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Celebrating the Anniversary of Marguerite’s Canonization!

On Sunday evening, October 31s, we Sisters at De Sève Residence in Montreal welcomed Sisters Violaine Paradis and Dominique Sabas to help us celebrate the anniversary of Marguerite’s canonization. We had a wonderful evening together. We began with a bilingual prayer, shared wine and cheese, and enjoyed a delicious meal, but what made the evening so pleasant was the open sharing among us and the evident joy of being together. Most of us knew little about Dominique and were eager to get to know her a little. Realizing that her inability to speak English was not a problem, Dominique shared her interesting life journey with us. Violaine, whom we knew a little more, told us about her ministry in the East end of Montreal as an “Agent de Pastorale Sociale.” As the evening drew to a close, we felt that a bond had been established among us as Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters. The evening had been a visitation moment, and we had taken a small, concrete step to live interculturality and intergenerationality.

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One Stick at a Time

"I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the 
course of the year to a great bundle of sticks, far too large 
for us to lift.  But God does not require us to carry the whole 
load at once.  God mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us
first one stick, which we are to carry today, then another, 
which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on."

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Things don’t make us happy. Sharing does.

A Canadian religious sister was visiting her sisters in Cameroon in Africa. The sisters were taking her to a poor woman living in a traditional round adobe and thatched roof hut of the area. They gave the visitor a bag of rice to bring as a gift to the woman. They entered the home and gave the rice to the mother of the family. She invited them to be seated and said she would be with them in a minute. She left with the rice and returned a few moments later with half the bag gone. She had given the rice to a neighbor who had no more rice for her own family. Then the visit began.

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Letting Go

I stand alone as this tree.  Slowly being stripped.
Yet, still showing the beauty of the God who  created me.
It helps me understand my vulnerability, my need to let go.
The wind has passed my way and taken away some of my coat.
The rain has poured over me and scattered part of me on the ground below.
What are some of the elements in my life that have forced me to LET GO?
 

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God’s Paint Brush

Wandering through the forest something delightful is happening all around.

Splashes of color are surrounding me; all is being transformed.          

I stand in the center of these magnificence colors

How am I experiencing my own transformation?

I am the Masterpiece of the Divine Artist.

How am I responding to the Divine strokes of beauty in my life?

God sees within me the hope for perfect fulfillment of all God has create

me to be.

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St. Theresa’s and Holy Angels group meeting

St. Theresa’s and Holy Angels group met at the home of Theresa MacNeil October 17 and Lorrette Andrews read the opening prayer, Prayer to the Holy Spirit, while Genevieve Paquette, Journeying Associate, read the new General Chapter Orientation. Dianne MacAskill shared on the Elements of Deepening. The video on Associate Relationship produced by Anna Rowley, Coordinator Central Office was played and discussed by the group. This is the first group meeting since May. The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys novena was the closing prayer.

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Meeting in Sydney Mines

Theresa and Dianne were invited to attend a meeting in Sydney Mines at the home of Frances Gordon on October 13, 2021. Geraldine Walker read the opening prayer and Elizabeth MacNeil read the closing prayer. Theresa discussed the new 2021-2026 Chapter Orientation and I briefed the group on the 2021-2025 Visitation Province Elements of Deepening. A group sharing was initiated by Jennie Gordon. Due to travel and COVID restrictions, this group has decided to meet locally and say the Rosary at the exact time and date as our Rosary is recited at Parkland Sydney. Power of Prayer.

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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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