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March 2016 Visitation East Associate Newsletter

Visitation Province

2016 CND General Chapter

Rooted in Jesus Christ,

Let us Cultivate Love and Compassion

General Chapter Associate Preparation

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

All associates are now being asked to read and reflect prayerfully upon the six associate and six sisters letters from the six areas of the Congregation (Canada, France, US, Japan, Central America and Cameroon) that we received in January.

The questions to consider in this personal reflection are:

  • What am I noticing?
  • Is anything shifting as I read the letters from other provinces/regions?
  • How am I being influenced in my thinking about Associate Relationship in the Congregation?

Then we are asked in our Associate Groups to use the six associate letters to answer the following question:

  • In light of these associate letters, where is God calling us into the future?

We really appreciate that you are taking the time to participate in this timely discussion about the future of Congregation of Notre Dame Associate Relationship. This is your opportunity to provide feedback to the question that is going to be presented at the Chapter. We thank you in advance for your comments.

Karen Volpe, Visitation Province participant for the 2016 General Chapter in Cornwall, August 11-22

Fasting and Feasting – William Arthur Ward

Lent can be more than a time of fasting. It can also be a joyous season of feasting. Lent is a time to fast from certain things and to feast on others.

It is a season to:

Fast from judging others; feast on Christ living in them.

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of life.

Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on appreciation.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal hope through Jesus.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from thoughts of weakness; feast on promises that inspire.


Fasting and Feasting was found in the St Thomas More Parish Bulletin, Sarasota,

Florida the weekend of February 14, 2016. Marjorie

New Victoria Group Welcomes Two Journeying Candidates

Submitted by Winnie Odo

On Feb 01, 2016 the New Victoria Associates formally welcomed journeying candidates Lorette Campbell and Jane Rizzo to their regular monthly gathering. Our meeting opened with “All That I Have Ever Desired” by Kathleen Deignan, CND, and a reflective New Year’s prayer service. We were asked to consider: what is the wisdom you hear in your heart about your Congregation of Notre Dame associate life and listening to the heart of Saint Marguerite: what are we called to create anew for the life of the Congregation, for the life of the world? Many responded with joy and hope, one felt that we needed to be more welcoming. Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si” was offered and many felt that if Marguerite would be with us now, she would be immersed in being more gentle with Creation. We reviewed Chapter 8 “Softening the Soul” from our study book “Everyday Simplicity” which opened a lively discussion as we responded to these questions: How do people feel when they are with me? Am I really awake, aware, present to God in my life now? What does my daily behaviour say about the person I really am? Our meeting closed with “Melody of Life” by Brendalee Boisvert, CSM, after which we continued to live “visitation” over tea and birthday cake. The associates of the New Victoria Group: Margaret Berger, Marilyn Clements, Mary McKenzie, Angela McKinnon, Gerald and Winnie Odo.

35th Anniversary of Associate Relationship


Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

The 35th Anniversary Committee invites groups to think of activities that they can do to commemorate this special milestone in the life of the Congregation de Notre Dame. One idea that has been encouraged is for groups to plant a tree, shrub, flowers or vegetable garden. This would be a symbol of solidarity with the tree planted at the mother house. Whatever your group decides to do, please take pictures and write about it and send this to the Coordinators so it can be placed in the Archives. A Facebook page called, “35th Anniversary Living Network” was launched on February 11. It is a place where we can inform others about our 35th Anniversary activities. Please search out this Facebook page and like it.

35th Anniversary

Pilgrimage to Marguerite’s Montreal

To date, 44 people have registered for the Pilgrimage to Montreal and walk in Marguerite’s Footsteps. The dates for the Pilgrimage are July 6-11.

Radical Grace Documentary

Radical Grace, an award-winning documentary (2015; 75 min.) directed by Rebecca Parrish and produced by Niccole Bernardi-Reis. Executive Producer is Susan Sarandon, noted for her active support of social causes including economic justice, women’s rights, anti-war efforts and for her social justice work. Radical Grace is about three contemporary activists; Sister Simone Campbell, (Nuns on the Bus), Sister Chris Schenk (Future Church) and Sister Jean Hughes. The film is available for rental to groups; the home DVD is not yet available. CNWE New Brunswick has arranged for public screenings in Saint John (March 30 at 6:30) and Fredericton (March 31 at 6:30). To see the trailer, visit

Calling All Associates Who Joined in 1981 to 1986 (30-35 years ago)

We would like to have pictures and stories about your early life as a Congregation of Notre Dame associate to put in the Associate Newsletter in May and June as part of the 35th Anniversary Celebrations. Associates, please help us to connect with the early associates to get this information. Thanks so much.

Below is the description of the 5 week online Retreat that can be found at

“In the Heart of the World invites us to pause awhile in the midst of our busy lives to reflect deeply on our vocation as Christian women and men to be Church on mission in our milieu. We live in a period of great transition. The needs of people and the earth cry out from every corner of our fractured, fragmented yet beautiful world. In the midst of the turmoil and confusion surrounding us, Pope Francis urges us to be the “Joy of the Gospel,” like Jesus, bearers of mercy, a healing presence for all whom we encounter, for all creation. Church documents remind us that Mary, mother and first disciple of Jesus, shows us the way. In the Heart of the World offers writings, reflections and art work of Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters Marie Azzarello and Rachel Gaudreau. Mandalas will be used among our illustrations. The term mandala means circle. It represents whole-ness and infinity. In its origin, a mandala is a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relationship to all aspects of our individual and communal lives. Coloring a mandala or creating one based on the Word of God is an aid to meditation and contemplation. We offer a daily reflection for five weeks. May this time of reflection open us to fresh insights and new life.”

We would like to draw your attention to some resources that you might like to use in your prayer life.

The following resources were listed in a recent FACQs.

The Lenten Reflection Guide from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns contains reflections, questions, prayers and actions on each week’s Gospel reading and the teachings of Pope Francis in his latest encyclical, “Laudato Si”. Find it and download—free—at

Becky McKenna, CND

A SPIRIT OF MERCY: Reflections on the Works of Mercy “In this Extraordinary Year of Mercy, Pope Francis calls us to conversion in our own lives so that we can be and bring the face of God’s mercy to the world.” This booklet was prepared by Br Mark O’Connor, FMS, and may be used as a source of reflection, for individuals and groups, as we journey through the Season of Lent in this Year of Mercy.

Digital copies of this resource may be downloaded from the above website. (Permission is given)

Our Sunday Visitor’s 365 Days to Mercy app, is designed to accompany you on a spiritual journey during the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.

New app from Our Sunday Visitor designed especially for the Year of Mercy. Our Sunday Visitor’s 365 Days to Mer-cy app, is free in the iTunes and Google Play app stores. There is a thought for every day of the year of Mercy — one for morning and evening. Also, there is an app “a Year of Mercy” with Pope Francis (384 pgs.) from Sunday Visitor.

CND Calendar quote for March 2016:

Reflection: “Climate change is happening and humans are causing it.” – Bill Nyne

Question: Do I grasp the significance of climate change?




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