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News from Japan

I thought it would be of interest to us that Sister Janet Malone’s article “A Spirituality of Aging in Religious Communities” was used at a retreat that my sister Mary (Sr. Mary Gillis, CND) made recently in Japan and that the Jesuit priest who conducted the retreat told her that, the Japanese Jesuits were so impressed with the article they had it translated into Japanese and published in their Theological Digest. There is also interest in getting a copy of her book so I am in the process of facilitating that. So happy to know that Sister Janet’s incredible insight lives on.


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Sister Louise Dunn CND receive Recovery Award

I was privileged to be able to attend the afternoon of Recovery Day in Ottawa on Friday, September 22, 2016. The day was all about those who are in recovery, their families and supporters. It was wonderful to feel the energy, unity and hope that permeated throughout the crowd.

A young America woman, Brooke, addressed the group and challenged all who are living in recovery to be proud of their journey and share it openly so that those who are still “using” will see that there is help, hope and happiness available to them.

Then Sr. Louise Dunn was called to the stage and the crowd was spontaneously on its feet. David McGinty, MP for Ottawa South, presented her with the statement which he had read in the House of Commons earlier that week. This was followed by the Recovery Award being presented to Sister Louise by Gord Garner, chair of Recovery Day Ottawa.


Sister Louise humbly accepted the award on behalf of all involved in Serenity Renewal for Families, acknowledging that she and Alexa Smith co-founded Serenity Renewal. The Award was a tribute to Sister Louise and Alexa as well as the past and present staff.

As the day ended Sister Louise and Alexa had been receiving lines of people who came to re-acquaint themselves, give gratitude and some to set-up appointments to visit the staff at Serenity Renewal and begin a road to healing.

It was a day celebrating the mission of the Congregation of Notre Dame and we congratulate and thank Sister Louise and Alexa for what Serenity Renewal has done for the over one hundred thousand men, women and children who have found a path to recovery over the past thirty-three years. 

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Graced Aging… Keeping the Energy Alive

Twenty-two (22) Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters gathered at the mother house for the weekend of September 23-25, 2016. This gathering was an opportunity to pray, reflect on input and share in small and large groups on the topic of graced aging. Using her well-honed skills and broad experience, Sister Nancy Sylvester, IHM, gently led us through an unfolding and rewarding process.

Friday evening began with the sharing of symbols. Each sister had been asked to bring a symbol that describes how they want to live into their graced aging years.

There were many opportunities for reflection and sharing as Sister Nancy introduced us to “The Five Why Process” and the Powers of the Universe … Energy for Aging. “The Five Why Process” helped us to identify what we feel when we reflect on getting older. We were asked to consider what the four (4) Powers of the Universe – Cataclysm, Transmutation, Transformation and Radiance tell us about how we understand and approach aging and what do they offer to us to approach aging in new ways?

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