A few years ago I was taking part in a faith based inter-generational event on environmental issues. One of the young women present expressed her deep felt gratitude for the presence of those of us from the "older" generation. She said she hears so often that the world is counting on the next generation of young people to do things differently with the earth, "But", she said, "we can't do it alone. We need you to be with us." At that moment it struck me how important it is to show young people that we are taking this seriously and that we are willing to do something. This could be a wonderful way to express our love to them, to show them that we care so much about their future that we are ready to address some challenging aspects of the present. We are called to love!
We have begun a journey together for the Corporate Stance on Climate Change in view of the 21st Global Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December of this year. This action that we are inviting you to is a critically important part of helping Canada to play a positive role at the Paris Conference.
The National Catholic Mission will air on Vision TV on Monday March 30 and Tuesday March 31 at 6 p.m. and repeated at 10 p.m. This year’s Mission will be hosted by Fr. Pat Fitzpatrick, CSP and will feature Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSP. The theme for this year is: Beware the Holy Spirit. As you may recall, Father Gittins had also presented at our January General Conference on the theme on interculturality.
This weekend, March 28, Earth Hour is celebrating its ninth anniversary. People everywhere – individuals, and businesses, are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour, from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. as a “nudge” to help us to be more aware about climate change and its effects in our world. Becoming more aware will make us want to increase our support for urgent action. For one hour, we can focus on our commitment to our planet. We could converse with a neighbour, have a candlelight dinner, gaze at the stars, and reflect with gratitude for all we receive from the Earth.
In a few months, a new global climate deal will be negotiated. On March 28, 6 continents, 120 countries and 24 times zones will be united in an action of turning off the lights to send a strong global message. Earth Hour shows how people can come together for a common cause. For photos and suggestions, see www.earthhour.org
Today we celebrate the Passion of Our Lord or Palm Sunday. I feel very blessed to have so many readings to reflect upon, each and everyone a gift of fruitfulness for my prayer. On this day, we hear the cry, ”Hosanna in the highest heaven”. Yet, where were these people, where was their passion, when Jesus was walking the streets and carrying the cross on the way to his execution? What kept people away? What kept them from not responding to the brutality done to another human being? Can we ever forget that soon to follow we hear “Crucify him! Crucify him!” --such a contrast!
This year, Earth Hour Day, a global movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, will be marked on Saturday, March 28. Between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Millions of individuals, communities, households and businesses around the world are encouraged to switch off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.[more]
A common theme among the readings today is the relationship between humility and authority. True humility is not-self deprecating and has nothing to do with poor self-esteem. I understand humility as an awareness of our complete dependence on God who is Love. Humility is the recognition that God is the Source of all including one’s gifts and is the One to be glorified by them. [more]
Sisters Peggy and Mary Ann will be at St. Jean’s with the other CND’s for a Holy Hour on Friday, March 27. St. Jean Baptiste, a church of Eucharistic adoration for over 100 years, has begun these Holy Hours with the intention of reaching out to younger women and men. We ask for prayer, especially from CND Jeanites whose vocation to the Congregation of Notre Dame was nourished in this beautiful Church!
Sister Susan Kidd, CND will preach a retreat on Thursday, March 26, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Belcourt Spirituality Centre in Rustico, PE. The retreat's theme will be "Contemplation: A Way to Pray". For more information, see the Diocese of Charlottetown's website.
As I reflect on John’s Gospel, I am vividly aware of the cold, strong wind blowing the snow outside amidst another Maritime winter storm, while simultaneously sensing the warmth of love in this gospel reading along with all of its complexity. I remind myself that all the gospels are rooted in the words and actions of Jesus of Nazareth and portray his interactions and ministry while living among the disciples and others. This reading today is poignant as it comes six days before Jesus is going to die, the final week of his human life in Jerusalem. It is Passover time and people have come from all over the world to the city of Jerusalem. Two Greeks have “come to see Jesus”. Did they hear of his miracles? Maybe they want to be his followers?
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is an entertaining sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It continues the story of the lives and loves of a group of people living in Jaipur India and features most of the original cast such as Judi Dench and Maggie Smith as well as newcomers such as Richard Gere. If you enjoyed the first Marigold movie you will likely enjoy this one.
Sure’n the wearin’ of the green was the order of the day for the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters in Kingston this March 17th. With 6 March birthdays to celebrate, and the feast of the Patron Saint of the Emerald Isle, those who are of Irish heritage and those who wish they were, gathered for a beautiful Mass at Providence Mother House during which they remembered in a special way the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters and relatives who died during the past couple of months. Following the Eucharist the sisters gathered in a small room to share conversation, stories and songs reflecting the spirit of the day. At lunch we were served a delicious birthday cake bearing the names of the 6 sisters whose birthdays were in March. Following the meal a lovely gift was given to each of the 6 and some good humorous Irish tales were told along with a song or two provided by none other than ourselves. All enjoyed the ‘shenanigans’ and left with smiling Irish eyes. Our heartfelt thanks to sisters Rosemary Shannon, Margaret Walsh, and all those who helped with all the preparations and contributed to the enjoyment of the occasion.
Many thanks to the Province Team for providing copies of the LCWR Winter Occasional Papers. The most recent one was especially helpful in directing our reflection to necessary change and positive promotion of change.
Visiting with Women at “the U” – Sisters Peggy Doyle, Mary Ann Rossi, and volunteer Betty Agenor recently visited with the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters in Scranton. Sisters Ann Perrin and Mary Anne Foley welcomed us and four young women to a delicious dinner flavored with wonderful conversation! The four women had earlier expressed some interest in religious life. Betty told her story of the warm welcome extended to her by Sr. Jeanne Bonneau when Betty arrived unannounced at the front door of the Mother House in Montreal. She was so moved by Jeanne’s open spirit and the speed with which her request for information was relayed to other Congregation of Notre Dame sisters. In Scranton, we shared a lively meal with a great deal of laughter and storytelling… a real sense of the Visitation which so often happens when we are together. The women shared with us the some interesting insights regarding our common vocation ministry: many women feel unworthy to consider a religious vocation, many of their friends did not encourage their vocation journey, they felt at ease with us. As vocation ministers, Peggy and Mary Ann realized that younger women need time to mature before making a decision to enter religious life. We asked ourselves if we were ready to stay with younger women in their search. The Scranton sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame went out of their way to provide generous hospitality to all seven of their visitors!! Srs. Peggy and Mary Ann plan to return… this time they will do the cooking!
As was previously announced, Sr. Joann Compagno will be leaving her ministry as Director of Pastoral Care at Lourdes on April 5th. Sr. Joann has served nine years in this capacity. There will be no CND replacing her at Lourdes. An SSND, Sr. John Vianney, will be taking on that role. Sr. John Vianney was a former administrator here at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton, so she is well known to all the CNDs here. We have complete confidence in her ability to care for the pastoral needs of all the sisters at Lourdes. She has our support and gratitude.
On March 9th, in honour of International Women's Day, Cinema Politica Charlottetown and Cooper Institute hosted a screening of the documentary, Gulabi Gang. This impeccably shot film follows a group of fearless women who fight gender violence in India with great ferocity and hope. In the bad lands of Bundelkhand in central India, the pink sari-clad women of the Gulabi Gang travel long distances by cart and tractor, bus and train, to wrest justice for women and Dalits, undeterred by sneering policemen and condescending bureaucrats. Sampat Pal, their leader, is a rough-and-tough woman with a commanding personality who has evolved her own brand of feminism and egalitarian politics. Her strength lies in her words. She is constantly on the move – today investigating a young woman’s suspicious death, tomorrow protesting against a corrupt official. The gang encounters resistance everywhere – whole villages connive in protecting the perpetrators of violence. As the film pulls us into the centre of these blazing conflicts, it uncovers a complex story, disturbing yet heartening. The word Gulabi means pink. When a woman joins the group she is given a pink sari so they all wear pink.
On April 16th, Call to Action is sponsoring a cocktail reception and Forum to honor STEPS (Steps to end family violence) and its founder Sr. Mary Nerney, CND. It will be held at Church of the Holy Apostles at 9th Avenue and 28th Street at 6 p.m.
I had the privilege/pleasure of having Sean Casey, Liberal MP from my Charlottetown riding sit with me at the IWD Coffee House, Sunday and as he said on his Facebook Post, “We go back 30 years.” Chatting with him and remembering X and MSB and my job, as he put it, “to keep the males from going beyond the main entrance” made me very nostalgic. His wife Kathleen lived at the Mount so I knew her well and often encountered him in the Marguerite Lounge and on campus. Our memories were all good and I was touched that he asked someone to take our picture so he could send it to his X friends who knew me. The event also provided me with the opportunity to connect with friends from the women’s community whom I rarely see. Another event involved the viewing of a documentary called The Gulabi Gang which traces the journey of a women’s vigilante group in India to “fight gender violence and wrest justice for women.” All in all, it was a celebration that I will remember.