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Closing the Villa Maria College Music School

Villa Maria College recently announced that its private music school will close at the end of this school year. Les Sœurs de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, founders of the high school, acknowledge the quality of the analysis performed by Villa Maria’s administration for the purposes of decision-making leading up to this announcement. They support the decision and have every confidence in the school’s director, Ms. Marie-Anna Bacchi, who also has the support of the college’s board of directors for the sound management of the school. The field of education is constantly evolving in order to better meet society’s changing realities. Since the 19th century, Villa Maria’s academic curriculum has always known how to adapt in order to fulfill the needs of the students, their parents and the teaching staff. Some decisions are difficult to make: change always involves taking a step into the unknown. Villa Maria continues to advance with confidence and to believe in the potential of its young students. It is for them that we must innovate and explore new avenues.

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Area Gathering – CND Health Care Centre

It was a refreshing site at our CND Health Care Centre on the morning of March 2nd to experience the sisters enthusiasm at “their” meeting with Sisters Eileen McQuaid and Catherine Walker as they helped to bring the Chapter process home.

I also had the privilege of being there to witness their joy on receiving the “Good News.” It was as if they savoured every moment as they sat in the prayer room and listened attentively. What surprised me most was their prompt response to the question of how they too have gone, and still go to the “peripheries” along with their pain, suffering, loneliness and visible diminishment. Sr. Frances Beaton told us the story of her going to the Correctional Center on a regular basis after her retirement to teach several young men in preparation for their High School Equivalency Certificates. How proud she was of “my dear boys.” Sr. Catherine MacPhee (presently making plans for the celebration of her 103rd Birthday) spoke of her dominant gift to her pupils… loving each one and attempting to follow many of them throughout a lifetime. In her absolute stark blindness, she continues to help us to see. Those sisters who cannot speak, continue to be powerful examples of “How Then Shall We Live…”

We left the meeting feeling that their pain is surely our greatest source of strength as we journey together.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Bringing Chapter Home 

On Friday, March 2nd, the Area Gathering was held at Parkland Cape Breton, for sisters and associates. The purpose of the meeting was "to bring the Chapter home" and the presenters did reach their goal.

Sister Eileen McQuaid and Sister Catherine Walker, members of the leadership team facilitated the meeting. Sister Gwen O'Neil and Diane MacAskill, associate, captured the spirit of the Chapter with a very thorough overview, that included the serious and the fun times. Monica Lambton, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) coordinator for Visitation Province, challenged us to discover ways that we could make "the cry of the periphery" reach its full meaning in our daily lives. Although we were encouraged to think outside the box and definitely outside our comfort zone, the sharing proved to be most beneficial. The meeting was brought to a close with the singing of our theme song "How Then Shall We Live."

Helen Aboud, CND

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St. Patrick: capable and ready "to care, to suffer, to die and to feel"

Photo credit: Nheyob

Walter Brueggermann, a scripture scholar, has done extensive work on the study of prophets in the scripture. Connecting passion with prophecy he claims “the possibility of passion is a primary prophetic agenda” and explains further that passion is “the capacity and readiness to care, to suffer, to die and to feel.”

This month we celebrate the feast of a saint who expressed his baptismal call to be prophet in his passionate zeal to bring the living word of God to the Irish people. Patrick, a native of Roman Britain, was brought to Ireland as a sixteen year old slave in the year 400. Patrick was born a Christian. His father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest. (It was only in the 11th century that celibacy became a requirement for priesthood.)

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Ottawa Area Gathering 

On February 26th, the Ottawa sisters and associates gathered for a contemplative afternoon of prayer, input and sharing on the Chapter Orientation.  Sisters Becky McKenna, Eileen McQuaid and JPIC Coordinator, Monica Lambton, facilitated the afternoon and encouraged us to gift ourselves with a word or insight which might emerge from the afternoon's experience. Sisters Louise Dunn and Bernie O'Neill shared highlights of their experiences at last summer's Chapter. In terms of peripheries we were asked to ponder where those have been for us, where they are now, and where they might next be. Each of us was asked to note a concrete action we could take. We pondered the door image and were encouraged to be attentive to how that image and other images which emerge may be speaking to us.

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Easter Celebration

Sunday April  1   2018

10h30  ( in French)

At the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

Guy Chapdelaine  

Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, 400 Saint Paul Street East, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1H4  

514.282.8670 

info@marguerite-bourgeoys.com

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Together for peace

Celebration of the Passion of the Lord with silence, Word and music.

 (in French)

Friday March 30 2018

15h00

At the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

Guy Chapdelaine 

Benoit Marineau, Organ with vocal ensemble

Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, 400 Saint Paul Street East, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1H4  

514.282.8670 

info@marguerite-bourgeoys.com

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team

The point of religious life is living in this life the Resurrection of Jesus… Dying is part of the mysticism of religious life… The important thing, if our dying is expressing itself in Resurrection, is to enable people to “touch” the Risen Jesus in and through our spiritual bodies.

The beginning of our February 16-17 meeting was graced by the vigil service and funeral Mass for Marie Cafferty. This gave deeper meaning and poignancy to our reflection on “Religious Life as a Resurrection Phenomenon,” the interview with Sandra Schneiders, IHM in the current LCWR Occasional Papers.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Kingston Area Gathering

The Kingston Congrégation de Notre-Dame community of sisters and associates gathered at Providence Mother House in Kingston, Ontario last Friday, February 16. With great joy the group welcomed our process facilitators, Sisters Becky McKenna and Eileen McQuaid for an area gathering that would help each one of us own the Chapter Orientation and take that one small step forward in implementing it in our daily lives. Monica Lamton, JPIC coordinator for Visitation Province helped us unpack the word “peripheries” in a variety of ways. Our time together was dynamic, gentle, challenging and energizing. Words such as “intentionality,” “encounter,” “contemplative consciousness” opened the door of new possibilities for our personal and collective CND lives and ministry. How could we not end dancing to Linnea Good’s “How Then Shall We Live?”

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2nd Sunday of Lent Reflection/Genesis 22.1-2,9-13,15-18

I have been an Associate since the early 1980's. My first husband, Jerry Gauthier, was also an associate. He died suddenly on his birthday May 29, 1990.  We have 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I married again in 1997. My second husband died in 2008. I married for the third time in April, 2017. So, I have step children and step grandchildren. I never planned to marry a second time let alone a third but the Spirit brought these special men into my life. My Associate group, the Linden Group, Charlottetown  PEI, approved both. Aha.

In addition to these grief journeys, I have been part of a team couple for World Wide Marriage Encounter and marriage preparation. I have also been a lector and a Eucharistic Minister. I have been involved in Ignation Exercises and sharing group. Also, I have been a team member for New Beginnings and Cursillo. Currently, I am a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society of St. Pius X Parish and a volunteer with Pastoral Spiritual Care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I visit cancer patients. I listen to patients, pray, read scripture, or just "be" whatever the patient and the Holy Spirit guides me to. I receive much more than I give! All these life experiences and the book studies I am involved in help me grow in the awareness that God loves me no matter what! He still has me under construction! ---Jeanne

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From the Formation Corner February 2018

Photo: Sisters Libby Osgood, Marie de Lovinfosse and Maco Cassetta

Inter-Novitiate Program

Dear Friends,

The Novitiate has been hopping since December with lots of activity, Visitation moments and intercultural experiences. We are truly in the “thick” of formation. We are feeling nourished by the many opportunities that validate the purpose of our existence in White Plains! It has been full and all good! While I will attempt to give you the highlights, know that this summary reflects the many journeys and some moments of encounter in support of one’s discernment of religious life with the CNDs. 

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A Nun’s Life Ministry visit to the Congrégation de Notre Dame

A Nun’s Life Ministry visits the Congrégation de Notre Dame on a Motherhouse Road Trip, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island—Canada. The road trip combines social media and in-person events in innovative ways to engage with people about God, faith, and religious life.

A highlight of the road trip is a podcast that is live-streamed (audio and video) over the Internet. Two Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre Dame will join the host, Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM, to talk about topics such as discernment, prayer, spirituality, and more. There is also a live chat room where online listeners interact with each other and the sisters during the podcast.

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Sister Debbie Warner writes...

In the Fall 2016 I was invited to participate with 12 other women religious under the age of 50 in a collaborative book writing project. We came from a diversity of communities and experiences and desired to produce a book that reflected our lived realities. In January 2017 we gathered for a week of sharing, praying, writing, playing and laughing together. It was an incredible experience. In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World, is the result. It has just been released and is available both as a hard copy and as an e-book. I hope that you have the opportunity to read and enjoy. 

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Sisters Retreat – St. Joseph Renewal Centre – July 9-15, 2018

Theme: Our Sacred Story Nestled in the Ordinary

Description: To live one’s life fully in the present moment is to be consciously aware of and seek the thread of God that woven in to the fabric of daily life. It is living in the Sacredness of the Present moment. This retreat will be a time of silence, a time of prayer, a time of reflection and sharing of our conscious awareness of transitioning.

Presenter: Beverly Musgrave

To register and for more information please contact St. Joseph Renewal Centre at

1-902-945-2392 or st.josrctr@ns.sympatico.ca

 

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Family Violence Prevention Week

This was Family Violence Prevention week on PEI and there were many events occurring all over the province from Tignish to Souris. In Charlottetown on Wednesday there was a Silent Walk from Noon – 1 p.m. in memory of the women who have died from family violence on PEI and in solidarity with those who are still suffering the effects of this violence. I was able to go to the gathering at the Coles Building and was particularly touched by the fact that, after the usual remarks, a prayer was offered by a young woman of the Bahai faith and then the crowd moved forward in silence. I was so happy to have been part of that much. The walk ended with a reception at City Hall. 

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Lenten Prayer Service

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

INTRODUCTION

Leader:  During Lent, we strive to free ourselves from all kinds of clutter---material and spiritual---in order to focus on God and turn back to God with our whole hearts.  If this "turning back" is genuine, it will be a reorientation, a transformation. God extends this invitation of authentic transformation to each of us to embrace as individuals and as a community.  May we be open to God's invitation during this season of Lent and a renewed desire to live God's own outward-looking, self-emptying, laying-down-one's-life kind of love. (Amy Ekeh)

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Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent 2018

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Eleanor, my Spiritual Director, about Lent.  In one simple sentence, she helped me change my not-very-positive thinking and feelings about Lent into something new. Eleanor said, “Lent is really about transformation.”  It was a “bing” moment for me!  I’m sure I’ve heard this many times before in my life; but a few weeks ago, I heard it in a new way.  Funny how the Spirit works.  God knows my heart and where I am in my life at this moment.  I needed to hear the word transformation equated with Lent.  And so, it is with this word and this lens that I offer this simple reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel…

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Ash Wednesday

Hi my name is Teresa Mckerral   I live in Salmon Arm BC.   I am a CND Associate with the Kamloops CND group.  As well, I have the great honour of being the Western Associate Representative on Visitation Province’s JPIC committee.  This year for Lent, as well as doing our usual Development and Peace Share Lent collection, our parish in Salmon Arm is also involved with Give it up for the Earth.   This is a two part program from the Citizens for Public Justice.  One part is a Call for Action! For example, ● walk, bike, or bus ● buy less, buy local, buy used ● eliminate air travel ● eat less meat; eat local & in season ● reduce electricity use ● support eco-friendly businesses ● divest from fossil fuels ● upgrade windows, doors & insulation ● buy fair trade ● cut waste ● refuse one-use / over packaged items.  The second part is to send a prepaid postage postcard to The Honourable Minister Catherine McKenna telling her what we are committed to giving up and ask that emissions be reduced as promised.  These postcards will be passed out after Mass on the 11th and 18 of February.   I spoke about Give it up for the Earth at Mass  on the 28th of January.   This is the second year our parish is participating.  Last year I ordered 50 postcards and they were gone in about 10 minutes.  This year I ordered 200 and I hope that they all are used.  The third way we are bringing a social justice theme to Lent is we are using the Jesuit Forum guide, On care for our common Home to study Laudato Si.  

I am looking forward to Lent this year.

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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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A Visit to the Noviciate in White Plains, NY

Some people go south in February. February 1– 4, I went as far as White Plains to visit the interprovincial noviciate (Blessed Sacrament and Visitation provinces). It was a real pleasure to meet the formation community (Sisters Cathy Molloy, Peggy Doyle, Donna Kelly, Maco Cassetta and Libby Osgood) and to experience their hospitality of food, conversation and shared prayer. I was fortunate to be there for Friday morning “class” a thought provoking webinar entitled “Living Mission Inter-culturally,” led by theology and culture professor Anthony Gittins. After the presentation we left for Fordham University where we gathered with a small group for Mass. Libby Osgood (Novice of Visitation Province) went on to her class in Ecological Theology with the well-known theologian Elizabeth Johnson. Maco (Director of Novices) and I had lunch and time to wander through the botanical gardens that border the university. We especially enjoyed the stunning orchid display in the rotunda of the Mertz Botanical Library.

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