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Visitation Province

Ottawa Area Gathering 

On February 26th, the Ottawa sisters and associates gathered for a contemplative afternoon of prayer, input and sharing on the Chapter Orientation.  Sisters Becky McKenna, Eileen McQuaid and JPIC Coordinator, Monica Lambton, facilitated the afternoon and encouraged us to gift ourselves with a word or insight which might emerge from the afternoon's experience. Sisters Louise Dunn and Bernie O'Neill shared highlights of their experiences at last summer's Chapter. In terms of peripheries we were asked to ponder where those have been for us, where they are now, and where they might next be. Each of us was asked to note a concrete action we could take. We pondered the door image and were encouraged to be attentive to how that image and other images which emerge may be speaking to us.

Reflection from the Vocation Formation committee...

Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat, along with the hired men and followed him.  Mark 1:20

Zebedee had a successful fishing business with hired men and his two sons, James and John. Why would the two brothers leave a secure life and family ties to follow Jesus? They heard a deeper calling. A religious vocation has been designated as a divine attraction. Standing at the seashore, Jesus made the call. The Lord continues to call men and women to religious life because the world greatly needs dedicated and faithful modern-day disciples. Those invitations may come in many ways, at any time, whether people are young or old. James and John knew when to step ashore to offer their gifts of service. You will understand your vocation if you realize that you have that deep divine attraction.

Fr. James McKarns

Blessings on all during these sacred days of Lent. 

Living Faith | Daily Catholic Devotions

Montreal - On the first Saturday of Lent, a bright sunny morning in Montreal, sisters and associates gathered at deSève residence to begin our Lenten journey. Carl Madigan began with an invitation for us “to enter into the unknown.” In reflection we were reminded, as Julian of Norwich said that “we are not just made by God, we are made of God” and that our “ego is a gift to serve the centre, not be the centre.” We heard from Mark 9-50 “Have salt in yourself and be at peace with one another.” Love and sacrifice, an interesting beginning to the transformation of Lent this year. After meditation and reflection on the questions, our souls were nourished and we were set on the right path towards resurrection. Then we gathered to break bread and enjoyed each other’s company. 

Donna Quelch, Sharon DiFruscia, and Carmel Kilkenny, Montreal Associates

Area Gathering in Toronto 

 “Something new is being born in us

If we but let it.

We stand at a new doorway,

Awaiting that which comes …”

With these words the CND community of sisters and associates gathered at Regis College in Toronto, Ontario last Saturday to welcome our process facilitators, Sisters Becky McKenna, Eileen McQuaid and JPIC coordinator Monica Lambton. The Chapter came alive for each of us as we began our afternoon with Sister Joan Lewis and Associate Carol Douglas sharing their personal experience of the joy and overall positive experience of being at Chapter. 

Focus was then placed on the two major themes of Chapter: contemplative stance and peripheries. Sisters Becky and Eileen led us into a time of communal contemplation – an intentional practice opening us up to a sense of real, truth and presence. We were reminded that the contemplative is not just silence and solitude but whenever we open to the Sacred in the midst of life. 

Monica helped us unpack our personal experience of “peripheries.” What are the peripheries that I encounter in my experience of the world? Who is on the peripheries? Indeed, there are peripheries everywhere! Monica then invited us to name and to commit to our personal and courageous next steps. With deep gratitude to all, we ended our gathering with a blessing of the intentions of our hearts and by singing what has become our communal prayer, “How Then Shall We Live?” 

Our repeated gratitude to Sister Maureen Baldwin and Regis College for their hospitality and for arranging Eucharist to end our time together. This not only created a sense of tightening of the bond among us, but more importantly, it helped to deepen our ownership and commitment to the Chapter Orientation as together we all took that next step forward in implementing it in our daily lives.

Karen Volpe, Associate


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