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Visitation Place

Friday, September 15th was the first gathering of the Visitation Place community. Meet Shannon, Sarah and Sister Sue. We are grateful for your prayerful support. Be on the lookout for an upcoming article and photo in The Catholic Register by UPEI student Elizabeth Iwunwa. After homemade pizza, salad and ice cream we prayed using John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us "For a New Position.” We shared lines that struck us and our desires for the year. Shannon, Sarah and I then discussed how we would reach out to others to join us. In true Visitation style, we will host a BBQ September 22nd, inviting friends to "come and see." Book and synod survey discussion groups are being considered as well as volunteer opportunities. Next time, I cook and they lead prayer! 

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Honouring Our Jubilarians

Photo: Sister Margaret MacDonell 

On Sunday, September 10th several friends and relatives gathered at Parkland Cape Breton dining room to enjoy an Open House and Afternoon Tea in honor of our Jubilarians. Sisters Ada Gordon, Anne Maureen Cleary, Evelyn McNeil and Isabel Chisholm celebrated their 60th anniversary while Sisters Faustina Grant and Margaret MacDonell observed their 70th anniversary. Sisters from the city were also in attendance along with sisters from Parkland. They all had an opportunity to be photographed cutting the beautiful cake. A great spirit prevailed and all were very pleased with their afternoon. Congratulations to all Jubilarians! 

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A Journey to Remember

On Thursday, September 7th, the sisters of Providence Mother House, associates and friends were treated to a presentation by Sister Marijke Gerretsen in which she took us on a PowerPoint journey on the El Camino. Marijke, her brother John and a friend made the pilgrimage in May of this year. With enthusiasm and wonderfully well documented information, Marijke described the details of making such a journey. Her experience was really one of “Visitation” as she recounted the many beautiful and warm hearted encounters they experienced on the way. A truly contemplative experience, her pictures spoke more than a thousand words as we delighted in the beauty of the landscape, the ancient buildings that still displayed the scars of wars fought long ago. The lodgings, rugged and primitive showed the full meaning of sharing, as Marijke described the sleeping quarters shared in a dormitory style. The whole impressive presentation was truly a gift to all who had the privilege of being there. 

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Completion of the Small Plot Mission

In May 2011, two CND sisters (Eileen Roach and Becky McKenna) opened a mission in Three Brooks with a four-fold mission of Contemplation: Care for the Earth: Working the land, and Collaboration. After six years of living these commitments, we have indeed reaped a bountiful harvest, a testimony to the work of collaboration. Margaret Mead’s words are true, that a small group of people who act upon their commitments truly can make changes in the world. Our Wednesday morning contemplative group was a place of deep sharing and heartfelt presence. Among our several collaborations, the two most significant were: The Seeds of Hope Community Garden, an ecumenical project of the five Christian churches in Pictou, and the CAiRN group which brought two Syrian families to Pictou. 

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This is the America most of us long for

There is a true story in the book ”Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed” which relates the efforts of Le Chambon, a small village in occupied France during World War II. Unlike most of Catholic France at the time, it was primarily Huguenots, a Protestant sect. They had a pastor, Andre Trocme, who faithfully preached Jesus’ teaching of love of enemies. So when the SS guard of the Nazi regime set up headquarters in their town, the teaching took on a new challenge. Under the spiritual and practical leadership of Pastor Trocme and his wife Magda, the entire town resisted them nonviolently in hundreds of creative ways. They never raised the Nazi flag in the town. In the same building as the SS guard there was a printing press for forged documents to rescue Jewish people. Over 2,500 Jewish adults and children passed through the town to Sweden. They were housed in the homes of all the people of Le Chambon under the eyes of the Vichy government. One example of resistance was the town’s response to a parade put on by the Germans to honor one of the visiting commandants. No one in the town showed up for the parade. There was a response of silence. This silence had nothing to do with passivity in the face of evil. The people constantly refused to cooperate with their occupiers while doing them no harm. After the war one soldier commented that the conspiracy of goodness in that town paralyzed the Nazis.

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Surprised by joy - a runner's tale

 

Photo: My new home. Note: these are not my running shoes. 

I write to you now from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Interprovincial Novitiate for the Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal. Gosh! What a sentence! To catch you up - I had a 3-day prolonged 'goodbye for now' to PEI, overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends, packed my boxes, drove 13 hours to White Plains, moved into the novitiate, welcomed family members to NY, officially entered as a novice, and a week later am settling into a routine. I will post later about the grace-filled entrance ceremony and the many changes that have happened in only a week, but was struck by beauty yesterday and need to share. 

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Radical Spirit

In this newest book, Sister Joan Chittister is writing about the 12 steps of humility, from the Rule of Saint Benedict. She’s setting forth the wisdom from a life well lived as Joan speaks candidly of her struggle to understand the “old” ways most of us were taught to obey, to be humble. She remains a true and loyal Dominican who has been led by the spirit to see a much broader view of “God’s Will” than she used to have. Sister Joan’s story is one of evolution – she is a life-long learner; she continues to recall and repeat the strong sayings and counsel of her wise mother, and she constantly processes the experiences – chosen or not – that have shaped her and continue to enrich her reflections.

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Our Gazebo!

Photo: Sister Connie, Joan Caldwell, resident, and Nadine Oliver, General Manager

After nearly six years of planning and encouraging, Sister Connie realizes the dream of the new Gazebo at Parkland Cape Breton as she participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony along with a long time resident of Parkland. This took place in the context of the family fun day and many of the residents and sisters took part and enjoyed a barbeque. The Gazebo is a beautiful and restful spot to be used in days to come. This was a fitting conclusion to Connie's involvement in the development of Parkland Cape Breton and her liaison with the Shannex Corporation. Thanks to Connie for all her work on our behalf. 

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We touched the Stanley Cup!

Photo: Sister Sally MacPherson; Sister Therese Arsenault

We were gathered in the dining room at Andrews. We were told there was a Special Guest coming and it was a surprise. Then in walked Andy O'Brien carrying the STANLEY CUP! Andy is a native of PEI who joined the Penguins in 2015. He is the Pittsburgh Penguins director of sport science and performance and has helped their success as Stanley Cup winners two years in a row. His mother was a former employee here at Andrews and he offered to accompany her here with the coveted trophy. He patiently and kindly went from table to table, allowed each one to touch the Cup and answered our questions. It was a delight to see such a lively group of excited seniors!  

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Beyond Truth and Reconciliation in Atlantic Canada

The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Maliseet, former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick will speak on moving forward in Truth and Reconciliation. As well, Sisters Dorothy Moore, SC, and Gloria Keylor, SP, will share stories of on how religious respond to the Calls to Action. It will be followed by a table discussion. In the afternoon, Fr. Timothy Scott, CSB, CRC Executive Director will provide an overview on the Calls to Action. 

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From the Formation Corner

Last Saturday, August 26th, 2017 was indeed a very special day for the Congrégation de Notre-Dame (CND) community as many sisters, associates and family welcomed Sister Libby Osgood into the novitiate. What a wonderful celebration. From beginning to end, we had an opportunity to engage in a prayerful ritual of acceptance.

Libby made her way into the sacred space of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, accompanied by her PEI CND community who affirmed her desires to enter. We recalled the readings from Jeremiah 29:11-14 (read by Della Gaudet, CND), Luke 2:39-46 (read by Catherine Molloy,CND) and the Constitutions, P. 10 (read by Mary Ann Powers, CND). We heard Libby’s “yes” to the question asked by Ann Broderick, CND, “Are you ready to respond to God’s invitation to continue your journey with the Congregation of Notre Dame by entering the novitiate?” 

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Listening and Seeing beyond Appearances

You are cordially invited to join a message campaign on fundamental human values. The messages, will be disseminated on social media in the form of short videoclips, will be available in three languages.

 

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Charlottesville

The statement below has been adopted by the Leadership Team of Blessed Sacrament province.

“As Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame, we affirm that Jesus Christ calls us to humanize our relationships, to act in love and compassion. In union with the people of Charlottesville and people of good will everywhere, we grieve over the victims of the recent violence, and we pray that all our hearts be turned from the racism that inspired the attacks to a resolve to build the “beloved community” among us.”

The Leadership Team of Blessed Sacrament (USA) Province, Congregation de Notre-Dame of Montreal

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Accepting the Vulnerability of Love

He had large hands. His left one rested easily on the boy’s left shoulder. Both looked comfortable with the arrangement. They sat in the first pew at a daily Mass in a Church about 500 feet from the ocean. It was obvious even from the back that they were father and son. The adolescent boy’s head was a mirror image of the man’s. The shape of both heads, the ears exactly the same; the turn of the shoulder and the haircut were clones of each other.

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Comments on The Tribunal

The movie, The Tribunal, is compelling, very moving and well executed. The choice of characters who fill the various roles, the display of human emotion, the music and drama provide the ingredients of a good show.

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In the news: NASA Nun!

This last week was one that required stretching and growth for sure. Some of the sisters previously inquired about presenting my story to media, but I resisted until I was 'out' officially to Facebook and the world. That took from Oct 2015 until July 2017 to be ready. I guess I am more conservative and discerning than the impulsive person I thought myself to be. 

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Election of a New Provincial Team

Left to right : Sisters Catherine Walker, Donna McInnis, Maureen MacIsaac, Eileen McQuaid & Rebecca McKenna 

PRESS RELEASE

Sisters and associates of Visitation Province, the geographic region of the Congrégation de Notre- Dame which comprises English-speaking sisters from all over Canada, gathered at St. FX University, Antigonish, NS, July 10-16, 2017 for their Province Chapter. During this event, sisters and associates reflected on the mission orientation and elected a new leadership team. 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 6

Photo: Chapter Delegates attending the magnificent Murder Mystery Dinner on July 14th 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 5

Photo: Newly elected leadership team Sisters Catherine Walker, Maureen MacIsaac, Eileen McQuaid and Becky McKenna 

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Visitation Province Chapter - July 10-16 - Day 4

Photo: Srs. Marie L. Arsenault & Margaret Paterson 

 

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