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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Marguerite’s Feast day at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school in Kingston

Last Monday, January 13, I joined the students at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school in Kingston for their celebration of Marguerite’s Feast day. The 450 plus student body from kindergarten to grade eight assembled in the gym for their annual celebration to honour their school’s patron. They sang with all their hearts the song “Saint Marguerite We Love You” which has become their school song. I presented a series of slides illustrating the “Life of Marguerite” made from sketches drawn years ago by a Japanese Sister. Before showing the slides, I reminded the students that there would be a quiz at the end of the presentation and so they watched and listened with great attention. I was utterly amazed and impressed by the knowledge they have of Marguerite’s life! The school does not have any sisters but the spirit of Marguerite and her mission is certainly alive and well. These pictures speak for themselves. When I was leaving the school after a wonderful time with the students, I congratulated the teachers on the fantastic work they are doing in spreading the spirit of Saint Marguerite.

Marijke Gerretsen, CND

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Canadian Government Survey re Pre-Budget Consultations

There are four sections and you can do any one of them or all. All sections are important and the survey does not take long. It is a good exercise for expanding your knowledge of the complexity of the options being considered. It's a chance for Canadians to provide feedback on their priorities such as Climate Change. Some note you can choose as many options as you want while others have only one option choice. You can add another option if you select Other. There is an opportunity at the end to comment further. You'll find the survey at https://budget.gc.ca/2020/prebudget-prebudgetaire/index-en.html?utm_source=CanCa&utm_medium=Initiatives&utm_campaign=PBC20

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Marguerite Bourgeoys: Woman of Contemplation and Compassion

The anniversary of Marguerite’s 400th birthday is drawing near! For many months now, sisters and associates in our Province have been very involved in so many ways recognizing and celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Marguerite’s birth.

We are very pleased to distribute the reprint and translation of the book Marguerite Bourgeoys: Woman of Contemplation and Compassion. Initially published by Sister Denise Lamarche in 2007, the book was inspired by the beautiful statue of Marguerite with a sheaf of wheat at Maison Saint-Gabriel. 

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Sr. Dorothy Maher's 90th birthday.

On January 14, Sr. Dorothy Maher celebrated her 90th birthday. The sisters from Mary of Peace were joined by the Sisters from de Sève Residence at 3:00 p.m. for a glass of wine, cake and ice cream. A grand time was had by all as we fêted Sr. Dorothy on this her very special day.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 18-25, 2020

Theme chosen for this year is: They showed us unusual kindness. (Acts 28:2)

Christian Unity Week has been observed since 1908. This year the invitation is to show hospitality and welcome, and risk dialogue with persons who do not share our faith, our culture, customs, traditions or language. Unusual kindness may include attentive listening, and compassionate care. For us, moving to the peripheries showing unusual kindness may be a way for us to promote unity as well as praying for it.

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January 12 celebration in Visitation Province (Canada)

Celebrating St. Marguerite: Andrews of Charlottetown

On Friday, January 10th, we were happy to welcome all Sisters the Congregation de Notre-Dame in PEI to join with us in celebrating Marguerite’s Feast. We began with the liturgy of the Eucharist made very meaningful and joyful by our celebrant Fr. Bob Coady and our song leader Sister Shelley Grant. This was followed by a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings. Much to our surprise, each of us found a personal message from Marguerite taken from her writings at our place setting. In the evening, we gathered to pray the much appreciated evening prayer prepared by our Sisters of Blessed Sacrament Province. Later, we ended the day sharing our stories about our journeys inspired by Marguerite’s life and enjoying some refreshments.

Anne T. Gillis, CND

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Perpetual Profession in Maria Province

On January 12, 2020, the sisters of Maria Province celebrated Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys and the beginning of the year marking the 400th anniversary in a very special way with the perpetual vows ceremony of Sister Akiko Usui.

In the presence of Sister Agnes Campbell, Leader of the Congregation, sisters, associates, teachers, friends and parishioners of Tobata, Sister Usui responded “hai” (yes) to the call of God and of Marguerite. Magnificat!

 

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January 12 celebration at the Mother House

On January 12, the sisters of the Mother House Community and the members of the Council celebrated together the Feast of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. Vespers led by Sister Marie de Lovinfosse were followed by aperitifs and a simple and friendly supper

 

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Seeing the Stranger as a Friend - Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

Read Sr. Susan Kidd article from the current issue of Living with Christ: Seeing the Stranger as a Friend - Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

© Novalis/Bayard Presse Canada ‹ Used by permission.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Living Internationality

The Epiphany reminds me of internationality. Jesus manifested himself not only to one race, but to wise men from afar. How proud and grateful we are for the international character of our community! We pray daily for our young members in formation and for those who guide them; and what an opportunity we have to live internationality! Besides Canadians, our staff members are from the Philippines, Nigeria, China, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Kenya and Jamaica. We love them and they love us. They are so eager to help and serve us! They brighten our life! We thank God for the gift of internationality they bring to us. Let us pray for peace and harmony among nations.

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Feast Of St. Marguerite

On January 12, 2020, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield will host a "French” breakfast after the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday Masses to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

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Living Narrative

A bilingual lecture-show (with English – French simultaneous interpretation) in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

Written and presented by Sabrina Di Matteo and directed by Normand Chouinard, LIVING NARRATIVE is a lecture-show with theatrical performances (featuring Denys Chouinard, former archivist at the Congrégation de Notre-Dame) and songs of the period (under the musical direction of Alfred Lagrenade).

 

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

2020 Marks the 400th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

Submitted by Associate Marjorie Allison-Ross

Happy New Year! We are now in the actual anniversary year of the birth of our foundress, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. In Visitation Province, we’ve been celebrating this special occasion since April 17, 2019 so we already have many beautiful memories. I’ve been blessed to walk in Marguerite Bourgeoys’s footsteps in her native Troyes, France in September 2019 during the 400th Anniversary Pilgrimage to Troyes and in her adopted home of Ville-Marie (Montreal) in July 2016 during the 35th Anniversary of Associate Relationship Pilgrimage to Montreal.

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Peace is the Way of Christ

January 1st was the 53rd World Day of Peace in the Catholic Church. Having begun by Pope St. Paul VI in 1967, every Pope since then has continued the tradition of writing a pastoral letter on Peace on this day.

During these years there have been wars and conflicts in the following countries: Eretria, S. Korea, Malaysia, North Ireland, Italy, Philippines, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, The Falklands, Indonesia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, United Arab Republic, Ethiopia, Chili, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, China, Russia, Afghanistan, Uganda, Rwanda, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, Panama, Romania, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Grenada, New Guinea, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Panama, Mali, and Ethiopia. I am sure I have missed some. Almost every other country in the world has been involved in one or more of these conflicts.

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April 17, 2020: 400th anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

April 17, 2020: 400th anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Montreal, January 3, 2020

In 2020, the Congrégation de Notre-Dame will be celebrating a very special anniversary – the 400th of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys, Montreal’s first teacher and the foundress of the Congregation. This celebration of the anniversary year is a way of paying tribute to this pioneer who came to North America to help establish a new society in Ville-Marie in the 17th century, and recognizing that the values she had can still be found in the social fabric of Montreal, as in the eight different countries in which the sisters of the Congregation are present. Four hundred years ago began the great adventure of a brave and compassionate woman who put herself in the service of the people to build a new society.

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Marguerite Bourgeoys's Feast Day at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield, Connecticut

On January 12, 2020, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield will mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

Following the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday Masses, the newly formed St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Sodality will be hosting a birthday party!  A “French” breakfast will be served (crepes, quiche, croissants, French toast), and there will be activities for the entire family.

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CND presence still felt in Caraquet New Brunswick

Caraquet is an Acadian village on the Bay of Chaleur in Northern New Brunswick where Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters lived, loved, laboured and prayed for 125 years... from 1874 to 1999. I felt their presence there yesterday when I attended a Christmas Concert in the parish church where the Little Stars of Marguerite Bourgeoys sang like angels and were a featured part of the program. There in front of the church is the former convent which burned many years ago, the statue of Our Lady and the Convent Park. The memory of Marguerite and her Sisters is very much alive. It is worth a visit to Caraquet to go and see for yourselves.

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Canada – we can still do better

As Advent quickly becomes Christmas, we recognize a little more deeply the connection between the circumstances of Mary and Joseph, expecting a child and searching for a place and the almost 65 million human beings fleeing their homes and looking for asylum. Many of us are more aware of the connection between the suffering of Mother Earth and what happens to human beings whom we call refugees.

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Good News on Water from Ontario

Last week we told you about the important decision that the Ontario Government had to make about the moratorium on water permits coming to an end and we invited all Ontario residents to write to Premier Ford urging him to extend the moratorium. The provincial government had signaled publicly that they were intending to let the moratorium expire. However, we have received the happy news that Jeff Yurek, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, announced that the government will in fact extend the moratorium for a further 9 months. This is great news but we still have plenty of work ahead to safeguard water. Thanks to all who took action. We will continue to keep you informed of similar opportunities in the future.

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Carols Enjoyed by All!

On Friday, December 13th, at 6:30 pm, the Sisters entertained the residents of Andrews of Charlottetown with the singing of Christmas carols. Sisters Libby Osgood and Shelley Grant accompanied them with their guitars and keyboard. Our soloist Sr. Marie Gaudet sang “Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant,” and Sr. Mary Gillis sang “O Holy Night.”

This was an effort to help keep Christ, our Messiah, in Christmas as we sang carols from “Away in a Manger” to “Silent Night.” Following the presentation to a full house, we had a joyful get-together in our Community Room.

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