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Blessed Sacrament Province

Delegates to the General Chapter

Back Row: Joan Mahoney, CND; Jackie Hanrahan, CND; Maryann Calabrese, CND; Vicki Remson, Associate; Mary Anne Powers, CND; Joan Curtin, CND; Ona Bessette, CND; Mary Jo Hoag, Associate Front Row: Nancy Downing, CND; Alicia Parkinson, Associate; Maco Cassetta, CND; Beatrice Baker, CND; Patricia McCarthy, CND Missing – Patricia Flattery, CND

ASSOCIATE NEWS – Sr. Joan Mahoney

Back Row: Susan Morris; Karen Fleszewski; Susan Connery; Jean Cooper; Vicki Remson; Janet Powell; Alicia Parkinson; Carol Lombardo Front Row: Christine Singleton; Mary Jo Hoag; Jean Mc Loughlin, SSND Facilitator; Regina Smith; Magdalena Centeno


Thirteen associates participated in the March 10-13, 2016 Provincial Chapter at Wilton. Each of them represented all of the associates and the Associate Relationship excellently. During the discernment among the associates with Sr. Jean McLoughlin, SSND, as facilitator, Mary Jo Hoag was chosen to be the delegate and Alicia Parkinson and Vicki Remson as the alternates to the General Chapter in August 2016. I asked the associate delegates to share of their experience in general terms or focus on a personal highpoint:

"The associates were welcomed to the Congregation of Notre Dame Chapter with such warm affection and hospitality, it was palpable. Talk about visitation: our days were filled with honest and discerning conversations about the future directions of the Congregation and the associates. We delegates have to bring this experience back to each associate to let them know we have really arrived." Regina Smith

"… I enjoyed getting to know many of the sisters. In addition, the thirteen associates had time together to share their associate experience, and discuss ways we could support the mission of the Congregation of Notre Dame." Jan Powell

"At each table that I participated in, I was the only associate in a group with 4-5 sisters. My comments and questions appeared to be received with grace and taken very seriously, and I always felt very supported and validated. It was truly an "all for one and one for all" effort and vision of the Congregation of Notre Dame family future…I feel very excited about the directions of our future journeys under the guidance of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys." Alicia Parkinson

"The table discussions were from the heart, and I felt that what I said was listened to and taken into consideration. I felt that the Associate Relationship really matters to the sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame!" Vicki Remson

"One experience I had involved a table discussion… One of the things that was said by some, and arrived at independently, was how the Congregation of Notre Dame future could be quite new if sisters and associates from around the world could have more direct interaction and input all the time. Of course, such things are done with technology today but it’s not always easy. And language can be a barrier. But the idea of dialog, interaction and input were strong at that table on that day." Mary Jo Hoag

"When the associates left the room to begin the process of choosing a delegate to the General Chapter, all the sisters cheered and waved goodbye. I think we all felt a strong feeling of community." Carol Lombardo

"The highlight for me was the gathering on Saturday afternoon with the other associates for the election of a delegate and 2 alternates to the General Chapter… Our group of 13 associates spoke so freely, so honestly, and so vulnerably, I was humbled by the experience. It was very evident that these women take their Congregation of Notre Dame vocation very seriously and hold it very close to their hearts. Although immersed in many forms of family life, I felt this grouping of Associates was carrying St. Marguerite Bourgeoys’s charism with great love and care. The process of selection of the delegates was honest and respectful and I feel as if we chose wisely in selecting Mary Jo and the two alternates." Jean Cooper

"Sister Jean McLoughlin did an outstanding job leading the thirteen women through the process of discernment. Who will say "Yes" as Marguerite Bourgeoys and Mary did? The Holy Spirit was in that room during the grace-filled discussions, voting and choices that were made. It was very moving." Susan Dunn

"After all of our sharing each day of the Chapter, I believe it was in our Eucharistic celebrations that unquestionably, the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters and associates were cherished by God as the body of Jesus gathered for worship…We are ONE body. None of us is alone in our struggle to be a disciple of Jesus… All together – through this Chapter – we are again missioned by Jesus to the world. How great is that?" Susan Connery

PEACE & JUSTICE NEWS – Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan

Through my connection with the Social Justice Network of LCWR, I have become aware of the Green Climate Fund. It is an international financial fund whose goals are to engage in projects for adaptation to climate change and to mitigation of effects of climate change. The priority is to provide funds for either or both to the most vulnerable – the poorest nations. Many existing funds target mitigation efforts only. The GCF sets aside 50% of available funds for use in the poorest nations and 50% of the 50% is earmarked for adaptation projects. It funds efforts at prevention and dealing with current problems. A stressed priority is a commitment to the most vulnerable of those impacted by climate change and to demonstrate the connection between the impact of climate change and poverty. I think this is a valuable, concrete step in advancing Pope Francis’ calls in Laudato Si.

The Fund is a unique global platform to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries and to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Currently, all funds are from national governments but work is being done to develop the ability to receive funds from other organizations and individuals. Now, most awards are in the form of loans but experience dictates moving to a greater percentage of direct aide and outright grants especially for adaptation projects. The US has made the first of 5 planned donations but funding must be approved by Congress and it has been a “tough sell” A lobbying effort by the Interfaith Community greatly contributed to the past success and will be needed for next year’s funding. I will be contacting you about advocating for full payment of the future planned donations to the Green Climate Fund.

I am currently working on a checklist of actions taken or being considered for “the greening of our local communities” in solidarity with the ongoing Greening of the mother house. I hope to have it to you around Earth Day. I invite you to challenge yourself to increased conservation. 



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