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Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee

The JPIC committee met November 23-25 at the mother house in Montreal. A discussion with the Province Leadership Team took place on Saturday afternoon. Sister Becky McKenna was at the table, and Sisters Eileen McQuaid and Maureen MacIsaac joined by conference call from Bedford

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From the Formation Corner

This year’s program is so different from last year’s. I would say that it is very much of a “hands on” year where the novice, during her second year, gets to practice her skills in light of what she has learned about religious life. The three fundamental areas of concentration include prayer, community life and ministry. More specifically, as part of the second year novitiate the goals are:

  • To offer space for integration of all that one learned during her canonical year.
  • To provide the novice with a positive environment that will nurture her discernment.
  • To offer a positive experience that will help deepen the novice’s sense of belonging to the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.

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Parish Tea Party in White Plains

We invited some of the women of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for tea and an Advent prayer service. This morning of prayer had refreshments, a much requested tour of the house, followed by a reflection and personal quiet time, leading to mass at church next door. It was a lovely day, full of interculturality, joy of the season, and prayerful reflection.

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Sister Frances Claus and her Toy Workshop

Among the many opportunities I had to shadow the sisters of Toronto in their ministries, I had the most fun with Frances Claus in her Toy Workshop in the basement of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. She and her fellow elf Bev are busy each year preparing Christmas packages for 500 children, each package containing an age and gender appropriate combination of toys, crafts, books, balls, and something warm (socks, a hat, or gloves). They register the children in October and receive bags and bags of toys from the local radio station CHUM’s toy drive, but they don’t just distribute the gifts, passing them on. They make sure the boys and girls of each age group receive equivalent packages, and verify that they don’t receive the same gift from the previous year.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Our Lady of Guadalupe – Our Lady of the Peripheries

It’s all about accompaniment. When Mary heard that Elizabeth was expecting, she “went in haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah” (Luke 1:39). A relative “in her old age” would need help, and the mothers-to-be had to talk. The gospel leaves us to imagine their joy, their apprehension, and their hope — mothers whose sons would be prophets and martyrs, yet through whom God would bring down the mighty from their thrones and lift-up the humblest of his people.

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Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

“What should we do?” This was the question all – those being baptized, the tax collectors, the soldiers, etc. – were asking John the Baptist. He made such a deep impression on the people that word spread that he might be the Messiah. He assured them he was not the Messiah. They were attracted to him because he was so single-hearted in the way he lived his life and his mission.
Reflect on those persons to whom you turn in difficult times. Give thanks for their presence in your life.

 

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Teaching Religion to the Youngest Among Us

Sr. Joan Brennan, CND, needs to apply all her 60+ years of experience as an educator when teaching religion to three and four-year olds. Yes, that’s three and four-year old preschoolers at Notre Dame Academy in Staten Island, NY. She begins her classes with a song many of us learned in school: Rise and Shine and Give God Your Glory Glory. She tells them the creation story. She employs artwork as well as songs to get her youngest pupils to think about where and how do we see God? How do we find God in our life every day?

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New parish names in New Brunswick

In the Diocese of Saint John N.B. churches are being combined to form new parishes with new names. Parishioners were invited to suggest names. The new parish in the Miramichi area (Newcastle side) is now named Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish. Local churches are designated “worship sites” within the large (new) parish structure; they will maintain their “church name” for now. Our Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates and friends were very active in promoting Saint Marguerite. It is appropriate that the Miramichi area where the Sisters of the Congregation worked for over 100 years receive this honor. Sisters and associates familiar with the Miramichi are very pleased, as are former students and friends of the sisters.

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Montreal Associates

Nearly 200 brave souls battled the elements in Montréal’s freak autumn snowfall last Friday to attend the Catholic Rally organized by the English-speaking Catholic Council. This biennial event brings together and showcases many of the organizations that make up the Catholic Church of Montréal. For the first time the Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates from Montréal were also present with a booth. Associates Sharon DiFruscia, Donna Quelch and Charles Taker were on hand to talk about Associate Relationship to those who called by our booth. A fair bit of interest was generated and we will be following-up over the next few weeks and inviting them to come and see who we are and what we are about.

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Journaling with Mary…

Waiting for baby

I awake each morning

A song of praise on my lips;

I, Mary of Nazareth, wife, of Joseph the carpenter

Carry within my being the child of the Promise.

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Afternoon tea at St. Joseph’s Parish, Kingston

As the Christmas Season approaches, Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame in Kingston were invited to an afternoon tea at St. Joseph’s Parish. Since the closure of our Residence on Wright Crescent, Monsignor Joseph Lynch, Pastor of the parish, has honoured us in appreciation of our involvement in the parish and open invitation to the Pastor and Priest Assistant over the years to share meals with us.

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A little child will lead them

There is a city in New England that has a cross on a hill overlooking the city. At night the cross is lit and can be seen from most of the city which is built on six additional hills. A little five year old girl knelt by her window one night. She was facing the cross and told her Mommy she was praying to God.

I understand why Jesus loved little children, let them come to him when others were pushing them aside, and told all of us to become like little children if we wish to enter into his life. Of the tens of thousands of people who see that cross every night, how many turn their hearts to God in prayer?

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Redesign Of The Virtual Exhibit Faith In Action

Montréal, December 5, 2018 – The Archives Services of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame is proud to present the brand new platform of the virtual exhibit Faith in Action: Centuries of Education by Marguerite Bourgeoys and the Congrégation de Notre-Dame.

First launched in 2011 in collaboration with the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum, the website has been completely redesigned and improved...

 

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An Immigrant Woman Becomes Visible – Speaks Out

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

Yes, as the title states, an immigrant woman becomes visible: I, myself, and all those who are immigrants, particularly “the caravan of migrants currently in Mexico.” Yes, they have become visible because they have shown the necessary strength to leave their beloved country, the strength to show the world the desperate situation in which the majority of Honduran people live.

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Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent 2018

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

Today’s readings invite us to encourage one another to change our ways to prepare for the coming of Christ. What does this message mean for us, followers of Marguerite Bourgeoys, who patterned her own life on the role of Mary in the Visitation and in the early church?  Mary’s role, as they gathered to await the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, was to be a source of encouragement to all in the early church.

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Reflection - First Sunday of Advent 2018

After Thanksgiving, I start to think about Advent and Christmas immediately. I love Advent! Maybe it’s the purple and pink candles (I love colors!) or maybe it’s the anticipation leading up to Christmas, but I have always enjoyed Advent. I am usually ready to take a break from the busy-ness of life, shift gears to a more reflective mode of anticipation and preparation, and simply ponder the joy of the all that comes with the celebration Christ’s birth at Christmas. With this peaceful longing, I sat down to read this Sunday’s readings and prepare my thoughts. At the age of 43, I know that I have heard all of these readings before, many times, and yet they still surprise me. This week, these readings shook me out of my “peaceful preparation” mode and woke me up a bit.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

From Our Leadership Team

The very full days of our November 17-18 meeting in Chicago were punctuated by a birthday celebration for Sister Darleen and a welcome home call to Sister Bea Baker.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

The JPIC Core Committee met at the mother house November 23 – 25, to review previous work, projects in progress, and plans for next steps. During our meeting we were joined by Sister Becky McKenna and we included, by conference call, Sister Eileen McQuaid and Sister Maureen MacIsaac in Bedford. Stay tuned for ways we can all stay informed and involved in activities of peace and justice.

Eleanor McCloskey, for JPIC

 

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Advent Prayer Service

Opening Song

Leader:  During this season of Advent, we pray for the openness and grace we need to live and grow as God’s people.  May God’s light shine brightly through us!

Candle One: Hope

Glory to you, God of Hope…breathe into us new life, new meaning, new hope this Advent.

Candle Two:  Peace

Glory to you, God of Peace…guide our footsteps and lead us in the way of peace and justice.

Candle Three:  Joy

Glory to you, God of Joy…may we be bearers of Visitation joy and welcome to all we meet.

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First Sunday of Advent Reflection

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

I have been invited to share some Advent reflections with you

Imagine you are a ten year old child getting excited about Christmas and hoping for your favorite gift. Imagine you are a University student preparing for end of semester exams at the beginning of Advent. Imagine you are young parents with three children worried about finding enough money to be able to celebrate this Christmas. Imagine you are an elderly person longing for Christ to come and take her home.

What will you say about Advent to each of these people?

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