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Retreat July 18-24, 2017

It is still possible to register for the Retreat at St. Joseph Renewal Center, Mabou from July 18-24, 2017 with Father Trevor Scott, SJ as presenter. The theme of this Guided Retreat is “Deepening Our Sense of Vocation in an Ever Changing and Evolving World.” 

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ARCAN Conference 2017

June 3-4, Halifax, NS. Greening Our Hearts was the theme of the gathering of 82 participants representing Atlantic Religious Communities. Dolores Hall was the presenter. Through music, poetry and time touching on contemporary reflection topics, she led us into some familiar space and also some new terrain. Dolores mentioned the serious concern around bees; we know of 700 species of bees and all are in danger of extinction, largely due to pesticides. Our food supply depends on bees! The issue of bottled water – selling our water supply – was raised. We need to be aware but always to cultivate hope. Dolores shared on the Instruction for Living a Life, from Mary Oliver: 1. Pay attention. 2. Be grateful. 3. Tell about it. She assured us we are carriers of great charisms. “The church has need of you,” she said. 

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End of the year activity from the Mother house Green Committee, June 14, 2017

So many reasons to give thanks!

Under a clear blue sky and warm sun, members of the Motherhouse Green Committee enjoyed a scrumptious picnic.   

The sounds of laughter and smiling faces spoke of our deep gratitude for …

  • the mutual support  in responding to  Mother Earth
  • fresh Quebec strawberries
  • lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint, basil decorating the table
  • plaques in our four languages marking our membership in L’Église Verte
  • Special gratitude to Sr. Fernande whose support is invaluable
  • Marguerite Bourgeoys who graced our picnic table
  • Many helping hands who prepared the picnic
  • And so much more…

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Visitations Abound!

Our three-day retreat at Andrews of Charlottetown facilitated by Sister Becky McKenna, May 29-31, was an excellent preparation for the Feast of the Visitation. Sister Becky spoke to us of Visitation encounters in our daily living, helped us reflect on the fact that each of us is the Beloved of God, led us into Praying with Breath, and much more. As usual, the genuineness of her message, the inspiring music and visuals, and the prayerful handouts contributed to a powerful retreat experience. Father John Lacey presided at our Eucharistic celebrations and gave us the Sacrament of the Sick.

On our Feast day, we were blessed with the presence of almost all of our PEI CND Sisters and our candidate Libby. At the Eucharist, we renewed our vows in English and French. We enjoyed a delicious lobster dinner with the other residents. This special occasion was also a time to celebrate our Jubilarians, Sisters Lorraine Arsenault (60) and Marie-Norma Gallant (50) – true VISITATION experiences!

Sisters of Notre Dame Community, Andrews of Charlottetown 

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Beyond Belief: Becoming the Mystics and Prophets We Are Called to Be

Coming Event: Beyond Belief: Becoming the Mystics and Prophets We Are Called to Be. A workshop retreat with author/artist/activist Jan Phillips, September 18-20, 2017 at Villa Madonna, Saint John, NB. Becoming a prophetic person starts with a spiritual practice. It moves from silence to thought to word and action. When our words and actions are rooted in our spiritual commitments, we become a light in the world and a force for good. This workshop is an entry point into our own deep wisdom. Using the tools of music, poetry, story-telling, and imagery, we explore the landscape of our own experience, mining it for insight and ideas about the work ahead. For info about Jan, visit her website: www.janphillips.com. For information about the event: see www.villamadonna.ca

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Development & Peace Celebrates 50 years!

This spring marks 50 years since the formation of Development & Peace. Join in the celebrations by reflecting on the incredible history through Joe Gunn's article in the Prairie Messenger: http://www.prairiemessenger.ca/17_05_10/D&P_1_17_05_10.html or the D&P Jubilee Book: https://www.devp.org/en/articles/development-and-peace-launches-jubilee-book-celebrate-50-years-solidarity

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Visitation as Time Go By...

When the call came in, we answered: “Yes!”

On Saturday, June 10, a group of young people from 18 to 35 years of age on a pilgrimage throughout Montreal, expressed the desire to visit the heart of Marguerite Bourgeoys and the Mother house chapel. How could we possibly refuse welcoming them for a moment of reflection and sharing? 

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Testimonials at Marguerite-Bourgeoys Parish, Nun’s Island

On Sunday, June 11, about fifteen CND sisters attended a Mass at Marguerite- Bourgeoys Parish in honour of the parish’s patron saint, our holy foundress. The church was completely filled; the children’s choir, well directed; the parish priest, enthusiastic; and the young families, devoted. All this demonstrated that Christ lives in our world.

Our thanks to Sister Sophie Mbougoum, who played a fille du Roy, and to Sister Violaine Paradis, in the role of Marguerite Bourgeoys, for having led the interactive conference from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. 

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Sister Jaculyn Hanrahan, CND, Testifies Before Natural Resources Public Forum

Photo from J Hanrahan, CND’s Testimony before Congressman Ranking Member Raul Grijalva of the US House of Representatives Committee of Natural Resources Public Forum held in Big Stone Gap, Virginia June 10, 2017. (Photo, courtesy of Congressman’s Grijalva’s Office.)

The Forum was on the impacts of Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining in the Central Appalachian Region.  Along with her remarks, Sr. Hanrahan formally submitted into the record the two Church documents, "Laudato Si" (June 2015)  and "The Third Appalachian Pastoral: The telling Takes Us Home" (Dec. 2015). Both these documents are also constituent voices along with all the voices of our region. "Laudato Si", from the Church’s magisterium speaks with love for all in our Common Home. "The Telling Takes Us Home", is from the magisterium of the poor. It speaks with the authority of a voice form the oldest mountains on Earth, holding mountain communities of created subjects who have survived already two extinctions.  These two letters acknowledge a practical wisdom that affirms the science on climate change and goes beyond climate change to acknowledge that wealthy high consuming nations, and wealthy consuming entities in our own nation are the prime drivers of change in Earth Systems. The work of Congress must resist the influence of PAC money to promote only profit.  Rather the oversight of the Natural Resource Committee must require both an integration of environmental science and religion, and recognize that good politics must include the awareness of a planetary stewardship as a necessary foundation of our economic systems.   “Business as usual” is not sustainable transformation.  Our aim for Congressman Grijalva’s committee is for zero emissions from fossil fuels and investment in renewables particularly in the coalfields. 

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Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys honoured as a Peacemaker on Canada's 150th!

Initiated and sponsored by the Sisters of Providence in Kingston, Peacequest (www.peacequest.ca) is a non-profit, non-denominational, and non-partisan organization that facilitates peace-building initiatives across Canada. PeaceQuest was started in 2013 out of a sense of concern that war was being presented as a glorious struggle in the Canadian government campaign to celebrate the War of 1812, which cost the Canadian public tens of millions of dollars. In honour of Canada's 150th Anniversary of Confederation, PeaceQuest is recognizing 150 peace builders from our country's history. Marguerite Bourgeoys has been named #121: http://peacequest.ca/150-canadians-day-121-saint-marguerite-bourgeoys

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Open house at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Formation House in White Plains

Great open house at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Formation House in White Plains!

Thanks to all who came both near and far!

We are blessed by your presence!

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Marguerite Bourgeoys stained glass window at the new diocesan retreat centre in PEI

Sisters and associates of the Congregation de Notre-Dame were present at the official opening of the new diocesan retreat centre Our Lady of Hope Retreat Centre in PEI. 

They took the time to take a photo in front of stained glass dedicated to Marguerite Bourgeoys. 


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Formation Corner

Happy Spring to each of you!!! Since our last communication, we, the sisters of the Mount Carmel Novitiate Community have been nurturing new life in our inter-provincial novitiate. One highlight, the parish graced us with a small plot to start a garden! I quickly took advantage of “Marguerite’s plot” and planted tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, radishes, lettuce, and herbs! We hope the harvest will be a­plenty this Fall!

While we continue to attend to the physical needs of the house –adding new carpets to rooms, cleaning more windows and bathrooms, sewing drapes and curtains (with the help of Suzanne Poulin, CND), painting the newly furnished chapel, planning an open house, or simply transformingthe confessional into our tool closet (no kidding!) –we have also taken time to get to know each other and discern together the purpose of this local community at this time in history. 

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Feast of the Visitation: May 31, 2017

On Wednesday May 31st, 2017 the Mabou Sisters and Associates gathered in the Chapel at the Renewal Centre to celebrate the Visitation. We had a beautiful Prayer/Reflection Service and listened to reflective music by Kathleen Deignan, CND. Sisters renewed their Vows and Associates their commitment. We ended with everyone singing the Magnificat. We then enjoyed a lovely potluck supper provided by our Associates. All had a wonderful evening with good food and conversation. We as Associates are truly blessed to have Sr. Coline, Sr. Éléonore and Sr. Catherine as our beacons of light and pray they continue to shine brightly. 

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Congratulations to Sister Anne MacDonald

Congratulations to Sister Anne MacDonald who gave 5000 hours of volunteer service to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sister Anne received a pin recognizing her dedication at a dinner for volunteers. 

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General Conference – May-June 2017

At this stage of the General Conference, the sisters have heard the reports of the provinces and regions; today they are delving into the theme “Going to the Peripheries” with Mr. Albert Beaudry. This will be followed by a retreat facilitated by the members of the Leadership Team on… leadership! Sunday they will enjoy a well-deserved day off. The General Conference continues until June 7.

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2017 CNWE Conference

2017 CNWE Conference was held May 26-29 at St. Paul University in Ottawa. Over 50 keeners from all across the country spent the weekend exploring the broad theme of Honouring the Past, Keeping Faith in the Present and Shaping the Future. The keynote speaker was Sister Christine Schenk, CSJ, founder of Future Church. Sister Christine is also known for her writing and for her work efforts to have Medicaid extended and expanded to include low-income women and children. (http:www.futurechurch.org). Jessica Heatherington spoke on "More than Care for Creation: Ecotheology and Churches into the Future.” She had some deep questions to offer: What does resurrection look like in a world that promotes massive deforestation and continues ocean pollution? Earth is being crucified. Louise Courville shared her research of courageous women of faith in past times, emphasizing Saint Mary Magdalen, and Sainte Marie de l'Incarnation, intense mystic and artist. Joelle Morgan spoke of “Settler Christians: Facing the Colonial Wound.”

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Make a World of Change to the People we Encounter Everyday

For most western cultures, June is the month of graduations at every level, from kindergarten to advanced university students. It is always a time to celebrate. For some the accomplishment is easy and unspectacular. For others, the same graduation from the same school is almost miraculous where obstacles and reality have called forth incredible courage and stamina. Children of professional people stand next to children of immigrants, some of whom are illiterate.

Parents are proud but at the ceremony itself, many are grateful if it is brief. Graduation speeches are rarely remembered, many because they are boring at best and tasteless at worst. Some are political rallies, others diatribes against opposing views from those of the speaker’s.

At one college graduation the speaker spoke of hope for a few minutes and then sang a song of hope. People stood and applauded. Dr. Seuss gave a commencement talk which became his book: “O the Places You’ll Go”. One of my favorite graduation speeches came from Fr. Daniel Berrigan. He got up at a college graduation after a five minute introduction for him and said, “Know where you stand and stand there.” One sentence was his entire address.

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Ottawa Visitation Gathering

On May 28, the sisters and associates from Ottawa, and Sister Eleanor McCloskey, a visitor joining us, gathered at Serenity Renewal for Families. The theme chosen to provide a focus for Marguerite was "Dancing in her Footsteps." We shared prayer, reflections, renewed vows and commitments, and enjoyed a meal and conversation together. It was also an occasion to celebrate Kathy Kelly's 30th and Carmel Horan's 25th anniversary of associate membership as well as Maureen Killoran and Eleanor McCloskey's 60th anniversary as Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. We took time to acknowledge and thank Siter Ann Marie Fortin and Sister Elizabeth Jane Fraser for their many faithful years of service at Howe Island. 

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Just News

As announced some months ago, the newsletter will now be published every two months and each issue will feature a province or region. The February edition headlined Visitation Province; this one highlights Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region. It also includes news from the Social Justice Network’s coordinator and an information segment.

Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region

Since January, Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region has been involved in a variety of areas which are related to social justice and are based upon the needs and situations in the different communities where we are present.

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