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Magnificat!

I offer back massage at Martha’s Table, a hospitality centre here in Kingston. I have learned a lot about community, acceptance, vulnerability and so much more from the guests who come. Doug and Deanna come regularly each wanting a massage. Recently when Doug’s massage is over, he puts 4 month old baby Charles on the pillow and gestures for me to give the baby a massage. I am so delighted and those around comment ‘he really loves it’! Today, a staff person took this photo.

I connected with Charles some time ago for the first time. It was May 31st. Deanna, 6 months pregnant, came for a massage and while I was giving it, I heard her say ‘the baby leapt in my womb.’ OK, her words were ‘the baby kicked me’ but being the feast of the Visitation…

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Feast Day Celebrations

Innisfail, AB: The Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates and sisters, of Our Lady of Peace parish celebrated the feast of Saint Marguerite on January 14th in the parish hall. We prayed the prayer service prepared by our American Associate coordinators. Because the prayer service is so rich, we decided to pray it at our next meeting to further mine its riches. We enjoyed our evening of sharing followed by pizza and special treats.
Millie Hoffos, CND Associate 

 

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Press Release: St. Joseph Convent and Renewal Centre, Mabou, NS

The Administration Team of Visitation Province of the Congregation of Notre Dame wish to inform you that as of October 31st 2018, St. Joseph Convent and Renewal Centre will be officially closed.

For the past 131 years (1887 – 2018) this CND mission has met the needs of the local area and many surrounding communities, through the work of liberating education (K to 12 school for students) along with a residence for boarders. This was followed by a new venture, the development of the family life program to meet the needs of a changing society, and more recently, St. Joseph Renewal Centre came into being to provide space for retreat and spiritual renewal. 

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Fourth Day of the General Conference

The members of the leadership teams from the provinces and regions were with us on Friday and Saturday for the presentation given by Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ. The information she shared gave us call for much reflection and contemplation. She left us with two questions:

  • Who are you called to be as carriers of Marguerite’s heart, mission and vision?
  • How do you want to live this life fully and well?

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Kathy Reichs mentions Marguerite Bourgeoys and Maison Saint-Gabriel!

One of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan novel, Monday Mourning, is set in Montreal. On page 189 we read:

"As Ryan turned onto Dublin, I noticed a historic marker out my window.

“What’s Parc Marguerite-Bourgeoys ?”

Mon Dieu, Madame la docteure, you’re referring to one of Quebec’s best-loved ladies. Sister Maggie set up schools for little girls back in the seventheen century. Pretty rad idea for Quebec at the time. She also founded the Soeurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame. A few years ago the Church upped her pay grade to saint.”

“Why the sign?” I asked.

“In the mid-sixteen hundreds Bourgeoys was given a hefty hunk of this little peninsula. Bit by bit, the nuns sold the land off, and Pointe-St-Charles now covers most the acreage, but Bourgeoys’s original school and parts of the farm are up ahead. Site’s now a museum.”

“Maison St-Gabriel?”

Ryan nodded."

One of Quebec’s best-loved ladies, no less! 

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Canada has an Ombudsperson!

One of the first campaigns that I was involved in when I came on board as JPIC Coordinator, was for an independent ombudsperson to oversee Canadian mining, oil and gas operations around the world. As Congregation de Notre-Dame in Visitation Province and internationally we have tried several times, with three different governments to see this happen. And now, after ten years of campaigning, we are celebrating the news that Prime Minister Trudeau has stayed true to his election promise and established the ombudsperson office. 

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Feast Day Was Celebrated Throughout Visitation Province in Various Ways

Mabou, NS

On Friday, January 12th the Sisters and Associates of St. Joseph Convent, Mabou and parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish, Mabou assembled in our Chapel to celebrate the feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys with a warm welcome by Josephine MacNeil, Associate. Father Bernie MacDonald, our pastor, led us in comparing the Scripture readings to the life of St. Marguerite while challenging us to continue in living out the charism that she designed for all of us by her life of compassion, and giving of herself for people of all ages, all for the glory of God. Besides taking part in the various ministries, members of the group, following the Prayers of the Faithful, presented the following items and placed them on a display table: a statue of St. Marguerite, a bouquet of flowers, the Writings of St. Marguerite, and a box containing the intentions which we prayed for during the Novena of the past nine days. 

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Marguerite Bourgeoys’s Feast Day

Sisters and associates used of the Christmas circular to celebrate Marguerite's feast. They answered the question:

What are we doing to respond to this call?

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WOMAN – CND

To become a woman

like the WOMAN

who brought God forth.

To stand strong

like the WOMAN

who stood at Calvary.

To be gentle, tender, compassionate

like the WOMAN

at Cana.

To be IN Church

like the WOMAN

in the upper room

after the resurrection.

To be WOMAN . . .

Letting her live again

through me, in me.

That is my identity.

That is who I am. 

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The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is a delightful musical with fabulous sets, amazing choreography and lively songs. The story is based on the character PT Barnum and inspired by his creation of the Barnum and Bailey circus. In this film, we see a variety of themes: family life, human frailty, relationships, compassion, forgiveness, the pain of being different and the joys of belonging. Hugh Jackman is so talented and here supported by a huge cast. Loved it! 

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Movie Recommendations: All Saints

All Saints is a recent well-reviewed faith-based movie. It is based on the true story of the experience of a newly ordained Episcopalian priest and his family at his first parish in Tennessee. His as signment is to close the church because of dwindling attendance and finances. A group of Burmese refugees who have arrived join the parish and efforts are made with their farming experience to use the surrounding land to increase income so the church won't have to close. It's available on ppv etc. 

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Timely Reflection from the research of Sister Patricia Simpson, CND

Timely Reflection from the research of Sister Patricia Simpson, CND recorded in Marguerite Bourgeoys and Montreal: 1640-1665. (p.4-5)

Like several of the other early leaders in Montreal, Marguerite Bourgeoys came from a region of France where women had played important public roles since at least the Middle Ages. In becoming part of the Montreal endeavour, she participated in an undertaking in which women played key roles, both behind the scenes in France and in the leadership of the early colony. The evidence of the time indicates that the relationship between these women and the men who were their partners was cooperative rather than confrontational. But Marguerite Bourgeoys was not just concerned with the prominent persons of Montreal, the men and women whose names history has recorded. She was convinced of the importance of the ordinary women of the colony: in their hands - the hands of those who were to be its wives and mothers – lay the future of Canada. Their education was of paramount importance to her. Marguerite’s words, as well as the lifework she undertook, reflect her belief that people, and therefore society, can be changed if only they can be enabled “to understand,” an object of all true education. 

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Happy Feast Day!

For Saint Marguerite: On January 7 at Serenity Renewal for Families, Louise Dunn, CND, and Wendy Brown, Associate, facilitated a prayerful and reflective afternoon. Those of us gathered pondered the prayer service readings and shared what struck us in small and large groups. We continued our sharing with a good meal and friendly conversation. 

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A party for "Maggie Boo"

On January 12 we celebrate the Feast day of saint Marguerite Bourgeoys... aka "Maggie Boo"!

Watch the video here.

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News from our Associates in Eastern Canada

New Year’s Message

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

I found this message on Facebook on January 5. The person who posted it was wishing her friends the blessings of Epiphany. When I read it, I thought of the Congregation de Notre-Dame Orientations and how we can live out interculturality, go to the peripheries, and honour and respect our common home. The message in the quote is really describing for us what Marguerite Bourgeoys did during her lifetime. May we reflect on this message and find ways to continue Marguerite’s work in 2018.

“When the carols have been stilled,

When the star–topped tree is taken down,

When family and friends are gone home,

When we are back to our schedules,

THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS BEGINS

To welcome the refugee,

To heal a broken planet,

To feed the hungry,

To build bridges of trust, not walls of fear,

To share our gifts,

To seek justice and peace for all people,

To bring Christ’s light to the world.”

- Michael Dougherty 

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees - Bilingual Mass for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

For more information, contact the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.

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The Challenge to Imagine a New Way of Life

In the past week, the first week of 2018, two different sources gave us words of wisdom that can challenge all of us to the core of our moral sensibility. The two sources are separated by eighty years: Pope Francis and a three year old boy.

On January 1st, Pope Francis said: “Let us nurture the seeds of peace as they grow and let us transform our cities into workshops of peace.” For so many of us, the measure of progress in our cities is a lower unemployment rate, higher school test scores, fewer high school drop-outs, a decrease in violent crimes, fewer traffic fatalities, safety in public places, adequate public transportation. Each of these measures is a good goal and a real achievement when reached. But Pope Francis is imagining far greater accomplishments. He is encouraging us to make our cities “workshops of peace.” Where would we begin? Schools? Churches? Police Departments? Public Institutions? Families? Housing? 

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Pre-Christmas Celebration at Holy Redeemer Convent

On December 15, 2017, Sisters from Parkland Cape Breton, CND Health Care Centre and those living in the city, joined the Sisters at Holy Redeemer Convent for a pre-Christmas Celebration. They were welcomed at the door and ushered into the community room for a meet and greet. This was followed by a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The best was yet to come, Colleen’s decadent plum pudding and heavenly sauce for dessert! Before leaving the dining-room, there was a spontaneous chorus of “Here Comes Santa Clause” as each one received a small gift bag. In closing the celebration, all gathered in the chapel for a beautiful Advent Prayer Service. To the delight of all present, the hymns were accompanied by Sister Elaine Hawrylak on the organ.

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Feast Day of Marguerite Bourgeoys January 12, 2018

*Before beginning, place a cloth on the prayer table.  Items will be added as we pray.

Introduction

Leader:  Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal. (Place a picture or statue of Marguerite on the prayer table)  In 1653, Marguerite Bourgeoys, a native of Troyes, France, came to a tiny and beleaguered Ville-Marie, (now Montreal, Canada) still undergoing its birth pangs.  In 1659, when Marguerite's first companions joined her on a return voyage, her Congregation of Sisters began to educate and guide the children and women in New France. Marguerite, an Extern (type of Associate) with the Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters in France taught poor children and brought the spirit of that movement to the women in New France

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Peace in the New Year

The beginning of a new year is often a time for renewed prayers for peace. We will need them more than ever in 2018, but as we turn the page from 2017, I invite you to rejoice in all of the peacemaking that we have been part of. The Campaign to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and we have a CND connection to that. Take a look at this article – Sisters from Marguerite Bourgeoys Province are also founding, and continuing, members of Antennes de paix.

https://www.devp.org/en/articles/human-rights-day-lets-meet-canadian-woman-peacebuilder

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