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Accepting the Vulnerability of Love

He had large hands. His left one rested easily on the boy’s left shoulder. Both looked comfortable with the arrangement. They sat in the first pew at a daily Mass in a Church about 500 feet from the ocean. It was obvious even from the back that they were father and son. The adolescent boy’s head was a mirror image of the man’s. The shape of both heads, the ears exactly the same; the turn of the shoulder and the haircut were clones of each other.

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Comments on The Tribunal

The movie, The Tribunal, is compelling, very moving and well executed. The choice of characters who fill the various roles, the display of human emotion, the music and drama provide the ingredients of a good show.

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In the news: NASA Nun!

This last week was one that required stretching and growth for sure. Some of the sisters previously inquired about presenting my story to media, but I resisted until I was 'out' officially to Facebook and the world. That took from Oct 2015 until July 2017 to be ready. I guess I am more conservative and discerning than the impulsive person I thought myself to be. 

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Election of a New Provincial Team

Left to right : Sisters Catherine Walker, Donna McInnis, Maureen MacIsaac, Eileen McQuaid & Rebecca McKenna 


Sisters and associates of Visitation Province, the geographic region of the Congrégation de Notre- Dame which comprises English-speaking sisters from all over Canada, gathered at St. FX University, Antigonish, NS, July 10-16, 2017 for their Province Chapter. During this event, sisters and associates reflected on the mission orientation and elected a new leadership team. 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 6

Photo: Chapter Delegates attending the magnificent Murder Mystery Dinner on July 14th 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 5

Photo: Newly elected leadership team Sisters Catherine Walker, Maureen MacIsaac, Eileen McQuaid and Becky McKenna 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 4

Photo: Srs. Marie L. Arsenault & Margaret Paterson 


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1 Year Anniversary of Associate Pilgrimage to Montreal

1 Year Anniversary of Associate Pilgrimage to Montreal During 35th Anniversary of Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associate Relationship 

Last week as I was preparing the themes for the July Newsletter, I received an e-mail from one of the Pilgrims from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA), Ronnie (aka Veronica Gilligan-White), reminiscing about the 2016 Associate Pilgrimage, “In the Foot-steps of Marguerite Bourgeoys.” Here are some quotes from her e-mail about her experience of the Pilgrimage. 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 3

Photo: Temporal Affairs Report Q & A 


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Parish Picnic at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish

The Parish invited the CND Sisters and Associates to join them for their parish picnic on June 25th. Sr. Mary Morris, Alexa Smith, Gloria Dempsey and I attended their Parish Picnic in Tantallon. It was a lovely, sunny day and a good time was had by all. We enjoyed the barbecue and even participated in face painting. Alexa and I went home with a heart and Canadian flag painted on our cheek. (Sorry Marjorie, we didn't get pictures!) 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 2

Voting on option #1 or # 2 style of leadership

Liturgy with Father Martin Macdougall

Leadership report Q & A session

Afternoon Break Time

Associates Anne Rawley (East) and Teresa Knight (West)

Associate Marjorie Allison-ross and Sister Ann Marie McDougall

Sisters Mildred Chabassol, Mildred MacNeil, Eleanor McQuaid and Donna Kelly

Karaoke Evening Social



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Atlantic Religious Congregations Associate Network (ARCAN) Conference June 2-3, 2017

As we sat at our tables, we noticed how creatively decorated they were thanks to Anna Rowley and Sr. Norma Heffernan, RSCJ. The decorations were so fitting with the Conference theme, "Greening Our Hearts". There were rocks from our Atlantic provinces painted very artistically with green hearts. We were all encouraged to take one home as well as a red spruce seedling. The seedlings were in a basket, decorated with burlap. There were butterflies and origami stars spread around the centre of the table. It was a great start to the conference and certainly put us in the spirit of what was to come. 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 1

Visitation Province Sisters are gathered in Chapter July 10-16. Please keep them in your prayers as together they pray, reflect and decide how to best set forth the Congrégation de Notre-Dame mission orientation.


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Ok Clean Water Project Newsletter - Spring 2017

25 Years of Associate Relationship

St Joseph Province East Associates who attended the Chapter Meeting in 1999 in Antigonish pose with Sr Georgina McInnis, St Joseph Provincial Leader, and Sisters Therese Arsenault and Alma McLellan. Marg and I both attended this meeting. 

Celebrating 25 years of Associate Relationship, reflecting on these many years gives me much appreciation and love for all those involved with my spiritual growth and the many directions which Associate Relationship has led me.

Sister Gwen O’Neill nicely invited me to consider becoming an Associate. At the time I was two years away from retirement and was feeling some stress. Over a period of one year I studied the Life of St. Marguerite and Associate Relationship. St. Marguerite’s life, her writings and charism greatly appealed to me. I was struck early on in meeting of the great hospitality given by Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters and later found hospitality in every gathering and experience. 

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News from the Miramichi Associates

On Saturday, June 10, the Miramichi Associates gathered at St Mary’s Church for their annual Retreat. Sr. Eleanor McCloskey, CND, was the facilitator for the day. We enjoyed a delicious lunch. Our Journeying Candidate, Carol, will soon make her First Commitment. A cake was presented to Sr. Eleanor honouring her 60th anniversary of profession.

Creative Gifts of Miramichi Associates

Miramichi Associate Geraldine Gordon depicted her version of The Visitation in a quilted banner. She is an accomplished quilter having quilted numerous prizewinning quilts. She belongs to the Miramichi Quilters Guild and teaches quilting. Her banner is displayed at all our Associate meetings.

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Visitaiton Province Chapter is Here

Twelve Associates from across Visitation Province will participate with the Sisters in the Province Chapter which begins on Monday, July 10 and ends on Sunday, July 16. During the week, the Associates and Sisters will get to know each other, participate in Group Prayer, share meaningful conversations that matter, make presentations and have some fun.

We ask you to remember the Sisters and Associates in your prayers during this time. During the Chapter, the Sisters will be selecting the Sisters who will lead this Province for the next 4 years. We Associates will work on other topics while the Sisters participate in the election process. 

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Associates News - West Canada



Due to distances and our increased concerns about long distance driving this year we chose to locate the educational component of our area gathering in both Cache Creek and Cranbrook. We invited Alana Forrester, one of our Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associates from Ontario, to facilitate an introduction to the process of discernment in both places. Our associates used the discernment process to reflect on the General Chapter Orientation and look at the practical implications of “How then shall we live? 

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Sharon Terry, a graduate of Waterbury Catholic High School and a CND associate, recently gave a TED talk. In it, she articulates the charism of Marguerite in the story of her quest, because of a genetic disease that her children have, to make a difference in medical research and the health of people and their families. Sharon says: "If we are open to breathing into our fear and being vulnerable with those systems and people who challenge us, our power as change makers grows exponentially.” She describes her spiritual work as feeding her outer work and vice~versa. Listen to her TED talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/sharon_terry_science_didn_t_understand_my_kids_rare_disease_until_i_decided_to_study_it

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Visitation Place

This spring, I was given permission by my religious community, The Congregation of Notre Dame, to rent the house next door and then sublet to three young professional women. Visitation Place is a shared living arrangement that is faith-filled and committed to living simply by making sustainable choices. Like Mary and Elizabeth, our lives will be enriched by each other’s journey. We will share meals, prayer and volunteer outreach as our schedules allow. Women will be asked to contribute financially at subsidized costs to the upkeep of the house. Some have already expressed interest so now it is time to get concrete about the house. 

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