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Blessed Sacrament Province

Feast of the Visitation Celebration May 30, 2021

CND Sisters and Associates in Blessed Sacrament Province gathered on May 30 via zoom to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation. It was a joyful gathering filled with excitement, happiness, and birthday wishes for two Sisters and an Associate! Sisters renewed their vows, and Associates renewed their commitments. Below are excerpts from readings from Pope Francis and Joyce Rupp that were used during personal reflection time and small group sharing. May these excerpts continue to inspire us throughout the coming year to walk in the ways of Visitation!

…the gaze of Our Lady helps us to look at one another as sisters and brothers…. that gaze which strives to welcome, to accompany and to protect. Mary’s gaze…is full of tenderness, which gives us strength and builds solidarity among us. Mother, grant us your gaze! --Pope Francis 2016

Pray to be Visitation’s face, ears, heart, mouth, hands, feet. Pray that the Light of Visitation shining in my soul will recognize and receive the Light shining in others… that we will care for each other and…creation… with gratitude for all that exists.

Joyce Rupp


Blessed Sacrament At The Border

Sisters Bea Baker and Jackie Hanrahan are planning to volunteer at the border at some point in the fall and are working on preliminary plans for that. Sister Maco Cassetta, Christa Gesztesi and maybe some others from the Novitiate House are hoping to participate once again, too. In addition, some of our Associates have already contacted Jackie about their interest. Others of you are welcome to join them too.


Good News!

Many of us have been touched by the inequity in our country as we heard of children who were struggling with school because of lack of internet. During a time when we were unable to be present and help others in ways we were used to, we were able to share some of the second round of our stimulus money with a group in Back-of-the-Yards, Chicago to help with internet service. When it proved impossible to obtain that service, they asked if they might use the money for Chrome Books instead.

Bruce Wilhelms from Back of the Yards explains how this donation like the mustard seed grew and continues to grow:

One16 year old, the eldest of 5, came in with his 7th-grade brother to pick up his computer. I asked where was his mom or dad - he said they don't have a dad at home and that he helps to take care of his family. His mom is too old to accompany them and she is sick at home. [As he was leaving, he] asked, "Do you have a job that I can apply for this summer?" We hooked him up with One Summer - a six week plan of work for the youth.

One man arrived barefooted and was picking up three computers for his children. He explained his family was in a bad car accident a week ago on the freeway. A truck rammed them, and overturned. The driver fled on foot. They have a lawyer and are trying to work through the details as they recover. 

We conduct a survey with any parent or responsible adult who accompanies the child to receive a computer. In most cases, parents want to meet together and become more active in the community. Yesterday, we conducted 22 surveys, and out of those surveys 15 parents want to learn more about their neighborhood and technology. 

 [The team has reached out to many others, including a journalist who may write about the project, members of the Society of Engineers, grad students from DePaul and the University of Illinois, and local public school principals.] All of them want to be part of a movement to establish the "Mesh Network" of WIFI in the neighborhood. One principal is now offering his school for community meetings with parents and a technology class to begin to teach them access to WIFI. The information can be critical to learning how to apply for Rent reductions, for Rehab grants and loans, and for checking on property tax reduction, etc.

The real high for me is watching the graduate students learn how to have conversation with neighbors. This is so critical to relational building, and ultimately, violence reduction. The CND's can be proud of pastoral work being accomplished in this – the actions of social justice are helping to wake up a neighborhood that closed its eyes when leadership dissipated (perhaps after all the churches left the area back in 1990) or because no agency has really brought any service to the area. It is exciting.

I tell people where the financial support comes from, and you can tell people are proud. One mother told me, "I was a religious sister" in Mexico. She left, married and now has a family. But her connection with what it was to be a religious sister is motivating her to participate now for a better future for their children.

~

What a gift that we have been able to be part of this wonderful endeavor!


From the Archives,  Joann Compagno, CND

Greetings from the archivist’s cubicle at CND Sacred Heart. Here is an update on our move here.

All the archival boxes we didn’t send to Montreal were moved into storage or to Sacred Heart on Saturday, June 5. Standing with Pat Ells in a 10 X 10 storage unit that day brought home the reality of how little and how much we have.

At this time I am conferring with our Archivist in Montreal about how to proceed with acquisitions given the current limitations of space at Sacred Heart.

Last month I suggested that the annals we write this year include a piece on the pandemic and our CND story/response to it in community or in our ministry.

Blessings on your summer.

Joann


Congratulations New Associates!

We welcome five women who became Associates in May 2021. Two are introduced below and three will be highlighted in next month’s newsletter.

Rosa is a woman of deep faith and strong family bonds. She is an active member of Pope John Paul II Parish in Kankakee, IL, where she serves others faithfully in ministry work. As a candidate she joined the Associates in creating the Prayer Shawl ministry in the parish. It is a very inspiring ministry not only to her parish but to the greater community. People who receive prayer shawls are given hope and strength during their time of need. This was especially important during the past year! Rosa is inspired by Marguerite’s love of others. She wishes to continue to grow in her faith and in her work with the Associates in her community.

Celene is inspired by Marguerite’s life of service and wants to follow in her footsteps. She is very active in ministry at Pope John Paul II Parish in Kankakee, IL, where she serves as a communion minister, is part of the Coordinating Team of the Hispanic Council, and is a member of the Prayer Shawl ministry with other Associates in her parish. Celene has always volunteered in different aspects of parish life because she believes in giving back not only to the parish but her community. She inspires others with her warm, welcoming smile and through her life of joyful service.

Associates News Maria Vazquez & Donna Wuhrer

 

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