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The Booksellers of Bonsecours event, September 13 and 14, 2019

The Archivists of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame will be at The Booksellers of Bonsecours event, September 13 and 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Archives Services of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame will be taking part in the first edition of The Booksellers of Bonsecours event, an initiative of the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum in collaboration with Lire et vivre to benefit the educational activities of the Museum. Among other things, there will be books and postcards for sale.

 

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Japanese Culture and History

Tuesday, July 23rd 

We went to Tokyo Oedo Museum in the afternoon. It proved to be a great opportunity to deepen our knowledge of Japanese culture, since the day before, Fr. Sekiya had talked to us about the place. Japan is rare among countries, in historically having maintained a policy of seclusion for 250 years. Having earlier heard that the Japanese national character is introverted, and that Japanese have a stronger consciousness of shame than of guilt, we took this time to deepen our knowledge of how Japanese people lived during these 250 years.

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Beginning of Christianity in Japan

Father Yoshiki Sekiya, a Salesian priest, began our meeting by celebrating a Mass, during which Sister Augustine Matchuendem renewed her vows. After Mass, we enjoyed listening to the priest play and sing songs from his childhood. Then the presentation began.

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The Education of Japanese Women: Yesterday and Today

In Japan, where higher education began late, there were two models at the beginning of higher education for women.

The first model was created by the first European and American Christians when they came to Japan. At the time, education was focussed on teaching English. Our CND school belonged to this model.

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Visit To Fukushima July 26 – 29, 2019

Our first stop in Fukushima was Sakura no Seibo Junior College, under the direction of Ms. Minami Nishiuchi and owned by our sisters. A very warm welcome was extended by our sisters, the director and all the students and staff. All kinds of treats were offered to us. After a guided tour of the college, the sisters talked to us about the origins of the school. Once the visits were completed, Ms. Nishiuchi spoke to us about the school and the situation of women’s education in Japan. A game of questions and answers followed and Father Aimé and Julie served as interpreters. We all received gift bags with “Sakura no Seibo Junior College” stamped on them. We met and talked with the students of the college and participated in a game. Pictures were taken in a friendly and pleasant climate. The students put on a musical performance, which was very much appreciated. We then left the college.

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Reflections on Interculturality

We wish to share some reflections about our session on interculturality given by sisters Claudia Margarita Juárez, Debbie Warner, and Sophie Mbougoum, on July 24th and 25th, at the meeting of the new members with 15 or fewer years of religious profession, in Chofu (Japan).

These are some of the guiding principles on intercultural community life, which caught our attention.

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My Experience In Tijuana – First Part

Dear Sisters and Associates, I want to share with you the first part of my reflections on my service in Tijuana.

I left on June 24th, the feast of Saint John the Baptist and the National Day of the Province of Quebec. I went as a migrant, which is to say with a small backpack and everything needed to live this experience.

We know that this is how our migrant brothers and sisters travel when they set out. I arrived in Tijuana at around nine o'clock in the evening.

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July 22-23, 2019: charism

Sisters Mariana, Violaine and Jeannette gave a presentation on this theme. Their fine introduction began with the inspiration of Sister Marie-Marcelle who says, “charism is in the person non in the works.” We immediately understood that on that day we would be working on ourselves.

We very much appreciated the way our sisters presented the theme; it was practical rather than theoretical. There were times of reflections that allowed us to dig deeper within ourselves in order to answer the questions asked of us. For example: What does charism mean to me, and how do I live it in relation to Marguerite Bourgeoys? Through in-depth and personal reflections, we found many answers to these questions. In our own lives, we found concrete experiences of which we are proud and which are in keeping with the charism of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

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Visitation Gathering in Japan

Dear Sisters and Associates,

Greetings to all of you! What a joy to be able to take time to share with you some news of our Visitation 2019 gathering in Japan.

On Sunday, July 21, 2019, we went to Mass with the Japanese CND sisters at their parish church in Tsukuba where they usually go every Sunday.

We walked together to the church. While we were walking, we chatted and enjoyed the surroundings. We listened and admired the quiet, neat streets. The bicycles scared us when they passed near us. However, bicycling is part of their customs and culture.

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From The Formation Corner

The home stretch is upon Libby as she begins to make her way back to Visitation Province. These weeks of grounding have been hopefully helpful to her personal integration in religious life as a Sister of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. The month of June has been and July will continue to be filled with significant preparation opportunities.

For the first two weeks of June, Libby was part of an Upper Room experience in White Plains. We were graced with the presence of Sister Catherine Walker from Visitation Province and Sister Maryann Calabrese from Norwalk who held this sacred space of the Upper Room. Together we formed an Upper Room community, holding the space for Spirit to nurture and guide Libby into the future. The discerning questions for us were “How have we integrated our lives as a CND, given who we are? And, what has nurtured and continues to nurture our lives as we move into the future?”

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

Photo: Magnificat! The six jubilarians lead the Congregation in a song of gratitude on June 1st


Peace & Justice News – Sr. Jaculyn Hanrahan

JUSTICE 911 - July 18, 2019 is a national day of action to challenge the Trump administration’s abuse of immigrant children and families. Catholic planning partners include, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), Franciscan Action Network (FAN), Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, Columban Center for Advocacy, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and Pax Christi

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Monica Lambton Visits Truro, Nova Scotia

Submitted by Co-Coordinator Anna Rowley

Sunday evening, June 9th Truro and Halifax associates gathered in Truro for Monica Lambton’s presentation: Fanning the Flames of Mission. Monica, coordinator of Visitation Province Office of Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation, through prayer, scripture, reflection, music, discussion, videos, and relevant readings reminded us “We are called to fan the flames for others.” (2 Timothy 1:6). When we watch the news or read about climate change and those on the peripheries it is easy to become overwhelmed. However, we reflected on how we are all part of the great work of climate action and going to the peripheries. Whether our part is small, working one on one, or part of a bigger work it is important to share our positive action stories. Action brings hope and becoming an ally, like the Hebrew midwives in Exodus, reminds us that playing a supporting role contributes to the whole. St. Marguerite Bourgeoys reminds us that “The Blessed Virgin…never excused herself from any journey on which there was good to be done…” Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys p. 50.

Like Marguerite, on our journey to answer the cries of the earth and the poor, we associates must act with courage and boldness. We are grateful to Monica for sharing this thought provoking and encouraging presentation.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Sr. Libby Osgood’s First Profession of Vows in the Congrégation de Notre-Dame 

Sr. Libby Osgood’s First Profession of Vows in the Congrégation de Notre-Dame will take place Sunday, July 28, 2019, 2:00 pm, at the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre

The University of Prince Edward Island chapel is a fitting setting for this ceremony, as it literally grounds Libby's commitment to religious life and CND within the place where she will be living her commitment to liberating education. Local sisters, family and friends will gather in this intimate setting (60 person capacity) to witness this important event and to prayerfully support Libby's deepening commitment.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Housing Action Forum, Kingston, ON: The May 15, 2019 Housing Action Forum was a huge success. Arising out of it are several concrete actions that we have already begun to work to implement. The Social Planning Council of Kingston and District was so pleased that CND – Visitation Province made it possible for us to host the Forum, and I am so pleased to have done so as part of the 400th Anniversary Celebration of Marguerite's birth.

United in prayer and in the charism of Marguerite Bourgeoys,

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Resilient Aging: Spirituality and Story in Later Life

Recently we were treated to a presentation by a local professor who specializes in narrative gerontology. Dr. Bill Randall explained how each phase of life has developmental tasks for us: we learn to walk, to speak, to read, to make decisions, to be responsible, etc. In our later years, narrative tasks are important and helpful, even essential to our wellness. He uses the term narra-care in inviting us to review our lives, to remember, rejoice, reconcile, and to recycle the wisdom stories that are uniquely our own. Reflecting on our own story is an implicitly spiritual process since it can deepen our sense of purpose and meaning, widen our sense of self and of God, stir up our gratitude and enhance our inner resilience in everyday living. We learned a lot in an hour!

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Presentation on Marguerite Bourgeoys

On June 11, 2019 Rosemary McGhee gave a beautifully researched and delivered presentation on Marguerite Bourgeoys. She situated Marguerite historically and socially in the 1700s in France and the larger world.

She captured Marguerite's spirituality and her mission. She helped us realize and understand the many struggles which Marguerite faced in living out her dream. It was an amazing experience to hear someone tell our story. Hopefully before our 400th anniversary is over more of you will have the opportunity to hear Rosemary.

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Climate Change

At a recent meeting, Sister Mary Corbett, CND, guest presenter, using Laudato Sí’ as a framework, explored some critical issues around climate change. While exploring the contamination and evaporation of water, Mary strongly emphasized that access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms. She stated that the hydrological cycle (water cycle) of the planet is a closed cycle. There is not a limitless supply of water. “Our present levels of water pollution, stated Mary,” “harm the hydrological system, are unsustainable and put all life forms on the planet in peril.” Several times throughout her presentation, Mary asked: “What are we leaving for the next generations to come and for all life forms?” Moving from this painful reality into a more contemplative mode, Mary presented some magnificent pictures of the Earth taken from Space. She also shared the Astronauts’ profound statements about their experience of viewing Earth from Space.

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The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Math Contest

Mathematics is the language of the universe. It is then fitting that, as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of our foundress Marguerite Bourgeoys, we joined with the grade five and six students of the Catholic School board of Kingston for their first math contest. Mr. Henry Santos, a passionate math teacher, and former student of the CNDs, contacted us asking if our 400th celebration and their contest might link-up. He wanted the Kingston sisters to name the contest, and to choose a name and design for the new trophy that would be passed on to the winning school each year. There was much enthusiastic discussion around these topics until we came to the consensus of “The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Math Contest,” and “St. Marguerite Bourgeoys trophy,” with the design of the official picture we received of Marguerite.

 

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National Indigenous People’s Day

Today, June 21, is National Indigenous People’s Day, a day to learn more about the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Current terminology can assist our understanding and respectful dialogue.

– First Nations is a term that came into common use in the 70’s as an alternative to the outdated term Indian. It refers to people who have official status under the Indian Act of Canada, as well as persons without status who identify as belonging to a First Nation. First Nations have specific names we can learn to use.

– Inuit means people in the Inuktitut language and is used to refer to Indigenous people who live in the Arctic regions of Canada. The term Eskimo is no longer used and may be considered as offensive.

– Metis refers to people of mixed ancestry who have developed their own traditions, cultures and languages distinct from those of their Indigenous and European ancestors. The term should be used only to refer to people who self-identify as Metis.

It helps to move away from using old terms, like Indian or native as these words evoke Canada’s colonial past. Indigenous peoples now have the opportunity to choose the terms used to identify them.

 

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National Indigenous Peoples Day 2017 Presentation

To begin with, I am not an expert on the history and customs of First Nation People. So I can only share with you what I have learned and experienced in my 29 years with the people of the Canim Lake Reserve, Shuswap Nation, known in Secwepemc as Tsq’escenemc.

I would like to tell you a little about the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, of which I have been a member for 61 years. Our foundress, Marguerite Bourgeoys, came to New France in 1653 to be the first teacher of Ville Marie. She fought long and hard to have her group of women recognized as an uncloistered religious community. She wanted the sisters to go out to the native people around the fort that was Montreal at that time. She opened a school located in one of the towers, which still stands on the property of the Sulpician Fathers. So, we have always been a congregation devoted to education and inclusive of all people.

 

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