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Visitation Province

A Chapter – Thanksgiving...

In this ‘thanking’ season, Chapter 2016 calls for deep remembering and giving thanks. What is striking me most these days is the on-going assertion that attests to a special spirit, a wholly ‘Holy Spirit,’ both during the experience and palpable still. Along with being so grateful to all who toiled diligently behind the scenes, and prayed behind the scenes, I feel deep gratitude to Marguerite’s spirit in us that dared to listen deeply and dared to keep it simple... dared to invite us, one and all, to go to the peripheries of our own thoughts, behaviours, limitations and comfort zones... wherever we find ourselves and whatever our age, that Love and Compassion be cultivated in ways that might well amaze even ourselves!

For the leadership that got us here and for the leadership that will walk with us into God’s new doings, deepest gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds me that if we have the will, we have the grace!

Lorraine Costello, CND

October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

In a nation as wealthy as Canada, over 4.8 million people should not have to live in poverty. Through JPIC, the Congrgation of Notre Dame Visitation Province supports the work of the organization 'Dignity for All.' This month, from coast-to-coast-to-coast, over 500 volunteers in 50 communities will be raising awareness about the nearly 900,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and the millions of others struggling to get by. The message is: “A national anti-poverty plan must include the voices of those with lived experience of poverty and must be rooted in human rights.”

Monica Lambton, JPIC Coordinator

OK Clean Water Project Annual Brunch

The OK Clean Water Project is hosting their Annual Brunch at the Centurion Conference and Event Centre, 170 Colonnade Road, Sunday, October 30th at 11:00 AM. There will be a delicious brunch, a project update, a silent auction and a raffle. Advance tickets are available by calling 613-737-3681 or email [cost $40 for adults and $20 for students]. Come on out for a great fun event as you support the life-giving gift of clean water for more people in Kumbo, Cameroon! - Carmel Horan

Associate Gathering

October 5th marked the 2nd 2016 fall gathering of the Montreal associates hosted at the Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters de Sève residence.

Muriel Kilgour, CND associate, was the program presenter for the evening and we soon became aware of the great gift of storytelling that Muriel had in store for us. Her topic was the life of Saint Marguerite which she told rather seamlessly with lots of enthusiasm. There were moments you felt that Marguerite was right there among us. How much more alive this story became in its telling rather than in its reading.

As well as being an historian, we learned Muriel had worked as a tour guide at Bon Secours Chapel for a number of years, so was well versed in this great story.

Unfortunately the evening passed very quickly with the narrative still in progress. The associates and sisters unanimously agreed to have Muriel return another time to finish this beautiful part of Marguerite Bourgeoys’ life... to be continued.

Peg Madigan, Montreal associate

As a first step to promoting the New Evangelization, the English sector of the Archdiocese of Montreal launched its first Parish Vitality Conference back in November 2014. We are now preparing a second PVC conference and the theme is Unleashing Our Gifts: Encounter the Giver. Embrace Your Gifts. The keynote address will be given at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on the evening of November 10th.

In addition, the conference will feature 16 workshops that cover practical needs in four areas: Gifts and Discipleship, Evangelization, Ministry and Online Outreach. These workshops will be held at The Plaza Hotel-Holiday Inn located in downtown Montreal.

Should the CND wish to be among the 35 to 50 anticipated groups who will have a kiosk at the rally, please contact Anna Farrow, ESCC’s Director at (514) 937-2301, ext. 252 or 256. You can also obtain more information by visiting the Archdiocesan website at

Rita Maisonneuve

Office for English Pastoral Services - Archdiocese of Montreal

NACAR Conference – Howe Island

On September 17th, 78 associates and sisters, from various religious congregations, shared a most meaningful day together on lovely Howe Island, one of the 1000 Islands in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, Ontario. The Congregation of Notre Dame associates and sisters of Visitation Province hosted this fine day. It was a time for celebrating NACAR’s 20th Anniversary and the 35th year of associate relationship in the Congregation of Notre Dame community.

Our day began with a brief overview of the CARA Study by Cathi Duffy, a NACAR Board member. Her presentation sparked keen interest in the group to do further studies of the CARA findings.

Kathy Wade, a Mercy Associate from Cincinnati, Ohio facilitated the remainder of the day. She very gently drew us into a contemplative environment of openness and trust calling us into a deeper sense of ‘listening’ to ourselves and to others. For many it was their first experience of ‘free-flow’ writing and they were amazed by the many new insights and awareness’s into their own being and to where each of us find ourselves today. The day was a time of raising our consciousness, recognizing and broadening our charisms.

Her manner of facilitating a large group was a living experience of leadership in action calling forth the best in each person attending. The introductory questions for the day:

Who am I and who are we?

Who do we desire to be for one another?

What do we want? Where are we going?

How will we embody our charism in meaningful, impactful ways, into the future?

will remain with us long after this day finished.

Our time together in this sacred, safe environment called each of us to go forth with a renewed ‘Alive in the world’ spirit.

Peg Madigan, associate

Book Recommendation

“Barkskins” by Annie Proulx (author of “The Shipping News”) follows for 300 years the lives and descendants of two woodcutters (called barkskins) who come from France in 1693 to work in the remote area of New France with the hope of eventually receiving land of their own. Their lives and those of their descendants diverge with one intertwined with the Mi'kmaq people and the other with the American forestry industry. The constant, as the individual stories unfold, is the deforestation globally over the years that has led to the current climate change eco-crisis. It also details aspects of the impact of colonization on indigenous peoples.

Kathy Kelly, Ottawa associate


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