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Feast Day Was Celebrated Throughout Visitation Province in Various Ways

Visitation Province

Mabou, NS

On Friday, January 12th the Sisters and Associates of St. Joseph Convent, Mabou and parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish, Mabou assembled in our Chapel to celebrate the feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys with a warm welcome by Josephine MacNeil, Associate. Father Bernie MacDonald, our pastor, led us in comparing the Scripture readings to the life of St. Marguerite while challenging us to continue in living out the charism that she designed for all of us by her life of compassion, and giving of herself for people of all ages, all for the glory of God. Besides taking part in the various ministries, members of the group, following the Prayers of the Faithful, presented the following items and placed them on a display table: a statue of St. Marguerite, a bouquet of flowers, the Writings of St. Marguerite, and a box containing the intentions which we prayed for during the Novena of the past nine days.

   

Following Communion Sister Isabel MacLellan spoke to the group highlighting Marguerite’s life as a young girl in France and her response to what she believed was God’s call to come to Canada. She was led to begin her mission in helping the young couples and the children of Ville Marie, now Montreal, to live Christian lives. She surmounted the difficulties of travel, setting-up the First School and finding teachers to help her spread the Good News. Sister Isabel asked the question “What kind of woman was Marguerite?” and answered by saying that she was first and foremost a woman for her God, having great respect for all persons and attended to their many needs, so much so that she earned the title “Mother of the Colony.” She referred to a picture that was described by an artist as one having the gift of “Compassion” thus highlighting one of Marguerite’s greatest gifts.

Josephine MacNeil, Associate, in bringing our prayerful time to closure presented Feast Day Greetings from Ann Godfryd and Adèle Mercier, co-coordinators of the Central Office of Associate Relationship. They stressed that the Associate Relationship is truly a gift for the Church and the world today. It behoves all Associates to continue to honour Mary and St. Marguerite as “women of the parish.” All were then invited to partake of tea, coffee, light snacks and sharing of friendship.

Kingston, ON

It was a snowy day in Kingston on January 12, yet it did not deter St. Marguerite’s friends from joining the Kingston CNDs and others at Providence Mother House for a beautiful Liturgy in the morning and in the afternoon a most enjoyable presentation by Sr. Marijke Gerretsen on Marguerite’s life in Troyes. At the morning Mass presided by our Chaplain, Friar Ed Debono, OFM, the CND Sisters played a significant role in the celebration by doing the readings, reading the intercessions and canting the Psalm and Gospel Acclamation. We were happy to have so many generous members of the choir who weathered the storm to add to the joy of the celebration. Sister Denise Bérubé gave a very interesting and thought provoking homily in which she reflected on Marguerite’s call in 1640 and invited all of us to reflect again on the call we received and how we might live that call in the world of today.

    

In the afternoon Marijke, who had spent a few years in Troyes, treated us to a virtual walk in the footsteps of Marguerite Bourgeoys following her life in Troyes from her birth to her departure for New France. This photographic tour was so vivid and Marijke’s presentation so informative, we could not help but feel we had actually made the trip.

Following the presentation everyone was invited to a scrumptious feast in the Sisters’ dining room where enthusiastic conversation shared at the tables invited further reflection on details of Marguerite’s life both in Troyes and in New France.

Eleanor Monahan, CND

Fredericton, NB

Morning Mass at St. Anthony’s Church welcomed friends from across the city to Saint Marguerite’s Feast day liturgy celebrated by Father Monte Peters. We chose appropriate readings; a reflection on Marguerite’s call and response; and Nisha Nicholas from nearby First Nations brought her drum and sang a Water Song, a welcome addition to our event.

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Charlottetown

On January 12, we were blessed to have a Eucharistic Celebration in our Chapel at Andrews with Father Bob Coady. At noon, almost all of our PEI sisters gathered in our Activity Room. Sister Della led us in a prayer "through the intercession of St. Marguerite" for families. Father Bob prayed a blessing on our community and on our food. The efficient staff at Andrews served a delicious meal. We were nourished physically and spiritually as we shared food, conversation, and togetherness. "Without this union, it is impossible for a community to be whole and at peace." (WMB, p. 67)

Réjeanne Bourque, CND 

 

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