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Visitation Day!

On Wednesday evening, May 31, CND Sisters and Associates in Fredericton met at St. Dunstan's Church. At the 6:30 parish mass, the Sisters renewed their vows and Associates renewed their commitment. After Mass, the Group made a "visitation" to a local celebration spot to continue the feast day.

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World Environment Day, June 5, 2017

It’s a great day to make time to reflect on the natural world, to connect in some way with nature and nature’s wonders. “Connecting People to Nature” is the theme for World Environment Day 2017. Begun in 1972, World Environment Day is a huge annual opportunity for positive environmental action. This year’s host country Canada chose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. Schools, governments, businesses, scientists and citizens are organizing events to inspire us to appreciate our dependence on the natural world and fire up our desire to protect it. How long since you let your bare feet touch the earth? How recently have your senses enjoyed the fresh fragrances in the natural world? When have you heard bird songs or identified butterflies? Connect!

http://www.worldenvironmentday.global

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As we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, let us remember...

"The Holy Spirit is the living God, not some inert concept. The community has to trust the Holy Spirit in every decision and believe strongly that the Spirit continues to be present in the community and at work in it. The Spirit will not permit our community to grope about to darkness, if only we are willing to take the Spirit's teachings seriously..." Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

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Reflection for the Feast of the Visitation May 31, 2017

There are two basic beliefs that inform my reflection on the Visitation. The first is: I have come to know and appreciate that the Feast of the Visitation is more than a celebration of arrival. Rather it holds up for our consideration the ongoing conversations between Mary and Elizabeth, which took place in the three months that followed Mary’s arrival.  And, I imagine one of the conversations between Mary and Elizabeth could have gone like this:

After Mary had settled in, Elizabeth took her on a short walk to Elizabeth’s favorite quiet place to sit for a while and to talk. Elizabeth had noted Mary’s reaction to her greeting, had heard Mary’s unspoken questions, had sensed Mary’s need for assurances from her older cousin. 

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News from the Congrégation de Notre-Dame in Kingston

Health and Wellness Committee convenes

Sisters Pat Arsenault and Rosemary Shannon welcomed visiting Coordinators from the other CND Health Care Centres in Sydney N.S., Montreal and Toronto to Providence Motherhouse from May 10th to 12th.

New to the Motherhouse

Two CND Sisters have moved in recently. Pictured from left is Sister Rosemarie Kennedy and Sister Mary Cockburn.

Welcome Sisters Mary and Rosemarie to Providence Motherhouse!

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Book recommendation

Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister. (Image Books, NY: 2015). In her 32 short chapters, Joan offers us her usual little anecdotes and stories gathered along the way, her common sense and the wisdom for which she is widely known. She identifies times we experience stress and struggle, loss and letting go, fear and failure. Often we find new light and new strength as we learn to meet God where we may not expect. “Life lies in adapting to choices that are not mine. It requires that I understand that life is not final until it ends.” (p.163) 

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LCWR Reflection booklet

Many thanks to the Team for providing for us the LCWR booklet we received recently. My favourite selection is p. 44, titled “All Is One”. What a delightful invitation to reflection! What an energizing call to join nature in embracing a new season! 

The booklet is available here: https://lcwr.org/item/winter-2017.

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Apostolic Nuncio's Visit

Photo:, Sister Gloria Keylor, SP, Sister Frances MacDougall, CND, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi

Sr. Frances MacDougall was one of the representatives of the Council of Women Religious who met with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, when he visited Edmonton recently.  

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“Quelques chants extraordinaires” Music from the convents of New France

This year’s 375th  anniversary of the founding of Montréal presents an unique opportunity to ponder the past and our connection to it. As a women’s vocal ensemble that specializes in historical repertoires, this year Ensemble Scholastica felt compelled to explore a repertoire that is largely forgotten: the music women living in religious communities that were so integral to New French society.

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Movie Recommendation

Maudie is the critically acclaimed and superbly acted autobiographical story of Nova Scotian Maud Lewis who is now regarded as one of the best folk artists ever in Canada. In spite of challenging family circumstances, severe arthritis and a complex relationship with Everett her husband she found happiness in painting the beauty she experienced in her surroundings while living most of her life in a very small house with Everett. 

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Inaugural Telephone Community Gathering

On Wednesday May 17th from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., an Associate gathering was held via the telephone. This has long been a practice in the U.S. and I thought it could work well for us in eastern Canada, where some associates are geographically isolated and /or house bound. The program for the evening is mailed by post or electronically so that everyone has time to read and ponder the passages and questions. We opened our gathering with the Visitation Chapter Prayer. Our two readings included Day One from Hostages with God: Journal of Sister Gilberte Bussière, CND and Luke 1:39-56. Following some lively discussion, the associates made their Commitment Renewal and we ended with a Franciscan Blessing. Our second gathering is scheduled for June 21st, 2017 when we will discuss Pope Francis’ TED Talk: Why the only future worth building includes everyone. We will break for July and August and beginning in September we will work through Hostages with God: Journal of Sister Gilberte Bussière, CND. It is my hope that we can have other groups here in the east and then.

Remember us in your prayers, 

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House Church

What’s that? In our time, we are so used to knowing a church as a building, we don’t even think of anything else. Bible scholars point out that the word “church” was used to describe a family. We read that the church is called “God’s household” (1 Timothy 3:15). Followers of ‘the Way” shared common meals. (Acts 2:46-48). People lived life together (Acts 2:44-46) and as a family, were expected to care for and love one another deeply (1 Peter 1:22). Not surprisingly then, the New Testament churches typically met in the homes of believers to share stories and memories and food. CNWE–NB (Catholic Network for Women’s Equality) enjoyed a House Church event last Friday in Fredericton. 

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Feast of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

For more information contact the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel http://www.marguerite-bourgeoys.com/en/chapel/history.asp

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Visitation moments

Recently, while reflecting in chapel on what the Visitation means to me I began to think of my years as a teenager where my mother would often invite friends or family for coffee and cake on a Friday. For some reason I began to giggle, since as a Jewish girl in a Jewish household, visiting was what we did. Sitting around the kitchen table sharing stories from the day, talking about this and that, these were visitation moments. For me these moments were essential building blocks on how to engage others in conversation. I would watch my mother, the way she would greet family and friends with kisses or a simple hug. She was a gracious host who always had the best cakes or cookies from the Jewish bakery. 

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The Parish Church is no Ordinary Building

Catholic Churches, especially in the former predominantly Catholic areas in the northeast, are closing or merging and have been doing so for the past decade. Some dioceses and some pastors are doing a better job of keeping parishioners informed than others, but the approach of those involved does not change the reality. We have more churches than we need for the number of practicing Catholics. So, demographics is the primary driving force behind the decisions. People understand this.

 

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Two powerful movies were featured this week on PEI

BURDEN OF PEACE: The story of one woman's fight, Claudia Paz Y Paz, Attorney General for 4 years, to bring justice to the long history of genocide and corruption in Guatemala. This was sponsored by the PEI Chapter of Breaking the Silence. A clip of this film can be seen on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7T5BxqXnS8

US AND THEM: A powerful documentary of the filmmaker Krista Loughton's personal journey befriending homeless and addicted street people. A clip of this film can be seen on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tgVOQ7-koA

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Kingston Sisters host Health Care Coordinators and Wellness and Health Resource Team

On Monday May 8th, the health care coordinators from Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Sydney, along with Nina Glinski and Catherine Walker and the members of the WHRT arrived at Providence Mother House to begin their annual gathering. After some time together with prayer and reflection, they had a relaxing social evening with the CND Sisters in residence. All enjoyed the time together meeting one another or renewing acquaintances. A special moment occurred when the three jubilarians, Nina Glinski and Eileen Roach celebrating their 50th and Yvonne Hutchinson her 60th were honoured.

 

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Two powerful movies were featured this week on PEI

BURDEN OF PEACE: The story of one woman's fight, Claudia Paz Y Paz, Attorney General for 4 years, to bring justice to the long history of genocide and corruption in Guatemala. This was sponsored by the PEI Chapter of Breaking the Silence. A clip of this film can be seen on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7T5BxqXnS8

US AND THEM: A powerful documentary of the filmmaker Krista Loughton's personal journey befriending homeless and addicted street people. A clip of this film can be seen on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tgVOQ7-koA

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Fredericton Gathering

Despite a major rainstorm last Saturday, May 6, sisters and associates met, as planned, at the Ramada Inn in Fredericton, NB. Thanks to the skill and expertise of Sister Karen Kelly and Sister Debbie Warner, we connected via technology and Debbie facilitated from her home in Toronto. We were a small group because of the weather but we carried on with the discussion and the process and experienced a new way (for some) to meet and participate. Great day! 

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Congratulations Sr. Margaret Farley

Sister Margaret Farley: second from right

On May 4, 2017, at the third and final meeting of the 2016-2017 school year for the Catholic HS and ES schools of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago - two awards were given to Archdiocese of Chicago Central Office personnel.  The St. Peter the Rock Award (now affectionately called “The Rock”) was given to Margaret Farley, CND. The award was announced as “a new annual award to be given to one or two members of the Office of Catholic School who not only demonstrate outstanding service in their role, but who personify our Catholic mission through their attitude and treatment of others.”  “Christ told St. Peter that he would build his church ‘upon this rock.’  Like St. Peter, the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools is called to provide excellent, constant, and timely support for our Catholic schools.” Sr. Margaret was especially recognized for her support of and work with the Principals. Congratulations Margaret!

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