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Visit with CND Sisters in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, NB

On Saturday, November 9th Miramichi Associates Gail McKibbon and Frances Connell travelled to Saint-Louis-de-Kent to present eight prayer shawls to the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame who live there.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry was founded in St. Mary’s Parish, Miramichi almost ten years ago by Gail McKibbon. Sister Marie St.Coeur and Associate Carmel Doyle have been with the group since its beginning. [Photo: Frances Connell with the Sisters wearing their new prayer shawls.]

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News from OK Clean Water

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – November 25th

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. It remains largely unreported because of the stigma and shame surrounding it. November 25th will begin a multi-year effort from the United Nations aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. We could watch for events in support of this work. We could maybe be a bit more awake and aware of the violence around us, in language and in everyday behaviour.

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From Development and Peace

In 2015 Pope Francis made us aware of the need to protect the environment in his encyclical “Laudato Si.” His message has stirred Development & Peace to choose “For Our Common Home” as its’ theme for the next two years. You can “Defend the Defenders” by signing a solidarity letter addressed to two communities threatened by ‘mining and logging’ in Brazil, or you may want to take the intergenerational pledge by visiting the D & P website and choose your own personal commitment for taking better care of our Earth.

Learn more at https://www.devp.org/en/education/fall2019/materials

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Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation

Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation by J. Philip Newell is a much appreciated little volume that fits in very well with the creation focused prayers and reflections we are finding in our circles these times.

Newell says: “Many of us have known a love of Christ and a love of the unfolding earth in our lives. Most of us have not known how to hold the two together.” Maybe, today, we are more aware and more appreciative?

This book helped me become more acquainted with Teilhard de Chardin and his efforts to “move” Church thinking. Teilhard died unknown but 50 years later his memory was celebrated at the United Nations and more readers and thinkers are using his inspiration.

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Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) 2019 Report

The Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Visitation Province Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is committed to social and ecological justice and peace. This is their 2019 report to the Congregation.

Watch the video of the report

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Congregation de Notre-Dame included in UISG Plenary Presentation

The UISG Campaign 'Sowing Hope for the Planet' has connected with more than 400 congregations inviting them to share together regarding the goal of bringing the message of the Laudato Si’ Encyclical Letter to life. Last May many Superior Generals gathered in Rome where a video was presented on the actions of several Congregations. Sr. Agnes Campbell was there and told us how proud she was to see the name of the Congregation de Notre-Dame on the video. At the presentation of the social justice mosaic at the mother house last May, Sr. Agnes remarked that the whole project is even more significant for her now that she is aware of the meaning behind the mosaic. The video is available in eight languages. It is wonderful to see the many and varied actions from around the world, and exciting to see that we are not the only community with an artistic contribution. New things are happening!

You can watch the English version here - the Congregation de Notre-Dame content is at the minute 9.21s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkAlquwbJI&feature=youtu.be

 

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Ottawa celebrates Marguerite's 400th: On November 2nd over 120 gathered at St. Paul's University for a morning with Kathleen Deignan, CND to listen, participate and reflect on the theme, "Daring to Dream a New World into Being," followed by lunch. Using examples from Marguerite Bourgeoys's life we were each challenged to carry on this dream both now and into the future.

Kathy Kelly, Ottawa associate

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

From Our Leadership Team

Itinerancy is a fundamental disposition of the heart, a posture of readiness for God’s compelling claim on our lives for mission. 

Some things simply come to an end: . . . our work, living situations, life itself. There is no choice but to let go and to move forward into the unknown.

But itinerancy of the heart is chosen, cultivated. It is not an automatic posture, given the human tendency to settle into the familiar. But it is a virtue long honored in religious life. Inner itinerancy keeps us appropriately dislodged for outer movement towards the God who is coming to us from the future.

These words from “Celebrating Itinerancy” by Pat Farrell, OSF (from LCWR Update, May 2013) inspired and challenged us during our November 2-3 meeting. We invite you to bring them to your reflection and prayer as well.

 

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Remembrance and Gratitude

November is a month of remembrance and gratitude, from the start of the month with All Saints Day and All Souls Day to the end of the month with Thanksgiving Day. We remember with gratitude those we love who have died, and whom we believe are with God in eternal life.

Twelve years ago, the then Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter, an encyclical, Spe Salve, which is Latin for “In Hope We Are Saved.” This letter to all the people of God still stands as a masterpiece of consolation for any who have lost a loved one in death, and for any who have lost someone with whom they were angry and never reconciled. Death is hard in both realities.

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Ottawa celebrates Marguerite Bourgeoys's 400th

On November 2 over 120 gathered at St. Paul's University for a morning with Kathleen Deignan CND to listen, participate and reflect on the theme, "Daring to Dream a New World into Being" followed by lunch.

Using examples from Marguerite's life we were each challenged to carry on this dream both now and into the future.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Marguerite Bourgeoys in the East Kootenay’s

Cranbrook associates and a number of parishioners enjoyed an evening presentation by Sr. Norma Gallant, CND. Sr. Norma journeyed from Trail to be with us and she spoke lovingly and passionately about the life and history of Marguerite all the way from Troyes, France to the present-day reality of our time and place in Western Canada. Of interest to everyone was the call of Marguerite Bourgeoys to go where she was needed often in the face of institutional opposition. The call of the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame to go to the peripheries today is the same call that Marguerite heard and responded to in her time. The role of the associates and their relationship to the call and mission of the larger Congregation de Notre-Dame was shared and celebrated as well.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

God of all seasons, God of Autumn,

as you transform the earth,

transform us by your Spirit.


Our Commitment to Interculturality...

We believe that God desires us to live with others in ways that are respectful and mutually empowering.

These are the principles of interculturality that guide our way forward:

• Build a home where all can feel comfortable and accepted

• Learn to appreciate and celebrate our many differences

• Develop an inclusive model of thinking that takes into consideration the many different truths that we hold

Our commitment to interculturality requires that we live a path of constant conversion.

(Adapted text, Newer Members, Chofu, Japan – 2019)

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Going to the peripheries

October 17 was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Thousands of people representing over 100 groups across Canada marked the day by calling on the federal government to take immediate action on this ongoing violation of human rights. As part of the Dignity for All campaign, CHEW ON THIS! my friend Patricia Power and I stood on street corners in downtown Charlottetown handing out brown paper bags to passers-by. The bags contained a snack, a fridge magnet reading CHEW ON THIS! and a post card to be signed and mailed to the Office of the Prime Minister. The message to government was simple: " The country is watching. It's time to show the millions of people in Canada living in poverty that their government cares about them." The supporters of Dignity for All are asking the Prime Minister Trudeau and new government that in the first 90 days, a real commitment be shown to a poverty-free Canada by choosing effective human rights policies and making poverty a budget priority.

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Cape Breton Celtic Colours Welcomed Kathleen and Ann Deignan

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Sydney, NS

Following the presentation people came forward to touch, pray or just be in the presence of the relic of St. Marguerite which was removed from the altar for this night only. (This ritual was repeated at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Tantallon, NS.)

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The Congregation Leadership Team visit continues...

Visitation at Holy Redeemer Convent, Sydney

We were delighted to host the members of our Congregation Leadership Team on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Our understanding of interculturality expanded and deepened as we each shared some highlights of our unique vocation stories and family backgrounds/cultures. We were also deeply moved by the reflective PowerPoint presentation that followed this sharing. We wish to thank the members of the Congregation Leadership Team for the gift of their presence among us and extend blessings to them as they continue their visitation throughout Visitation Province.

Gwendolyn O’Neil, CND with the Sisters of Holy Redeemer Convent

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Route 19 Luncheon with Sr. Agnes Campbell

There was a joyous celebration on Route 19 in Inverness County, Tuesday, October 8th, 2019. A multitude of guests gathered at the beautiful facility “Route 19 Brewery and Restaurant” to hear Sr. Agnes’ speech. She captivated the audience of sisters, priests, former students, associates and people from the neighbouring communities. Sr. Agnes spoke on the life and journey of St. Marguerite and she gave an account of the history of the Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters in Inverness County. There was a presence of CND sisters in Inverness County from 1884 to 2019, a span of 135 years. She and other sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame taught school in Inverness County. Some former students attending mentioned by name the CND sisters who had been their teachers. It was a beautiful gesture of remembrance to hear their names.

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Visit with Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND

Sisters at the CND Health Center in Sydney enjoyed a presentation by Sr. Kathleen Deignan and her sister Ann [associate from Blessed Sacrament Province] accompanied by chauffeur Sr. Libby. The sisters were left with a renewed sense of love and appreciation of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

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Celebrating in Miramichi!

Our Miramichi event to mark the 400th anniversary began as a proposal (last winter) from Frances Connell Enriquez. Frances, CND associate and artist, suggested an art show, centered around paintings from two Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters, Sr. Marie-Anna Gallant (Sr. St. Marie Ovide) and Sr. Marie Bordage (Sr. St. Margaret of Bavaria) teachers here long ago, and also the work of their students. 100 pieces of art were gathered and placed in exhibit at Carrefour Beausoleil, a local Community Center. The Center set-up the display, offered wine and snacks, and gave us the use of their beautiful auditorium (for free) for the Concert of the Cultures Saturday evening. The concert gave us Irish songs, Scottish songs, folk songs, French songs, a bit of Latin, religious songs and a rousing set from the Miramichi Fiddlers. On Sunday morning, parishioners from the five worship sites, which now comprise Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, gathered for Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert Harris at St. Mary’s Church. The reception that followed had such an abundance of food that organizers gave out containers and urged people to take food home! (It looked like more than the scriptural 12 baskets of leftovers!)

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Congregation Leadership Team Visit to Notre Dame High School

While in Toronto, the Congregation Leadership Team visited Notre Dame High School. The students have been offering support to our ministries in Central America and Cameroon for several years by way of communication and financial support. The school and the Congregation Leadership Team were happy to put faces with each others' names. The Congregation Leadership Team made the outreach as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation for all the effort and energy that goes into the fund raising... and a witness to "liberating education". The visit was a great success.

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