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Visitation East Associates_May Newsletter

Dianne McAskill and Theresa Ann MacNeil

The Spring ARCAN (Atlantic Religious Congregations and Associates Network) meetings took place via Zoom on April 16-17, 2021. Visitation Province East Congregation of Notre Dame Associate Coordinators, Dianne and Theresa Ann were in attendance along with Sisters and Associates of seven other Congregational Groups. ARCAN emerged in the hearts of Sister Alma MacLellan, CND, and Congregation of Notre Dame Associate Peg in Pictou, N.S. in 2002. ARCAN Vision: ARCAN's vision is to be a mutually supportive network of associates and sisters in Atlantic Canada living a new and dynamic expression of religious life and spiritual meaning for the 21st Century, supporting and inviting each other to a wider embrace of Gospel values, and living a commitment of Love, in relationship with all creation. ARCAN Mission: Rooted in Gospel values and inspired by the charisms of our religious congregations, the mission of ARCAN is to provide a supportive network for sisters and associates from Atlantic Canada that is committed to adult learning, inclusive actions, embracing diversity, along with an awareness of the new consciousness that all life is sacred and connected. Key areas of ARCAN focii are the Spiritual Health of the group; Deepening conversations between the sisters and the Associates; Executive Leadership; Education; Communication; Finances. The theme of Rev. Canon Gerald Wescott, Rector of the Anglican Parish of the Resurrection, South River, NL, was “ Deeper Listening”. ARCAN is a wonderful network where we connect and share with each other ‘s respective Congregation and Associate Relationship. Our next tentative Fall meeting will be Oct.22 & 23, 2021.


A regular monthly meeting was held in April by the Sydney Mines group. Coordinators Dianne and Theresa Ann were in attendance. The DVD by Sister Carol Zinn was played and a group discussion followed. All Associates were overjoyed to meet personally.


Development and Peace — has launched an exciting matching project for its Share Year-Round monthly donation program. All monthly donations pledged until Pentecost (Sunday, May 23, 2021) will be matched dollar for dollar. This includes new pledges and any increases to monthly amounts already being donated. This initiative is funded by several Canadian religious communities, who have been steadfast allies of Development and Peace since its founding in 1967.


Greetings from Lovely Miramichi where life is good and the weather is balmy. This was an amazing winter discovering what the Japanese call “Forest Bathing”. Pope Francis must have had this in mind urging us to care for and appreciate our common home like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. (Laudato Si’). Early this winter I started a great project – strapping on snowshoes each day and disappearing into the silence of the frozen white woods, floating atop the powder. The act of snowshoeing is charmingly old school, like clomping back to a simpler time. My snowshoes of wood and sinew are similar to the ones used by Mother Bourgeoys as she went about tending to the families of the colony in the cold of winter. We know she must have been a champion snowshoer braving the severe wind and gales and bitter cold to snowshoe from Montréal to Quebec for important business. Now, that is the same distance from Miramichi to Fredericton and I know that I could never do that distance by snowshoe. That convinces me that Mother Bourgeoys was a very strong, determined woman who knew her mission and fulfilled it with great courage and bravery. She is my constant source of inspiration. Fran Connell, Associate Miramichi.


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