspired by his homily on the life of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. Following Mass, all were invited to join us for tea, coffee, fresh biscuits and molasses and cinnamon buns. Kudos to our cook, Colleen! It was a delight to hear some of the parishioners speak of their days at Holy Redeemer Girls School in the Pier and Notre Dame High School in Sydney Mines. Before leaving all were invited to take home some Congregation of Notre Dame prayer cards. 

Fast for the Climate Campaign

When: The first day of every month in 2015 [Add event to your calendar]

Where: Worldwide

The Fast for the Climate campaign is an interfaith initiative bringing people of different faiths to fast, as a spiritual exercise, in solidarity with the victims of climate change. People are invited to fast the 1st of each month. The World Council of Churches is one of the co-sponsors of this initiative.

The WCC 10th Assembly has recently stressed the urgency of climate crisis and its effect on those who are made poor. The interfaith fast for climate justice is one concrete way churches and other religious institutions are expressing their concern about the situation…

At this time, Pope Francis, building on the social teachings of the church, especially the “option for the poor,” may well be underscoring that climate change, for both ecological and social reasons, is the defining moral reality of our time.

The fasting can be seen as a component of the pilgrimage of justice and peace, as we prepare for the upcoming United Nations Convention in Paris, December 2015. 

News from Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region



Dear readers,

We are pleased to reconnect with you and to offer you our very best wishes for this new year, 2015.

Between late 2014 and early 2015, the sisters of Notre-Dame des Apôtres Region were involved in wide-spread activies, some of which are highlighted in this issue. We hope that reading about them will bring you joy. Within these pages, you will find an interesting report of the work undertaken at the meeting of the Central Committee of Associate Relationship on the main theme: Uncovering the Face of Associate Relationship. In the midst of this joy, however, there is an obituary item regarding the passing of Bishop Joseph Djida. He was well-liked by all the novices who knew him.

Enjoy this issue!!!

Bernadette Breton, CND and Marthe Falie,CND

February Article for the RI Catholic

At St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, known for its saintly porter, Brother André, now St. André, there is a basilica on the top floor. Its stark simplicity seems to reach into the soul of anyone who steps inside it. The Stations of the Cross are particularly engaging. They are three dimensional life-size stone images, bas-reliefs. Unlike most stations, which are mounted above the heads of the people, these are at ground level. You stand in front of them as if in front of a real person, face to face, hand to hand. The cross is at shoulder height. You can look into the eyes and face of Jesus, the soldier, Mary, Veronica. The nails are large, more like spikes.

The Young Marguerites’ Christmas Party

On December 13, 2014, Fukushima convent hosted the Christmas party of the “Marguerite Group” of Meijigakuen Middle and High-School students. Thirty-seven young students filled the chapel.

New DVD on Human Trafficking

I have a new DVD on Human Trafficking. It is an excellent resource to educate others (High School and older) about Trafficking. It runs for 20 minutes and there are also materials to prepare for the viewing, a summary for after the viewing and sets of questions for different audiences. A local community might want to use it as well to update your Knowledge. The Documentary is Chosen and it was created by the group, Shared Hope International

Visitation Central News

Hi, Everyone!

As you know, Pope Francis has dedicated 2015 as the year dedicated to consecrated life.

As you also may know, in 1997, John Paul II called for Consecrated Life to be promoted throughout the universal Church. He declared the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord, to be observed as World day for Consecrated Life.

As Congregation of Notre Dame Associates, we are grateful for our CND Sisters and unite with them in thanksgiving by either joining them at one the events scheduled in your local cities (see below) or holding our CNDs in prayer next weekend.


Diane and Karen



Words, Words: From Unanima Update January 2015

Words are important. More than 300 human rights organizations and anti-trafficking advocates from 40 nations sent an open letter asking the Associated Press to avoid terminology that legitimizes prostitution as a form of work. Many groups with whom we work (like Coalition Against Trafficking in Women) are trying to end the use of the term “sex work” because it conceals the violent and exploitative nature of the commercial sex trade. They asked the editor of the AP Stylebook to adopt alternative vocabulary that reflects the life realities of individuals bought and sold in prostitution. Studies and testimony of survivors demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation, and gender violence that cause life-long physical and psychological harm. Between 65 and 96 percent of people in prostitution have been sexually assaulted as children; 60 to 75 percent have been raped by pimps and sex purchasers; and between 70 and 95 percent have been physically assaulted in prostitution. One survivor said “prostitution is not ‘sex’ and it is not ‘work’ – it is a harmful practice steeped in gender and economic inequalities that leaves a devastating impact on the survivors.” It also renders invisible the traffickers, pimps, and brothel owners, and the buyers who prey on vulnerable people.

Given the world situations right now, this may bring you some hope.


Website Recommendation

Philip Chircop, sj posts short selections most days of poems, quotes, visual art, music etc. often accompanied by a couple of questions inviting further reflection. He calls the site A-MUSED noting a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, sj: "Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see." You can access site at

Post January 12th Nostra Culpa

Sr. Mary Ann and I have realized that we neglected to send out a reminder that the feast of St. Marguerite is a great opportunity to invite a young guest or two to dinner with the nuns. But we won’t make the same mistake twice! In other words, it’s not too early to plan for the Feast of the Visitation. Let’s all try to gather some young women around the table for our May celebration. Sr. Peggy Doyle

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." John 4:7

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015 Theme Announced By: Fr Thomas Orians, SA

Associate Director – Graymoor

Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute

The 2015 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. For the coming year the theme finds its origins in the Gospel of John:4:1-42. The initial work on the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from

The National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil (CONIC). CONIC appointed a working group formed by representatives from its member churches and affiliated ecumenical organizations to arrive at the theme. The texts were then approved at a meeting held in São Paulo, Brazil of the International Committee composed of members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting of Christian Unity.

The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little of our own. In diversity, we enrich each other. When Jesus says to her, “please give me a drink” it implies an ethical action that recognizes the need for one another in living out the Church’s mission. It compels us to change our attitude, to commit ourselves to seek unity in the midst of our diversity, through our openness to a variety of forms of prayer and Christian spirituality. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. It is an opportunity to recognize the richness and value that are present in the other, the different, and to ask God for the gift of unity.

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance. 

Marguerite's Feast Day Celebration in Halifax

Marguerite Bourgeoys, our Foundress, was duly celebrated in our Halifax Community. Prior to the actual day, Ann Broderick hosted a lovely evening at her home during which time we truly experienced Visitation among us. What a delicious meal she cooked! On the actual Feast, sisters, associates, many parishioners and friends gathered at the newly formed Marguerite Parish where Eucharist was celebrated by Joe Mackinnon, with the homily capably delivered by sister Connie MacIsaac. Sister Connie spoke with confidence and great clarity about Marguerite highlighting her many positive characteristics. It was obvious that Connie knows and loves Marguerite. Generous women from the parish served a lovely lunch. It was interesting to enter into and also observe Visitation is being lived among us.


Thank You, Joan

Sr. Joan Mahoney’s beautiful St. Marguerite Bourgeoys prayer service for January 12 reminds us of the broad, open arms that must have been Marguerite’s as she stood at the shore waiting for the women who would arrive in Montreal in 1663. She was able to anticipate their needs, to welcome them... despite the reserve of other Sisters in the fledgling community. Segue to....

A Path Appears

A Path Appears, a film addressing human trafficking and the adversities faced by women and girls around the world will be shown on PBS Stations. Check your PBS Station. The film is based upon the most recent book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by authors/reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn who also wrote the groundbreaking Half the Sky. Viewers will take the journey with Kristof and WuDunn and celebrity activists Malin Akerman, Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Jennifer Garner, Regina Hall, Ashley Judd, Blake Lively, Eva Longoria, and Alfre Woodard to Colombia, Haiti, Kenya and throughout the United States as they explore the roots of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty and the consequences that can follow including sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence and child slavery. Along the way, they meet with inspiring activists who are creating effective solutions to combat gender-based oppression, transform lives and provide a roadmap for sustainable future change.

General Conference Montreal

Srs. Mary Anne Powers and Patricia McCarthy will be attending the General Conference in Montreal from January 19th through 27th inclusive. Please pray for the meeting and safe travel for all involved.

VOCATION NEWS – Blessed Sacrament

40WomenForward: Sisters Peggy Doyle and Mary Ann Rossi are "hitting the road" to encourage Congregation of Notre Dame Communities in our communal vocation ministry. Our first visit will be West Haven. Not to make comparisons, but a sweet shout-out goes to this group with their 100% attendance at the November day on Vocations in Wilton! Peggy and Mary Ann welcome invitations to Congregation of Notre Dame houses and Congregation of Notre Dame Associate gatherings. In its last conference call, a member of the Vocation Team suggested that the Associates were an enthusiastic group of folks who could be of great assistance to us. We welcome invitations and suggested dates for a visit.


Join us for this film premier and refreshments in honor of the Merton Century on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in Romita Auditorium of Ryan Library from 7 PM – 9 PM – Offering $7 – RSVP - 914 633 2590 Directions and Parking



We are having Vespers at the Pastoral Center on January 25th. Archbishop Coakley will preside. All consecrated men and woman have been invited as well as all of the faithful. A reception will follow. Because the Archdiocese does not have an Office for Religious, Kay and I have worked on coordinating this event.