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News from our Visitation Province Sisters (English Canada)

Visitation Province

May the miracle of Christmas

fill your day with wonder,

your life with beauty,

and your heart with gladness.


Year of Consecrated Life

At the meeting of Atlantic Religious Leaders in October it was agreed to undertake a collaborative initiative in respect to the year of consecrated life. It is to supplement what will be carried out in each local area. Sister Sue Kidd has graciously accepted to represent the CND community on this committee. Thank you Sister Sue, our prayer goes with you in this endeavor.


GENERAL CONFERENCE of the Congregation of Notre Dame leadership teams

General Conference will take place in Montreal, January 19 to January 27, 2015. The days of January 24-25 are set aside for sessions with Father Anthony Gittins, member of the Congregation of Spiritans who will speak to us on the topic of Interculturality.

Sister Josephine Badali poses the question: What meaning does the word “interculturality” hold for us as we describe our Congregation as an “international and intercultural” community? Our hope is to reflect and deepen this concept during the time spent with Father Anthony. All members of the administration teams are invited to be part of these two days. May we all be united in prayer during the days of the conference.



Communication Committee

The Communication Committee had a conference call on November 14, 2014. There was discussion regarding the use of the website and its future. As you know, the Visitation Province website was initiated for a one year period. The committee will meet on February 20, 2014 to evaluate what the response has been to the site, not only the number of visits but also the input for the site by the sisters and associates.

Sister Donna Kelly has generously accepted to attend this meeting and to be a member on the committee.

The winter theme for the Signs of the Times section is, "2015: Year of Light." This entry will be posted in January. Keep checking out the site

Spirituality Committee

The six members of this committee (Sisters Pauline Dalton, Kay Duffin, Della Gaudet, Dolores Kennedy, Joan Lewis and leadership team liaison Nina Glinski) spent a few days at Seton Spirituality Center, Terence Bay, NS, exploring and reflecting on the reality and possibilities for the province in the area of spirituality. The committee was grateful for the facilitation skills and the rich experience of Sister Evelyn Williams, SC.

Here is an outline of the process the committee engaged in, during their days together.

1. Building a sense of the group

Why did we say yes to be a part of this committee?

What is our personal sense of spirituality?

What gifts do we bring to the conversation?

Any concerns?

2. The larger context

The Creative Governance: suggestions on spirituality from the 2013 Chapter.

The Visitation Province Direction Statement 2013/CND Mission Orientation.

Beginning to name the focus of our task.

3. Moving from where the province is NOW and what is presently available

What is happening now in the various areas of the Province/Congregation?

Questionnaire responses from a sampling of sisters … to be enlarged upon in the future.

4. Looking at the expanding spirituality DREAM together

What more/different could be offered?

What would be seen as a needed focus?

What is the “vision” waiting to be birthed?

5. How to bring this from IDEAS to ACTION

Communication/consultation with all and interconnectedness with other committees.

Establish priorities, time line and action steps for future direction.

6. First Action Step –Writing a Report with “room for expansion”

The committee felt that their time together deepened their sense of being called forth by and together with the province. Questionnaire responses that were received were encouraging … “Your very exploration is a sign to me of a new moment; a time of questions and not answers.”

What do we notice is growing in the area of spirituality in our own lives, in the lives of those we minister to/with and in the BIG and smaller worlds we inhabit?

Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation

The JPIC Core Committee met in Montreal at the Motherhouse October 23–25, 2014. Committee members included Sisters Mary Corbett, Anne T. Gillis, Eleanor McCloskey, Eileen Roach, Associates Teresa McKerral, Salmon Arm, BC, Dorena Hall, Charlottetown, PEI and Sr. Catherine Walker, Leadership Team Representative and JPIC Coordinator Monica Lambton.

It was an enjoyable and productive two and a half days. The committee reviewed significant events from the latter half of 2014: Monica’s visit to Eastern Canada, the CND Social Justice Network meeting in August, collaborative work with KAIROS and the CRC JPIC Networks.

Monica Lambton presented a mini version of her presentation on the topic, Climate Change, which included a report from the People’s Climate March in New York. Members were joined by Apraham Niziblian, interim coordinator of the CND Social Justice Network, and Sister Maura McGrath who were also in New York City for the Climate March.

In reviewing the JPIC Action Plan for 2014-2015, committee members agreed to have Eco-Justice and Climate Change as a central focus. JPIC has already recognized Climate Change as a central issue and given the key role of Climate Action in the CND Social Justice Network Action Plan, the JPIC Core Committee fully supports naming this as the key focus and a lens to link other issues, such as poverty, trafficking, refugees, peace and human rights and other ecological issues such as water and extractives.

Long-Term Planning, Toronto Area

We are gathering information on the following project in Toronto.


Donations Committee

The Donations Committee met in Montreal on October 31. Using the Policy for Donations booklet as a backdrop, the committee reviewed all requests received.

Thirty-three requests were deemed to be acceptable. Committee members submitted the list of recommended organizations. Members of the Provincial Administration Team reviewed and approved these recommendations at their December 8 meeting.

Members of the Administration Team also receive several requests for financial help in addition to the recommendations submitted by the Donations Committee. Another twenty-five groups were approved at the December 8 meeting and will benefit from our Apostolic Activity Funds.

More grassroots involvement from our sisters would be appreciated. Please invite charitable organizations from your region, that you have had experience with, to send in a written request for a donation.


Marguerite Bourgeoys Bursaries

Almost twelve months have passed since the last batch of Marguerite Bourgeoys Bursary applications hit the postal network back in January. The last bursary cheque was mailed on December 10!

In summary, bursaries were allocated to 154 different students. These students came with a wide range in age, culture, province, area of study, etc.

Thank you to all the sisters and associates who assisted in the distribution process. Having personal contact with the applicants is an important benefit! We are also grateful to the General Administration for their allocation of funds for the Bursary Program. The granting of bursaries enables us to stay connected with those seeking a better education.

And the other good news… this awesome journey will begin all over again in early January! Stay tuned! 


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