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Social Justice:
Respect for All of God’s Creatures

Collaboration - Partnership

Collaboration and partnership invite us to work with others for the transformation of society and the building of the Reign of God.

This can mean:

Solidarity - Inclusion

Our presence in various parts of the world invites us to foster global awareness and connection among ourselves and with the people of our milieu.
This is what we call solidarity - inclusion

This can mean:

  • appreciating and welcoming differences of culture, race, gender, religion;
  • recognizing our need for interdependence;
  • listening to the cry of the excluded, both individuals and groups;
  • taking concrete means to promote fundamental rights.

Nonviolence

Nonviolence is a way of being, of looking, of speaking, of living in community, of educating, of relating with creation.

It is more than being “nice.” It requires us to look at real situations of violence and to confront them. It teaches us how to speak the truth with love. It invites us to act in partnership with others who are peacemakers.

More information about the OK Clean Water project Advocating against human trafficking at sporting events

Social Justice News

Congregation de Notre-Dame included in UISG Plenary Presentation

The UISG Campaign 'Sowing Hope for the Planet' has connected with more than 400 congregations inviting them to share together regarding the goal of bringing the message of the Laudato Si’ Encyclical Letter to life. Last May many Superior Generals gathered in Rome where a video was presented on the actions of several Congregations. Sr. Agnes Campbell was there and told us how proud she was to see the name of the Congregation de Notre-Dame on the video. At the presentation of the social justice mosaic at the mother house last May, Sr. Agnes remarked that the whole project is even more significant for her now that she is aware of the meaning behind the mosaic. The video is available in eight languages. It is wonderful to see the many and varied actions from around the world, and exciting to see that we are not the only community with an artistic contribution. New things are happening!

You can watch the English version here - the Congregation de Notre-Dame content is at the minute 9.21s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkAlquwbJI&feature=youtu.be

 

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Sisters and Associates Care for the Earth!

Sunday, September 29, 2019 our Charlottetown Diocesan Council of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada hosted our annual Fall Action – education Workshop. Our guest speaker was Luke Stocking of Toronto, Deputy Director of Public Engagement and the face of Development and Peace's leadership team for the Ontario and Atlantic regions. Luke's presentation was informative. It inspired me and blessed me with renewed energy to support the work of D&P. By the enthusiastic reaction of the seventy-five or eighty people present I believe they went home feeling as I did.

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Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the Climate Emergency

On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, leaders of Canada’s 64 Congregations of Catholic Sisters are calling on the country’s politicians to respond to the climate emergency declared by Parliament by taking concrete steps to avert it.

As Women Religious, caring for all of God’s Creation is an essential part of our faith...

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Climate Change

At a recent meeting, Sister Mary Corbett, CND, guest presenter, using Laudato Sí’ as a framework, explored some critical issues around climate change. While exploring the contamination and evaporation of water, Mary strongly emphasized that access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms. She stated that the hydrological cycle (water cycle) of the planet is a closed cycle. There is not a limitless supply of water. “Our present levels of water pollution, stated Mary,” “harm the hydrological system, are unsustainable and put all life forms on the planet in peril.” Several times throughout her presentation, Mary asked: “What are we leaving for the next generations to come and for all life forms?” Moving from this painful reality into a more contemplative mode, Mary presented some magnificent pictures of the Earth taken from Space. She also shared the Astronauts’ profound statements about their experience of viewing Earth from Space.

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Meeting of women in the parish of Santa Bárbara, Honduras

This meeting was a collective experience lived from a perspective of the faith and the daily reality of women.

Five years ago we began to meet once a month with some village coordinators. We also meet, once a year, with eighty to one hundred women from different villages to celebrate and share our rural women ministry.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Earth Day Celebration

On Monday evening, several Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame attended a Musical Evening to celebrate the beauties and wonders of Our Common Home, Planet Earth. This was presented by the Martha Spirituality Centre, and included a variety of music, song and dance, all related to Mother Earth. The program was inspirational and thought-provoking, and was much appreciated by an enthusiastic audience.

Marie Hagen, CND

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Social Justice News from Visitation Province

The “Periphery” Reaching Out To The Periphery

“They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green.” (Psalm 92:15)

We are certainly part of the “periphery!” We live in a seniors’ retirement home. Our average age is 85. Braces, canes, walkers and wheelchairs are part of our every-day reality. Some of us need help in personal care to various degrees. Some have physical or mental disabilities. Our sisters remain here until death. Yes, we fit into the peripheral category! “How then shall we live?”

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Development & Peace

On Sunday, April 6, about ten CND sisters participated in the annual meeting of Development & Peace for the Diocese of Charlottetown. There was a record attendance along with excellent presentations. In many ways we were challenged to become aware of the sufferings of refugees. Danny Gillis had us walk on a simulated trek from our “comfort zones” to end up in a “refugee camp.” After a video interview with a child in such a camp, we heard personally from a young man who had actually lived through such a journey from his native Bhutan to a new life of freedom here on P.E.I. with his family.

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April 22, 2019, Earth Day Vegan Day at the CND

The CND Committee[i] coordinating the “Sowing Hope for the Planet” campaign (initiated by the Union of Superiors General, Rome), has prepared two activities for the observance of Earth Day on April 22, 2019.

The first is a celebration in 4 languages.

The second is a Congregation-wide Vegan Day.


[i] Committee composed of Céline Beaulieu CND, Évangeline Mengue CND, Lilian Barrera CND, Rose Mary Sullivan CND, Ms. Monica Lambton and Ms. Bineta Ba

 

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Cut Back on Plastics

Recently, at our residence, we had a presentation about plastics. Carl Duivenvoorden is a devoted environmentalist, the first Canadian volunteer to be trained by Al Gore. Carl has a special gift for speaking clearly on serious issues, in positive nonjudgmental or threatening ways. And he lives his message. Carl came with show-and-tell containers and materials, and facts.

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March 22 is World Water Day

Today Is World Water Day – an annual day we are invited to focus our attention on sustaining the world’s freshwater resources. This year’s theme is “Leaving No One Behind.” We who have available the water we need, could seek to learn more about the reasons why people, even in our own privileged country may be left behind without safe water. As we pour today, a glass of clean, clear water and drink, we can be appreciative. As we wash our hands today, and feel the cleansing liquid on our skin, we can be grateful. We can look at the food at our table today and notice which foods needed water to cook them. Even if we experience tears today, we can allow them to slide down, maybe even to our chin, and be glad for water.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Good Shepherd Ministry

It has been a wonderful and productive month in the clothing room at Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto. Sr. Joan Lewis, who gives clothes to the homeless, had help from three seminarians from St. Augustine's Seminary, a novice of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood and lay woman.

On these extremely cold days it has been great to work together as a team; sorting donations, serving those who come looking for warm clothes, boots, hygienic articles, etc. Even the opportunity to have a shower is appreciated.

Upstairs breakfast is served. Throughout the entire building the words of Jesus are echoed: "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me.”

All will return to their studies. Only Zena, a faithful and generous lay woman will remain. However, I believe it will be an unforgettable experience that will mark their journey towards the priesthood and consecrated life. The highlight of the day is to celebrate Mass at noon in the small chapel at the center.

We pray for all those who volunteer and those who come to the Good Shepherd. Please join us in prayer.

Joan Lewis, CND

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Peace & Justice News

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Report issued January 2019

You can read the report here: https://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-BL-18-00511.pdf.

The key take away from this report is that the exact total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities at our southern border is unknown. We do know that in the spring of 2018, a zero tolerance policy for certain immigration offenses was announced by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Implementation of this policy often resulted in children being separated from their parent or guardian. Public opposition to the policy grew in the next few months. The policy was challenged in Federal Court in California and in responding to a June 2018 Court Order; HHS identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents in the time since the new policy was announced.

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25th Anniversary Year of Action Refugiés

Early in the morning of January 17th, about twenty people, made up of staff, board members, human rights lawyers and student interns gathered for breakfast to launch the 25th Anniversary Year of Action Refugiés (www.actionr.org).

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Praying for Peace for Honduras in the New Year

session was held at the mother house on the Migrants' Caravan coming from Honduras with Honduran journalist Felix Molina. The room was full of Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters and staff and guests from many collaborating organizations. It was an excellent session. The most significant stat for me was that if the doors were opened 70% of Hondurans say they would leave.

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What is COP 24?

This is on the Global Catholic Climate Movement website.

Every year for 24 years, the nations of the world have gathered in the UN-convened “Conference of the Parties” (COP) to discuss solutions to the climate crisis. A peak in this process was achieved at COP21, which was held in Paris in 2015 and saw the creation of the Paris climate agreement to limit green-house gas emissions.

 

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Social Justice News

Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province Eco-friendly Actions

In relation to the third dimension of our mission orientation that calls us to respect our “common home,” Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province continued its eco-friendly formation-action project. In its efforts to create an irreversible and transformative movement that is beneficial to the Earth, the province has completed the third step in its process. It proposed that, from 2017 to 2021, each house adopt and implement a local plan of action. The communities more than met the expectations. The following are examples illustrating their progress:

  • -  Reduce residual waste, 100% of the houses

  • -  Prevent surplus and food waste, 94%

  • -  Reduce energy consumption, 92%

  • -  Prioritize responsible purchasing, 89%

  • -  Systematically compost food waste, 81%

    In 2019, the Comité Justice Marguerite-Bourgeoys, with the contribution of the liaison-persons from each house, will prepare a progress report of the action plans.

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Peace & Justice News

CATHOLICS ARE STILL IN

A campaign to publically support the actions of the Paris Climate Agreement has been organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant and is supported by the USCCB. Leaders of catholic schools, parishes, universities, institutions and religious communities are invited to sign onto the Catholic Climate Declaration at: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-climate-declaration before June 11, 2018 to be included in the June 18, 2018 public announcement.

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National Housing Strategy

A new collaborative, made up of Women and Men Religious, has been formed to explore ways to help people attain affordable housing in Toronto.

During their last meeting, it was agreed to send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau in response to the new National Housing Strategy which was announced November 22, 2017. This group then reached out for support to other religious communities. Sister Rebecca McKenna, with the support of the team, has endorsed this letter in the name of Visitation Province. 

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Canada has an Ombudsperson!

One of the first campaigns that I was involved in when I came on board as JPIC Coordinator, was for an independent ombudsperson to oversee Canadian mining, oil and gas operations around the world. As Congregation de Notre-Dame in Visitation Province and internationally we have tried several times, with three different governments to see this happen. And now, after ten years of campaigning, we are celebrating the news that Prime Minister Trudeau has stayed true to his election promise and established the ombudsperson office. 

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