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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

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!

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Charlottetown Birthday Celebration-100 YEARS YOUNG!

June 10th was a very eventful day for our Sister Sally MacPherson. Her 100th birthday had arrived. It was also special for her sister Magdalene who is a resident here. Her brother George paid a visit in the morning. In the early afternoon, the PEI Sisters gathered in the entrance where Sally met them. She was greeted with a Happy Birthday song and the presentation of a beautiful poster. She was then escorted to the dining room where birthday greetings from Federal, Provincial, Diocesan and Visitation Province leaders were read and all the residents enjoyed cake and ice cream. In the evening, our community gathered, sang songs composed for the occasion, read special greetings from American and Canadian Sisters and enjoyed refreshments and socializing. We thank God for the gift of Sister Sally’s life.

Réjeanne Bourque, CND

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Migration Letter to Bishops

June 17, 2021
 
Dear Cardinal Cabrera López, Archbishop Gómez, Archbishop Gonzalo de Villa y Vásquez, Archbishop Garachana Pérez and Archbishop Escobar Alas,

We are Catholic organizations from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, working to protect migrants and improve life in the communities they are fleeing. We write to urge you to hear the cries of our brothers and sisters on the move and respond with bold leadership. This summer and fall, we have the best opportunity in a generation to make progress on core Catholic migration priorities. We need your pastoral and moral leadership to meet this moment.

The promise by a new U.S. Administration to address the root causes of migration, treat migrants humanely, and put immigrants who’ve lived in the U.S. for years, and in many cases decades, on a path to citizenship is a unique opportunity to relieve pain and suffering too long endured. This moment requires a whole Church response that is regional, united, and robust. 

 

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

How delightful it was to gather together outside on our patio to celebrate a new moment. After a long winter of quarantine and restrictions we happily shared a McDonald’s moment prepared by our co-coordinator, Lina. It was a wonderful moment to share new life and new hope (Yes, fierce hope!) plus a few good laughs.

As we journey into the coming summer months, we continue to carry you all in our heart-thoughts and prayer. A very special remembrance in prayer for our delegates to provincial and congregation chapters. We are prayer partners with you as you continue in all of our names to discern and make decisions ‘for the life of the world.’ Thank you!

Warm summer blessings,

The sisters of Mary of Peace community Résidence Bon-Secours, Montreal

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Vivencias

From the 4th to the 6th of February, the CND community of Guancasco in Santa Bárbara, Cristina Castellanos Berbena, Cruz Idalia Nieto Molina, and Bertha Lilian Barrera Ramírez had an enriching Visitation experience with Sisters Pedrina Barrera and Maria Luisa Hernandez, Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception, María Isabel López Guardado, Missionary Crusader of the Church, Rosa Isela Rodríguez Hernández and Marcela Cundafé Cruz, Capuchin Tertiaries of the Holy Family, two young women who had visited San José de Oriente just after the flood emergency and a young woman from the Youth Pastoral Council.

We visited the neighbourhoods of Gracias a Dios, La Soledad, Los Anises, Río Hondo, and the villages of San José de Oriente and La Huerta (El Zapote).

We would like to share part of our experiences.

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News from Visitation Province

Kingston Providence Motherhouse News

If one is good, two is better according to the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame at Providence Motherhouse. Seventeen sisters gathered to celebrate Patricia McCarney’s 92nd birthday and to anticipate the Feast of the Visitation. This was the first gathering of the group since COVID-19 claimed a part of our lives. We very much regretted that three in our group were unable to join. Our attention was drawn to a beautiful center piece featuring Mary and Elizabeth and the traditional marguerites arranged by Marijke. Patricia Arsenault called us into a short period of reflection centered on appropriate words from the Constitution before we renewed our vows. A tasty and delicate luncheon prepared by Marijke was enjoyed. Next there came the birthday gift, greeting cards and yet another Happy Birthday song. There was a wonderful feeling of unity and love among us and a sincere thank you to God and Our Lady for many gifts we receive as CND’s. – Barbara Prior, CND

On May 31st, the Feast of the Visitation was celebrated at the CND Health Center in Sydney. A prayer service was held with Sr. Ann Marie McDougall reading the gospel, Sr. Evelyn McNeil led the sisters with the renewal of their vows, and Sr. Catherine MacDonald gave the closing prayer. We were also fortunate to honour Sr. Bernardine Burke on her 70th Jubilee and Sr. Joanne MacFarlane on her 60th Jubilee. Sr. Margaret MacDonell gave a beautiful toast to commemorate the jubilees which was solidified with champagne and cake. The special day concluded with a lobster supper. It was wonderful to be together for a beautiful feast day. – Arlene Rutledge, Coordinator

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Declaration of solidarity by the Congrégation de Notre-Dame with the First Nations people

Declaration of solidarity by the Congrégation de Notre-Dame with the First Nations people following the discovery of the unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School 

The Congrégation de Notre-Dame offers its deepest sympathies to the families and communities whose children died and were buried in indignity, without the knowledge of their family members, at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

We want to acknowledge the devastating consequences of colonialism on the Indigenous peoples of Canada. We deplore the participation of the Church in the colonial movement. We are also aware that these past situations continue to have destructive effects on individuals, families, communities and on all First Nations people in Canada, seriously undermining justice and social peace in our country.

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Visitation Province East Newsletter

Zoom Retreat with Sister Lorraine Caza, CND

Saturday, May 29th, 2021, via zoom, Sr. Lorraine Caza, CND, presented a Mini-Retreat to Sisters and Associates of Visitation Province. Theresa MacNeil, VP East Co-Coordinator welcomed the participants to this retreat and Dianne MacAskill opened with the General Chapter prayer 2021 Together for the Life of the World. Alexa Smith, Associate, introduced Sr. Lorraine Caza. The retreat was an inspiring presentation which focused on: WHAT IF WE REASSESS OUR FULL YEAR OF COVID-19 EXPERIENCE?

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? WHAT ARE WE GRATEFUL FOR? HAVE WE ANY REGRETS?

Sister Loraine Caza ended her retreat inviting each one to write their own personal Magnificat. She shared a Magnificat written by Jacqueline Fehlner, Coordinator VP Central. We were blessed to have Associate Dolores MacGillivary share a Magnificat she wrote and shared. Prior to the retreat ending the Sisters and Associates in attendance renewed their Vows/Commitments. Sr. Connie MacIsaac read the Vows for the Congregation de Notre-Dame sisters who were present while Theresa MacNeil led the Associates in their commitment. The concluding prayer was read by Associate Karen Volpe. Sister Connie MacIsaac expressed heartfelt appreciation to Sr. Lorraine for giving of her time and leaving us with a most memorable experience. The 400th Anniversary song “Let Us Hurry on the Way”, was played to end this retreat.

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May Visitation News

2021 Jubilarians

We celebrate in gratitude the occasion of your Jubilee.

Thank you for your gift of love and fidelity to God’s call, to Visitation Province and to the People of God. May you be abundantly blessed!

75 years professed

Elizabeth Schratz, CND [in memoriam]

70 years professed

Denise Burns, CND

Helen Gray, CND

Bernardine Burke, CND

Emily Doherty, CND

Helen Aboud, CND

Georgina MacInnis, CND

Loretta MacLennan, CND

60 years professed

Marie Clarkin, CND

Mary Morris, CND

Colleen O’Leary, CND

Joanne MacFarlane, CND

Joan Marie Chaisson, CND

Mary Jane Leonard, CND

Gwendolyn O’Neil, CND

Nancy Hurren, CND

Mildred MacNeil, CND

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Archives

Helping pack and relocate the Blessed Sacrament Province Archives these past months has been a privilege and, for sure, a time spent on HOLY GROUND. Sr. Alyn Larson was a wonderful guide, along with Marie-Josée Morin, the director of our Archives in Montreal, and Sr. Marion Andreykovic was my onsite invaluable partner as we packed.

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ASSOCIATES NEWS

Associate Barbara Clarkin recently received the Golden Apple, a weekly award given to a local Rhode Island teacher. Congratulations, Barbara! https://turnto10.com/station/golden-apple/golden-apple-during-pandemic-cranston-teacher-has-been-beacon-in-a-storm

Associate Gathering on our Provincial Report

Sister Mary Anne Foley, liaison for Associate Relationship to our Provincial Council, met with Associates on May 8 for a listening session on the Provincial Report. Associates freely shared their thoughtful responses, comments, and questions. They were grateful to all who prepared and compiled the report. It was beautifully written and presented—giving a comprehensive and inspiring summary of all that has been accomplished throughout these past 4 years. Associates appreciated the transparency of the information that was shared with all. Sisters, Associates, school communities, friends, and many others have richly blessed our province through the ministries, work, energy, creativity, and Visitation spirit they have so generously shared!

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Support the Government's action on Plastic

On May 12, the federal government listed plastic as “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This listing is a crucial first step in Canada’s fight against plastic pollution. It allows the federal government to better manage the production, use and disposal of plastic. But now members of the plastics and petrochemical industry, like Dow, Imperial Oil, and NOVA Chemicals, are suing the federal government in an attempt to stop Canada from tackling the plastic pollution crisis. Take action by urging the federal government to defend its action on plastic and move forward with regulations to end Canada’s plastic pollution problem. You can sign a pre-written letter from Environmental Defence here:

https://act.environmentaldefence.ca/page/83022/action/1?ea.tracking.id=NewsDN&ea.url.id=5316889&forwarded=true

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Zoom and See Retreat: Thank you!

Thank you! for the prayer support for our first CND ‘Zoom and See’ afternoon retreat. We were 9 women online. We used a variety of resources – video clips and song selections, PowerPoint slides and personal witness stories. Our time included silence and group sharing. And at the end, all seemed pleased.

Together we chose Sunday, June 13 for our second instalment. Continuing with the letter from Pope Francis for Vocation Sunday, we will focus our attention on "Service" for Saint Joseph, Saint MB, our CND stories and what those who gather are seeking.

Thank you! Have a great weekend. Blessings!

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The Intersection of Homelessness and Human Trafficking

In addition to UN Bill C-15, another issue on the UN agenda related to our Congregation de Notre-Dame priorities is the relationship of homelessness to human trafficking. It is reported that over four million people are trafficked every year, 80 percent of whom are women and girls and 90 percent of whom are sexually exploited. One of the UN Developmental Goals was to establish a working group for Affordable Housing and Social Protection, as it was apparent that homelessness was a key factor in the vulnerability of those who were prey to the designs of human traffickers. 

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News from Visitation Province

Remembering the March 11, 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake

A decade after the earthquake, magnitude 9.0-9.1, and tsunami, Sister Kikuko, CND from Maria Province, shares her experience of that day in a short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd9dhheQ0Kw&list=PLYCyxFBom6Fcm7uASS2axgP50ax1GQ_PR&index=137&t=21s

May we continue to hold in prayer those affected by this natural disaster.

Anna Rowley, Truro Associate

 

HOW BIG IS MY WORLD…MY GOD?

We tend to be well-armored against authentic God experience, because it always leads us into the unfamiliar, that new terrain where we are not in control and God is. St. Augustine said, ‘Si comprehenderis, non est Deus’: ‘If you can understand it, it is not God.’ I guess that is why God usually has to break in or break us down to break through to us. We try to pull God into our little minds and worlds, when this big God is trying to pull us into a much bigger world, which we, almost by nature, resist. Jesus called it ‘the kingdom of God.’” Richard Rohr (Introduction to Paul Coutinho’s book How Big Is Your God?)

Joan Lewis, CND

 

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News from Visitation Province

Happy 100th Birthday, Sister Catherine!

Sr. Catherine M. MacDonald celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, May 2nd, at the CND Health Center in Sydney. Sr. Catherine was celebrated with prayer, best wishes, song and cake.

Happy 102nd Birthday, Sister Mary Edna

Blessings are abundant at the CND Health Center in Sydney. On Wednesday, May 5th, we were blessed to celebrate Sister Mary Edna Levangie’s 102nd Birthday.

 

 

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THE GREEN LEAF - Active transportation

Many of us used to travel quite actively to work. What about when we work from home? Why maintain or integrate the use of active transportation into this new routine?

THE GREEN LEAF

NEWSLETTER BY THE GREEN COMMITTEE OF THE MOTHER HOUSE

Lord,

You made the children of Israel cross the sea with dry feet.

You showed the three Wise Men the way to You by guiding them with a star.

We pray you: give us a safe journey and good weather.

Do so that in the company of your holy angel,

We may arrive happily at the place we want to reach

And in the end, to the port of eternal salvation.

Translation of an excerpt of Prière de bénédiction des pèlerins (Association des Recteurs de Sanctuaires)

ACTIVE TRAVEL

Health

According to the World Health Organisation, “adults aged 18–64years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity". This translates in doing at least 30 minutes per day. However, ideally, these numbers should be doubled, according to the WHO, to truly reap the benefits of these activities. Currently, since we do not have to commute to work, most of the trips we make are local and short distance (e.g., grocery store, pharmacy, etc.). Why not combine what is useful with what is pleasant and take this time to walk or bike?

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Visitation East Associates_May Newsletter

The Spring ARCAN (Atlantic Religious Congregations and Associates Network) meetings took place via Zoom on April 16-17, 2021. Visitation Province East Congregation of Notre Dame Associate Coordinators, Dianne and Theresa Ann were in attendance along with Sisters and Associates of seven other Congregational Groups. ARCAN emerged in the hearts of Sister Alma MacLellan, CND, and Congregation of Notre Dame Associate Peg in Pictou, N.S. in 2002. ARCAN Vision: ARCAN's vision is to be a mutually supportive network of associates and sisters in Atlantic Canada living a new and dynamic expression of religious life and spiritual meaning for the 21st Century, supporting and inviting each other to a wider embrace of Gospel values, and living a commitment of Love, in relationship with all creation. ARCAN Mission: Rooted in Gospel values and inspired by the charisms of our religious congregations, the mission of ARCAN is to provide a supportive network for sisters and associates from Atlantic Canada that is committed to adult learning, inclusive actions, embracing diversity, along with an awareness of the new consciousness that all life is sacred and connected.

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A person is a child of God no matter the circumstances of his or her life

This article was first published by The Rhode Island Catholic.

Rites of spring go as far back in history as we know it. Myths and legends, May poles and dancing celebrate the longer days and warmer temperatures. The first sight of budding trees and flowers sprouting up, while snow still covers the ground, gives the promise of spring in all its beauty. Even Scripture delights in the season:

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.” (Song of Songs 2:11-13)

The blossoming fruit trees are such a gift to all our senses. Tulips and daffodils are not just a luxury of the suburbs or the country. City homes have window boxes or a small patch of green with the flowers standing tall and leaning toward the sun. Musicians and artists have composed and performed, drawn and painted their experiences and reactions to spring’s abundance of beauty.

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News from Visitation Province

Our Celebration of Earth Day was a special one at Andrews. All the residents were conscious of this day as they witnessed the colorful and meaningful display of "our common home" near the front entrance. Beside this beautiful display prepared by our Director of Activities, Jackie Vanderzwaag, was an Information Sheet for everybody, describing the ways in which we might honour and continue to celebrate Earth Day every day of our lives. The Sisters were happy to share with everybody our large earth ball.

During our Evening Prayer, prepared by Sr. Anne T. Gillis, Sisters continued our celebration with a special prayer honouring the gifts of life which we receive from our earth. The display was prepared by Sr. Marie Gaudet.

Marie Hagen, CND

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