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News from Visitation West Associates (Canada)

Visitation West Associates

NOTES FROM THE FOLKS!

INNISFAIL, ALBERTA

On Saturday, May 5th the sisters and associates from Innisfail area gathered together to hear the message from the Provincial Chapter by Sister Becky McKenna and Sister Catherine Walker of the leadership team. It was an inspirational time of prayer, contemplation, and sharing, certainly gift to all of us who were able to attend. Special thanks to both Sister Becky and Sister Catherine.

We are feeling blessed in Innisfail because in June:

Anna Rowley presented us with a very informative and thought provoking mini workshop on Leadership.

The Associates from Cranbrook were able to join us for the workshop, good food and fellowship!

Our coordinators, Sister Nancy and Pat, were able to be with us.

We have had Sister Nancy as coordinator and associate supporter for a long time!

We will now have one of our own, Dolores MacGillivary as a new coordinator!

We hope all the associates and sisters have a restful summer.

Millie Hoffos


THE WEST KOOTENAYS IN BC - TRAIL, CASTLEGAR, CHRISTINA LAKE AND NELSON

We met with Provincial Visitation Team Leader, Sister Becky McKenna and Team Councillor, Sister Catherine Walker on May 10th. Our time together began with Sisters Becky, Catherine and Norma Gallant sharing of their experiences of this particular Chapter, i.e., how Provincial and General Chapters had common orientations – contemplative stance and going to the peripheries; the moving experience of contemplative prayer in the larger group; the contribution, the table talk and the mutuality of sisters and associates; the inclusion of fun time; and the contributions of the priests whose generosity made liturgy possible.

We were presented with a beautiful glossy card with the photo of a partially opened door leading into a mysterious garden. The conversation inspired by the card was moving and a perfect backdrop to the breaking open of sharing and enlightenment on the topics of contemplation and peripheries. While it is hoped the photo may be used as an inspiration for contemplation in one's own home, there was sharing by many on tools they already use that help to lead into contemplative prayer. In discussing peripheries, we are reminded that Marguerite directs us to seek and be present to the peripheries in our midst. We reflected and shared on our own personal experiences. The peripheries we see all around us are so many and varied. Comments afterwards during refreshments reflected appreciation for a deepened understanding on both topics.

Well done Sisters Becky & Catherine!

Maureen Wiley, Trail


CRANBROOK

I attended the First Visitation Province Associate Assembly and came away so grateful that I am an associate. The coordinators who put the Assembly together should be so proud, as it was well organized, relevant, interesting and informative. I am always sad that more of the Western Associates are unable to attend, but I think we had a good showing at the Assembly. The main presenters, Sister Ona Bessette and Sister Josephine Badali, kept us very busy as they led us through a process to name our core values. There will be much more coming out about the Assembly as information is presented to groups, so I will not say more.

What always strikes me as I attend a gathering is that as soon as I walk into a room of CND Sisters and Associates, I feel welcomed and at home.

On June 19th, six of the Cranbrook Associates joined with the Innisfail Associates to take part in a presentation given by Anna Rowley, Eastern Visitation Province coordinator. The focus was on the gifts of leadership and was timely, interesting, and informative with good ideas to take back to our group as well as to apply to our own leadership style. It was a treat to get together with another group of Associates and get to know each other. They provided a lovely pot-luck supper. Sisters Marie Clarkin and Paula Maher joined us the next morning at our hotel for breakfast and we had time for great conversation. This was a special treat for us and enjoyed by all.

Some of the Cranbrook Associates have been part of an ecumenical group assisting a refugee family sponsored by the Cranbrook Hub for Refugees. The Associates helped with the English lessons, seeing to the physical needs of the family, fund raising, transportation and setting up learning outings for the group. It has been a very rewarding experience for the Associates who have grown very close to the family.

Mary Fiorentino


THE COAST: Vancouver & Lower Mainland area, Sechelt, Vancouver Island

The Associates of the Lower Mainland did, indeed, renew their commitments via Skype on 31st of May, Diane and Pat Walker were on each side of me as we connected with Jose, Donna and Jim, and Eileen. We used the format sent out for our service, with modification. We shared some interesting reflections of how we are living our charism and reaching out to the periphery. Eileen spoke of the Christmas party she instigated in her housing complex, finding ways to be inclusive and respectful of the various cultures and faiths of residents. Some of the Christian residents questioned her plan, but it brought the community together as she shared the Christian tradition of the Nativity and others shared their traditions and gifts for the children. Jose spoke of his firm but respectful handling of criticism that related to cultural differences in supporting a troubled student and her family and how ensuing events justified his approach. I was so impressed by both stories. The four of us renewed our commitments.

We do not do this often enough to be comfortable with Skype gatherings, but, given our circumstances, we agreed it was good to be with our CND family and share a bit of our lives and love of God and Marguerite. We say we must try to do it more often.

Jose and Malin had thought to get to Cache Creek this year, but a priest friend from Guatemala is visiting them that weekend. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings on you all!

Anne Stuart, Sunshine Coast


OKANAGAN

On Tuesday, May 8, the Associates from Kamloops and Kelowna met at St. Charles Garnier Parish in Kelowna to welcome a visit from our Provincial Leader, Sister Rebecca McKenna and Councillor, Sister Catherine Walker. After leading us in prayer they helped us reflect on the Directional Statement from our 2017 Visitation Province Chapter and explore ways to incorporate it into our lives. The open door prayer card they left invites us to move in a contemplative spirit into a fuller service to the poor and to care for our earth. They moved from Kelowna the next day to Trail, travelling, fortunately, just before the floods in Grand Forks along Highway 3.

The associates in the Okanagan met May 31st in Summerland at Holy Child Parish to renew their associate commitments and to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation with a delicious lunch at the unique restaurant across the street. It was great to gather the Penticton and Kelowna folks together with Summerland in such a lovely setting.

The Kelowna Associates are helping their new refugee family settle in. They are an extended family of 11, three generations, six adults and 5 children, sponsored by the parish. Please pray for their successful adaptation to our ways.


WESTERN AREA ASSEMBLY CACHE CREEK, JUNE 22-25

Twenty western associates met for the weekend at the IHM Centre at Cache Creek for our Western Area Gathering. Anna Rowley one of our Eastern Area Coordinators led us in an exploration of “Learning, Leadership, and Light.” We were delighted to have Anna with us for the weekend and to experience her skills as an educator and facilitator. We left enriched by the materials she shared with us and with a deeper sense of our own call to leadership within our groups and within our church.

Dolores MacGillivary also joined us. Dolores has just been named as our next area coordinator, to replace Sr. Nancy and to work with Pat Weicker. It was delightful to get to know her a little better and to give her the opportunity to become acquainted with the BC part of our Area.

We also had two golden wedding anniversaries to celebrate.

Sister Nancy and Kamloops associate, Roger Nadeau had the honour of presenting both couples with corsages at the Saturday evening celebratory supper. We also honoured the Raymond’s celebrating 30 years as associates and Anne Pellerine, celebrating 25 years as an associate. All were presented with Pat Weicker’s beautiful homemade congratulatory cards which all had signed.

 

 

 

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