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Visit with Sisters Connie MacIsaac, Elaine Hawrylak and Mary Morris

Theresa and Dianne visited with Sisters Connie MacIsaac, Elaine Hawrylak and Mary Morris on Oct.9, 2021. This was a preliminary meeting held to discuss tentative plans for the 2021-2022 Associate Relation 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

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Celebrating Our Internationality*

At this year’s celebration of our internationality, we are invited by our 2021-2026 Orientation to expand our hearts still further in order to “intentionally live and deepen interculturality and intergenerationality.“  In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis shares this commitment: “It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity (kinship). Kinship between all men and women.”

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Celebrating Sister Mary's Life

The Sisters of Notre Dame Community, Kingston are mourning the loss of yet another of our Sisters. Though Mary Cockburn had been facing many health challenges, her death was a surprise to us and a sad relief. Once again Monsignor Joseph Lynch, in his warm welcoming manner, made St. Joseph's Church available for a short wake and funeral Mass. Members of Mary's family joined Sisters from Toronto and Ottawa. Sisters of Providence and Hotel Dieu along with Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame from the city were present. Staff members from Providence Motherhouse offered support by their presence and prayers. Many Associates, friends and acquaintances were also present. In her introductory words, Sister Rosemary Brosseau reminded us of Mary's many and varied ministries carried out with creativity, courage and love. Rest now, Mary and with Marguerite guide us along the way.

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82nd Birthday Celebration

On October 27, Sr. Joanne MacFarlane celebrated her 82nd birthday at the CND Health Center. She had some interesting characters visit her that day, which added to her celebration. A fun time with prayer, song and treats.

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More Celebrating!

On October 22, we were blessed to be able to celebrate Sr. Bernardine Burke’s 94th birthday. To add to this special occasion, we were joined by visitors who were pleased to be part of Sr. Bernardine’s special day.

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60th Jubilee Bells rang out with Irish Songs

On Wednesday, October 20, the sisters at Holy Redeemer Convent, Sydney, NS, welcomed the family and friends of Sr. Gwen O’Neil who celebrated her 60th Jubilee. Among the guests were two of Gwen’s ceremony, Sisters Mary Morris and Millie MacNeil.

It was obvious, upon entering the community room, that we were celebrating someone of Irish descent.

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News from The Convent “Eltuek Arts Centre”

Great things are happening at The Convent, the former Holy Angels High School, in Sydney now under the direction of New Dawn Enterprises. The corridors are alive with artistic creativity, bustling collaborative endeavours and various outreach programs focused on community development in the greater Cape Breton area. Central to the collaborative, inclusive mission of the Convent is a desire to enhance community reconciliation by honouring the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq on which they are located. On October 29, 2021, during a sunrise service with Mi’kmaw elders, the Convent will be renamed the Eltuek Arts Centre. Eltuek (el-do-ehg) is a Mi’kmaw word that notes a process of creation that is continuous, inclusive, and accessible. It means “We are making (it) together.” It refers to whatever we decide to make – art, food, music, social change, a bright future. Let us celebrate this good news story of collaboration, transformation, and new life!

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Entering The Pre-Novitiate

First Step

September 28, 2021, is one of the unforgettable dates in our vocation story. It is the day we left for the pre-novitiate. We (TONYE Frédérique Grégoire and NGO NGUIDJOL Jeanne Odette) were happy to set out in haste to answer the call of God that we had heard a few years earlier. Our hearts brimming with joy, we said goodbye to the sisters of the Yaoundé community and exchanged warm embraces. It was such a heartwarming moment.

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Praying the Rosary at Parkland Cape Breton

Ever since our move to Parkland Cape Breton, our Associates have been coming each month to recite the rosary with the sisters and residents. For ten years they have constantly shown up no matter how few of us. I like to call them ' Constant Hearts.' Begun by the New Victora Associates, they have been joined by other associate groups. Parkland provides tea and coffee. The Associates also present special programs at Christmas and the Way of the Cross during Lent. We are grateful and edified by their constancy.

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Thanksgiving at Andrews of Charlottetown

We had many things to be grateful for in our Thanksgiving celebrations; not the least of which is the ability of Sr. Marie Gaudet to make an artistic display. And of course, having a few companions who can take a picture and forward it. This time it is thanks to Eleanor!

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JPIC Atlantic: Eradication of Poverty

Having been made more aware of the struggles related to this issue by the "UN Declaration for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty” on Sunday, Oct. 17, perhaps we could share an update on why this is considered so critical at this time. As part of JPIC Atlantic, I participated in a worldwide Webinar related to this issue: it featured 1,000 participants. Of course, I didn't hear input from that many, but heard from such areas as Bangladesh, Uganda, Brazil, Guatemala, the USA and Canada, to name a few. Some spoke of being "fracked and gridded" out of existence by the oil and gas and coal mining industries; others spoke of 1800 people living under tarpaulins for two years because of the inability to control the flooding related to climate change.

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Sign the Petition

This is the latest in a wave of experts ringing the alarm – the climate crisis is here. In a couple of weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to COP26 [The 26th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC] — the world’s biggest climate summit, where world leaders will decide how to tackle the climate emergency. We have no time for half-measures and empty promises.

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Remembering…

As more and more Canadians accept the challenge to read and reflect upon the Truth and Reconciliation Report and its Calls to Action, we remember people in our country, people among us, who were ahead of their time in fostering warm and caring relationships with our indigenous neighbours. One person who comes to mind for some of us who knew her well was Sister Gertrude Corbett in Miramichi, New Brunswick. 

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Jubilee

The Sisters at Notre Dame Parkland celebrated and gave thanks for the 270 years of religious life of our three 70th Jubilarians and one 60th. With Sisters Helen Aboud, Georgina MacInnis, Loretta MacLennan, along with Sister Theresa Sampson, we shared a thanksgiving prayer, reminiscences of Novitiate days, and experiences in the Congregation de Notre-Dame. Afterwards we enjoyed a glass of wine, treats and a beautiful Jubilee cake. 

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We are Blessed!

An early Thanksgiving celebration was held at the CND Health Center in Sydney, on Wednesday, October 6. We were fortunate to have Sister Elaine Hawrylak play the keyboard for us. We began with prayer and each one placed a leaf with what they were grateful for on our thankful tree. Following was a sing along, dancing and treats. A wonderful time to remember how blessed we are.

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CRC-JPIC Atlantic October 13-14 Online Meeting.

Stronger Together! Shaping the Future of JPIC Atlantic

Members of religious communities in Atlantic Canada met with Sabrina di Mateo, CRC Executive Assistant – Mission. Sabrina in her position seeks to assist us in incorporating elements of ongoing formation and social justice - Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation - JPIC.

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Farewell to Madelyn

Having returned to Canada after spending 62 years in Japan, Sister Madelyn Brennan quietly joined Notre Dame Community at Providence Motherhouse, Kingston. There she adapted to her new environment as she quickly found a place in the hearts of sisters and staff. In due time, Madelyn suffered a stroke, which took her to Kingston General Hospital where she gently breathed her last while Sister Pat Arsenault kept vigil with her. Covid restrictions continued to make itself known as arrangements were made for Madelyn’s wake and funeral. 

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October Birthdays Celebration

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Congregation de Notre-Dame community at Providence Mother House gathered to celebrate the recent birthdays of Sister Elaine O’Grady and Sister Rosemarie Kennedy. This was a milestone birthday for Rosemarie, as she celebrated 90 years young!

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A Happy Thanksgiving!

For the second year in a row, we welcomed international students to a Canadian Thanksgiving supper. This year we represented South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Vietnam. Of course, our “homes” also included Tignish, Rustico and Kingston. Table conversation was energetic and diverse. We spoke of the impact of colonization in each of our countries as well as inappropriate comments international students received in their part-time work places. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Honouring the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Honouring the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation: In Kingston, at Providence Mother House, on September 30, the Sisters gathered for a special Eucharist in which the spirit of the day was recognized and celebrated.

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