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Sisters of Visitation Province

UNPACKING THE YOUTH SYNOD AND CHRISTUS VIVIT 

Recently, the Canadian National Association of Vocation and Formation Directors (NAVFD) collaborated with the Toronto Archdiocese Vocation Directors Association (TAVDA) to present a webinar. It was hosted by Nathalie Becquart, a Xavière Sister, former Director of the National Office for Youth Evangelization in France, general coordinator of the pre-synod on Youth and an observer at the Synod on Youth in 2018. Nathalie invited us, young and old, to journey together, during this time of pandemic, crisis, change and kairos, and to use the synod text, Christus Vivit, as a GPS for the journey. Together, we can be firmly rooted in the present, and from here revisit the past and also look to the future. We can learn from one another, warm others’ hearts, inspire minds and with the light of the Gospel, lend new strength to our hands. Do you not hear the voice of Marguerite Bourgeoys in this invitation? If you don’t read anything else in Christus Vivit, chapters 7 to 9 are a must. They speak of Youth Ministry, Vocation and Discernment. Whoever the young people may be in each of our lives, let us try to find creative ways to accompany them. 

Jo Badali, CND for the Vocation/Formation Committee 

 

Gardening in Small Spaces was the title of a ZOOM presentation offered by Third Age Centre, St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Corinne Hersey, STU prof, was the presenter. 3rd Age members, Board members, and students met to learn about how and what can be planted in plastic pots, old bureau drawers, a piece of drain trough, stacked cans, hanging planters, grow bags, climbing posts, and a cloth shoe organizer hanging on a wall! (Who knew? Cut slits in pockets to allow drainage). Our province has been working towards food-sufficiency plans for years. We know we have enough potatoes, maple products and fiddleheads, but we need to grow more veggies, even in small plots and places. Corinne spoke about composting and its valued part in our planting projects. Her quote: “The planet gives us everything we need.” 

Eleanor McCloskey, CND 

 

Under 75 Group 

In response to the recommendation of our 2019 Assembly to consider using technology to enhance communication, Sr. Becky invited sisters “under 75” to participate in a “zoom” gathering. A date was set, lap tops and tablets were fired up, and before we knew it, 17 smiling faces were engaged in sharing reactions to the Covid-19 isolation experience. We were more than willing to “zoom” again on May 19 using the LCWR reflection papers as a spring-board for an even deeper conversation around the effect this global pandemic is having on us and our world. Like most people in society, we each have experienced the highs and lows of isolation. Regardless of our personal reactions, we all recognize that these are extraordinary times, and each of us has spent our new-found gift of time pondering what God might be asking of us, individually and collectively. We, indeed, dwell in the darkness of these times; yet, we all expressed our hope that the world will emerge a better place. We know our prayer has become bigger, more inclusive. Each day, we pray with gratitude, exulting in our deeper awareness of Spring’s glorious transformation. Yet, we pray with sadness, aware of the deep pain of so many around us. We are all witnessing much kindness, generosity and caring. Our prayer is that this concern for others will be the “new normal” --- that, we, along with people around the world, will continue to live in ways that recognize our responsibility to care for all on the journey. 

Eileen Roach, CND for the Under 75 group 
 
Change 
In the past few months, through enforced change, we may have personally experienced isolation, social distancing, face covering directives, and a loss of some of the freedoms we took for granted. Change has been all around us, for individuals, groups, families, businesses, etc. The environment, the natural world, has experienced change: cleaner air, quieter oceans, a slower pace of activity. (Cancelled meetings!) Families are spending time together; making bread, sharing meals, playing games. Gardening is gaining in popularity. People are communicating by phone or electronically, asking a simple, “How are you doing?” So, in quiet reflection, we might ask ourselves, has this time of change brought ME to a new place? Has anything changed for me? In the choices I make? In the values I hold? Is there any change I notice in myself? Can I embrace change and be responsive? 


COVID BLESSINGS: We are standing strong together as we live through these days of Coronavirus. This week in Halifax we have been blessed with new opportunities. 

Friday evening: A COVID-50th Jubilee Zoom celebration with my adopted Ceremony who prayed with me and humbled me by their sincere blessings and best wishes. 

Monday: A drive by 10th birthday horn honking celebration (came home with a piece of birthday cake!) 

Wednesday: Joined with 4 others to pray for the staff and residents of Northwood Nursing Home in Halifax. Each day 5 people keep social distancing and pray for thirty minutes in front of the building, all the while waving back to the residents in the windows, who are so happy to know that people care. 

Connie MacIsaac, CND 

 

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