I have just returned from the Justice Network Meeting at the Congregation of Notre Dame mother house. The Spirit is not only alive and well among our sisters and associates but also inspiring and challenging. I was especially touched by the reports from Japan and Cameroon; Japan under the burden of the continuing threat of radiation and a sense of abandonment by their government, Cameroon under the terror of suicide bombings begun in the North this summer. Despite these conditions, our sisters and associates in both countries are collaborating on efforts to care for the earth.
Sr. Joan Mahoney, CND, attended the international meeting of the Associate Relationship at the mother house of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Montreal, August 13-16, 2015. Unfortunately, associate Sharon Norton was unable to accompany her. The theme of the meeting was “Our Rock and Our Foundation”.
The keynote speaker for the first day was Ann Deignan, associate of Blessed Sacrament (USA) Province, who led the group in enacting two scenes from her book, The Love of a Lover, The Mystical Journey of Marguerite Bourgeoys. In the experience and conversation with Ann, we encountered the strength, passion and compassion of the contemplative heart of Marguerite.
Forty eight associates and three candidates representing all but two of our fifteen US and online communities responded to The Call to Visitation: The Associate Relationship, Past, Present and Future. Eighteen Congregation of Notre Dame sisters participated in all or part of the weekend.
The group first journeyed back in time, led by sisters Joan Mahoney and Mary Ann Rossi, to The Origins of the Associate Relationship: Marguerite Bourgeoys’ Experience and Vision. Thus inspired, the associates and sisters were further invigorated by a rousing presentation by facilitator, Sr. Barbara Mullen, CSJ, aptly entitled Fire in the “Whole: Living an Explosive, Expanding Love. Reflection on Charism.”