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Marguerite Bourgeoys founded… “the Congregation of Notre Dame as an instrument for the transformation and rebuilding of society.” A re-reading of the article written by Mary Virginia Cotter, CND titled “Marguerite Bourgeoys and the Dynamics of Change” (Review for Religions September & October 1983) reminds us of our founder’s purpose for the establishment of her Community and that it is as relevant today as it was in her time.

Marguerite worked within the daunting structures and conditions of the day to bring about change for women religious in the service of God’s people and the Church. Compassion and simplicity are two powerful characteristics of Marguerite which contributed to her effectiveness and are presented to us for reflections.

As a community we are currently focusing on and are in conversation about simplicity. Let us remember that it was “this simplicity and freedom in Marguerite which permitted her to be acutely aware of the needs of her time…” We are called to the same vision which energized Marguerite and her companions. As we ponder Simplicity for Mission and share our communal message we must ask ourselves what the message will be and who will carry it to fruition for God’s people.

Will each of us have the courage and conviction of the message, accompanied by compassionate simplicity, to invite others to join us as Marguerite did?

Are we willing to “cross our oceans” to find collaborators who may be called and willing to continue the work begun by Marguerite?



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