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Celebrations and Retreats in Visitation Province

Two Congregation de Notre-Dame associates groups in Visitation East welcomed new associates on May 31, the Feast of the Visitation. The Woodstock Group celebrated by attending Mass at noon, with associates participating in the ministries. This was followed by a Pot Luck Lunch at the new associate’s home. Dorothy expressed her happiness at becoming a CND associate. Helen Ross presented Dorothy with her CND associate pin. The group posed for a photo with parish priest Fr. John Beaumaster after Mass.

Marjorie Allison-Ross

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News from Visitation Province Associates

On Fire for Mission

Message from Sister Maureen MacIsaac, CND

On Fire for Mission" saw 63 associates and sisters gather at the Motherhouse on the Victoria Day weekend for the First Visitation Province Associate Assembly! The assembly began with a very beautiful and moving opening ritual. One could feel the love for St. Marguerite Bourgeoys and the strong desire for carrying out the mission. Sisters Ona Bessette and Josephine Badali led us through a process in which our hearts were inflamed. On Saturday evening, we were blessed to be able to celebrate a beautiful Eucharist at Bon Secours to renew our commitment and vows as associates and sisters, respectively. It was a joy to have witnessed and experienced such a spirit-filled assembly. I am sure that St. Marguerite was beaming! Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to our associate co-coordinators Anna Rowley, Marjorie Allison-Ross, Karen Volpe, Sr. Nancy Hurren and Pat Weicker for their vision and creative energy. How fitting that we gathered on the Feast of Pentecost as the Spirit was indeed present! 

 

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Visitation Summerside, PE

Photo: Sister Eleanor McCloskey

Summerside CND Associates gathered Monday evening, May 28, for their annual retreat and renewal of commitment. In a celebrative spirit Sister Eleanor McCloskey facilitated the session on the topic of “our common home” as called upon by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ and as selected as one of our directions at the last Chapter.

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Area Gathering in Cranbrook, BC

On Saturday, May 12th, the Cranbook Associates were blessed with a visit from the provincial leadership team. Sisters Rebecca McKenna and Catherine Walker met with the Cranbrook CND Associates to bring Marguerite’s message of love for 2017—the result of a collaborative workshop between CND associates and sisters held during the CND Chapter in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The message was twofold: One, to take more of a contemplative stance and two, to respond in hope to the peripheries in our lives. After brief introductions, Becky, Catherine and Cranbrook associate Teresa Knight shared their personal reflections about the Chapter experience. The universal theme among their reflections was that of gratitude for the opportunity for both Associates and CND sisters to come together in prayer, song, deep listening, contemplation, and ‘play’ in the drafting of a new mission statement for the next four years.

 

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250 years of dedicated service in religious life.

Sunday, April 13th was a festive day in Toronto as we celebrated "250 years" of dedicated service in religious life.

Our gathering was held in the Taylor House, at the St. Joseph Residence, where the sisters in Toronto gathered to celebrate and honour our four Jubilarians Sisters:

  • Marie Landers -70 years of religious life
  • Frances Cresswell and Joan Lewis - 60 years and
  • Élise Corriveau - 23 years with the Oblates and 37 years in the Congréation de Notre-Dame

The afternoon began with a prayer focusing on "Joy as the Echo of God's Life Within Us", followed by a tribute dedicated to each sister and a final Jubilee Blessing.

The remainder of the afternoon gave way to the sharing of stories and experiences while enjoying some delicious treats. 

Congratulations and Best Wishes to all the Jubilarians.

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Movie: Pope Francis, A Man of His Word

This film, a documentary, came out recently. It is an "interview" with Pope Francis, stretching over various places where he visited and touching on situations he encountered. The movie uses The Pope's own words, written in subtitles below.  We see, up close, the emotion in his response to questions; he shows humour and laughs, and he shows sadness. His wisdom is deep and he expresses his thoughts and his theology simply, and with confidence.  If this movie comes to where you are, do try to see it.  It is one of those not-to-be-missed productions.

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“On Fire for Mission”

“On Fire for Mission” saw 63 associates and sisters gather at the Motherhouse on the Victoria Day weekend for the First Visitation Province Associate Assembly! The assembly began with a very beautiful and moving opening ritual. One could feel the love for St. Marguerite and the strong desire for carrying out the mission. Sisters Ona Bessette and Josephine Badali led us through a process in which our hearts were inflamed. On Saturday evening, we were blessed to be able to celebrate a beautiful Eucharist at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel to renew our commitment and vows as associates and sisters, respectively. It was a joy to have witnessed and experienced such a spirit-filled assembly. Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to our associate co-coordinators Anna Rowley, Marjorie Allison-Ross, Karen Volpe, Sr. Nancy Hurren and Pat Weicker for their vision and creative energy. How fitting that we gathered on the Feast of Pentecost as the Spirit was indeed present!  

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New Louisbourg Volunteer Project

On Friday morning, May 18th, Sisters Elaine Hawrylak, Mary Morris and Connie MacIsaac met with the Fortress of Louisbourg Project Manager and Curator at the Congregation of Notre-Dame Display Room. “The staff at Louisbourg is very appreciative for any time that the CND volunteers can give to this new endeavour.” They made us feel that this project is so important and much needed. Louisbourg cannot afford to have staff in all the buildings so they are grateful that the CND will have volunteers prepared to speak with the visitors who come to House #11 (CND display).

Sister Elaine hosted the Friday afternoon meeting with the Sydney area volunteers. They were very interested in the opportunity to spend time in our Display Room. Their enthusiasm was “catchy” and we all left with excitement and hope for this new venture.

The staff of The Fortress is offering an Orientation Session for CND volunteers on June 8th.

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Feast of the Visitation Prayer Service

Introduction

Leader: We gather today to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation. “Visitation” refers to the momentous, intimate, and joyful encounter of Mary, the mother of Jesus, with her cousin, Elizabeth. Each woman lived a radical openness to the Holy Spirit; each needed the support and companionship of the other; each responded humbly, gently, and with great liberty of spirit to the designs of God in her life. 

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Social Justice News

Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province Eco-friendly Actions

In relation to the third dimension of our mission orientation that calls us to respect our “common home,” Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province continued its eco-friendly formation-action project. In its efforts to create an irreversible and transformative movement that is beneficial to the Earth, the province has completed the third step in its process. It proposed that, from 2017 to 2021, each house adopt and implement a local plan of action. The communities more than met the expectations. The following are examples illustrating their progress:

  • -  Reduce residual waste, 100% of the houses

  • -  Prevent surplus and food waste, 94%

  • -  Reduce energy consumption, 92%

  • -  Prioritize responsible purchasing, 89%

  • -  Systematically compost food waste, 81%

    In 2019, the Comité Justice Marguerite-Bourgeoys, with the contribution of the liaison-persons from each house, will prepare a progress report of the action plans.

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Peace & Justice News

CATHOLICS ARE STILL IN

A campaign to publically support the actions of the Paris Climate Agreement has been organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant and is supported by the USCCB. Leaders of catholic schools, parishes, universities, institutions and religious communities are invited to sign onto the Catholic Climate Declaration at: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-climate-declaration before June 11, 2018 to be included in the June 18, 2018 public announcement.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

Birthday Prayer Celebrations at Lourdes for Sr. Marylin Stack

In the Congregation of Notre-Dame Lourdes community, we make an effort to celebrate the birthdays of our Sisters. We try to tailor our CND celebration to the Sister herself. For Sister Carolyn Kinnamon we had her favorite chocolate chip ice cream out on the patio. Carvel sundaes were part of Sister Rita McGetrick’s party, although her grandnephew Charlie’s surprise visit with his wife and five little ones made her day, and ours! We will gather for a short time of prayer/music/well-wishing for Sister Marylin Stack on her June 10th birthday.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Birthday Celebrations at the Health Care Centre 

The month of May is a particularly celebratory month for noteworthy birthdays at the CND Health Care Center. On May 5th, Sister Edna Levangie celebrated her 99th birthday. On May 8th Sister Jean Grant celebrated her 101st with her immediate family in attendance. The celebration was well attended by the Sydney area sisters. Great thanks to Sr. Elaine Hawrylak and Sr. Mary Corbett who provided musical entertainment which everyone enjoyed.

Jo-Ann McLean, coordinator CND Health Care Center

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A Pentecost Novena: “Come, Holy Spirit” in Haiku Prayers

Fiery Spirit,

melt my frozen, stingy heart.

Thaw my ice-filled veins.

 

Prodigal Spirit,

pry open my fists, carefully

closed against your gifts.

 

Upside-down Spirit,

fill my overfull mind with

your foolish wisdom.

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Journeys to Justice: Reflections on Canadian Christian Activism

Journeys to Justice

Halifax Book Launch

Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:00pm - 9:00pm
All Nations Christian Reformed Church, 2535 Robie Street, Halifax

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Karri Munn-Venn, Senior Policy Analyst at CITIZENS for PUBLIC JUSTICE (CPJ) recently wrote to thank us for our participation in the Give It Up For the Earth campaign. The thanks belongs to each of you who took the time to make changes in your life to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and return the postcard to CPJ letting the federal government know that you want them to end all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector right away. Karri wrote, “We were thrilled by the number of organizers that participated. There were 150 of you in at least 80 towns and cities in every Canadian province, plus the Yukon. We also had a few participants in the United States. All told, nine major denominations were represented and nearly 20,000 post-cards were distributed. That’s almost double over last year!” The postcards will be delivered to Minister McKenna in the next few weeks and Karri will pass on the final tally at that time.

 “You are called to care for creation not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers if Christ.” – Pope Francis

Anna Rowley

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News from Visitation Province

Take Action to Protect our Waterways!

Five years ago, the former government removed protections from most bodies of water under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, now named the Navigation Protection Act (NPA). While campaigning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government would “restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards” in the Navigation Protection Act and other environmental laws. There will be a vote in Parliament on the new law - Bill 69 - on May 22. The Council of Canadians and other groups are concerned that the new law does not go far enough and does not fulfill the election promise. Please consider writing the Prime Minister, with copies to the Transport Minister and your local MP, asking for a stronger law. You can find more information here: https://canadians.org/media/groups-across-canada-urge-trudeau-government-protect-100-lakes-and-rivers 

Monica Lambton, JPIC coordinator

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Pre-Pentecost Prayer Service

Day 1

Opening Prayer:

Dear God, Creator Spirit, today we want to become more aware of Your place in our lives. Some people call You “the forgotten God,” because we usually pray to God, the Father or to Jesus, the Son. But You are the one who “overshadowed Mary” and made her pregnant with Jesus who grew within her womb for nine months. You are the one who lives in our hearts, making us holy—yes, we are holy because You are within us.  Thank You for this and for each of the seven gifts You give us.

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A Pentecost Reflection

(Article first published in the May issue of The Rhode Island Catholic)

Within the past few weeks there was an amazing rescue of a twelve year old boy whose foot got caught in a drain at a water resort. It was only a few feet of water but the boy’s head couldn’t reach the surface with his foot caught. A man jumped next to him and gave him mouth to mouth air for eight minutes under water until the emergency personnel freed his foot. The boy has recovered and appears to have no harmful effects of the ordeal aside from shortness of breath which is also improving with time...

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Let Us Not Forget Honduras

Since the election of last November and the subsequent swearing in of the President this January, Honduras has been living a painful chaos, worsening again still after years of strife following the 2009 coup. The Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters in Honduras issued a statement about the situation last November.

As we approach the 9th anniversary of the coup (June 28th), I invite you to pray for the people and the land of Honduras.

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