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Holy Cross Students share their Mission Experience

On January 16, students and teachers from Holy Cross Secondary School in Kingston, shared with the Sisters at Providence Mother House, their experiences of Mission in Jamaica and with the homeless people in Toronto. They spoke with warmth and enthusiasm of the time they spent with the poorest people in small villages near Kingston, Jamaica. They were impressed with the children’s joy and eagerness toward going to school. These children appreciate the privilege they have in getting an education and are so grateful for everything that is done for them. The students remarked how they often resist going to school themselves for some reason or another. This experience in so many ways has enabled them to not take so many things they have for granted. One activity that really engaged their energy and gave them a sense of accomplishment was helping to build a house.

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Marguerite Bourgeoys’ Feast celebrated in Kingston

The day of celebration began at the community Mass with the Sisters of Providence, RHSJ’s and CND’s united in praising St. Marguerite. We “sang out her glory” and listened as Sisters Emily Doherty and Eleanor Monahan shared some anecdotes from Marguerite’s life which typified her compassion and mercy as she responded to the needs of the young colonists and their families. In the afternoon the CND Sisters and associates of the city with the Sisters of the other two communities enjoyed a delightful harp concert given by Pat Marshall, someone many sisters will remember as a former CND, who has remained a friend of the community, especially of Sr. Mary Meagher. Pat travelled from Ottawa to entertain us in honour of St. Marguerite. The music included a variety of familiar Christmas Carols, including a French one for Marguerite, Irish songs and some classical renditions.

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Bread and Soup

Little did the parish and Pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish realize when they served bread and soup at the luncheon on the feast of their Patron Saint, that they were carrying on a legacy of our Saint. Sunday, January 15, they were honouring Saint Marguerite and her daughters in a beautiful celebration of commemoration and gratitude. The soup and chowder were prepared by the pastor who was actually unaware of the significance of the bread and soup offered to us as they recreated the spirit of Marguerite. Father Bill Burke is to be commended for his efforts in promoting the knowledge and respect for Mother Bourgeoys. He himself, like Marguerite, is faced with rebuilding the church after the disastrous flooding as well rebuilding parish community after the closure of the three parishes which form the new St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish. He commented that this coming together to honour Marguerite and her daughters has proven a community builder. In coming together to honour us they honour their own efforts to become a new parish. People were meeting and speaking to other parishioners for the first time. Bread and soup proved to be another catalyst in the process.

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Marguerite Unites Us

On January 12, at our weekly morning Prayer Service open to all the residents at Andrews, Sister Della Gaudet gave a short reflection in which she shared some fascinating stories about our foundress. This was greatly appreciated by the participants.

At 11:30, nearly all of the PEI sisters joined us for prayer in Andrews’ Activity Room. Our prayer opened with “O St. Marguerite” accompanied by Sister Phyllis Gallant at the keyboard. A delicious dinner followed, served by Andrews’ kitchen staff. A large picture of St. Marguerite with children, (a replica of the statues in downtown Montréal), adorned the wall. It was a wonderful opportunity to come together, to enjoy one another’s company and to celebrate our foundress.

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Celebration of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

January 15th, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel was alive with CND sisters, associates, friends, and supporters as we celebrated St. Marguerite Bougeoys’ feast day.

Archbishop Christian Lepine presided over our celebration of the mass and spoke of Marguerite’s history and her impact on the beginnings of Ville Marie. He emphasized, over and over again, that the source of her strength was her life of prayer, especially prayer to Mary and to Eucharist. Her life is a model for, not only the CND community, but for all believers. A life dedicated to following Jesus in the accompaniment of Mary.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18-25 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – an annual ecumenical celebration. This is a time widely recognized as an opportunity to join with Christian people around the world to pray for Christian unity. The theme for this year is Reconciliation - The Love of Christ Compels Us (2 Corinthians 5:14-20). Many churches and faith communities offer special services during his week.

Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice. See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010. Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government. Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen. Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017. It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice.  See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010.  Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government.  Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen.  Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017.  It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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ST. MARGUERITE MASS

On Thursday, January 12th at 10:00 a.m. the televised liturgy of the Eucharist honored St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.  Four CND sisters from Waterbury were in attendance.  Father Robert Russo from the Holy Family in Enfield celebrated the Mass.  I’m sure St. Marguerite was extremely gratified that the Holy Family honored her in this way.

Prayer of Love

Composed and read by Sister Terry Martin, cnd on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial Service held at Texana, N.C. on January 16, 2017 on the 25th anniversary of their Community Center which Sister Terry helped to establish and rebuild in the community.

Theme of the day: “There is but one human race” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lord, we come before you this morning realizing more deeply each day, that you truly are a loving God, that you are an unconditional lover.

We come before you with a grateful heart for the countless ways you have loved us.

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Prayer of Love

Composed and read by Sister Terry Martin, cnd on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial Service held at Texana, N.C. on January 16, 2017 on the 25th anniversary of their Community Center which Sister Terry helped to establish and rebuild in the community.

Theme of the day: “There is but one human race” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lord, we come before you this morning realizing more deeply each day, that you truly are a loving God, that you are an unconditional lover.

We come before you with a grateful heart for the countless ways you have loved us.

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Movie: Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty boasts a stellar cast. Will Smith (superb), Helen Millar (old and wise), Kate Winslet (compassion personified) and Jacob Latimore (talented teen) among others. Its story presents heavy issues of grief and a struggle to move on, and good friends desperate to help a gifted and well-respected business associate. Actors are hired to play Love, Time and Death in response to the outreach of the main character. Will Smith’s deep trouble is eventually resolved and there’s a kind of predictable “happy” ending for everyone. Though not a must-see, I liked this movie; no guns, explosions, car chases, gangsters, evil plots or pay back schemes. And it’s set in New York, complete with Christmas lights, fluffy snow and city magic. 

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Mass for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Mass celebrated on January 15th, world day of migrants and refugees, in the Chapel Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours.

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January Article for the Rhode Island Catholic

For the past fifty years January 1st has been celebrated as a World Day of Peace. There is hardly a country in the entire world that has not been involved in wars, police actions, uprisings or violent oppression of human rights.  Does the Day of Peace mean anything or is it merely a pious idea pushed by the Pope year after year? This question can only be answered in the human heart of every person who has lived during these past fifty years.

Some have never heard the word of peace and have lived in the midst of and perpetrated violence in its many forms: domestic and international. Some have heard the word, embraced it for a time and then resorted to violence in their own interpretation of extreme circumstances. Some have heard the cry for peace, prayed for strength and courage to whomever they name as their god, and held fast to the desire for peace by the nonviolence of their own lives.

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