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France bans plastic bags

France bans plastic bags: As of July 1st, most of the 17 billion lightweight plastic bags (12 billion for fruit and vegetables) used annually in France have been banned. An average plastic bag takes one second to make, is used for roughly 20 minutes and takes up to 400 years to degrade naturally. They have also legislation effective in 2020 banning plastic cutlery and cups. There is opposition from the plastic industry and others with a financial stake in this. Other than a small number of municipalities which ban plastic bags, Canada lags far behind in this regard. 

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News from Japan

I thought it would be of interest to us that Sister Janet Malone’s article “A Spirituality of Aging in Religious Communities” was used at a retreat that my sister Mary (Sr. Mary Gillis, CND) made recently in Japan and that the Jesuit priest who conducted the retreat told her that, the Japanese Jesuits were so impressed with the article they had it translated into Japanese and published in their Theological Digest. There is also interest in getting a copy of her book so I am in the process of facilitating that. So happy to know that Sister Janet’s incredible insight lives on.


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Sister Louise Dunn CND receive Recovery Award

I was privileged to be able to attend the afternoon of Recovery Day in Ottawa on Friday, September 22, 2016. The day was all about those who are in recovery, their families and supporters. It was wonderful to feel the energy, unity and hope that permeated throughout the crowd.

A young America woman, Brooke, addressed the group and challenged all who are living in recovery to be proud of their journey and share it openly so that those who are still “using” will see that there is help, hope and happiness available to them.

Then Sr. Louise Dunn was called to the stage and the crowd was spontaneously on its feet. David McGinty, MP for Ottawa South, presented her with the statement which he had read in the House of Commons earlier that week. This was followed by the Recovery Award being presented to Sister Louise by Gord Garner, chair of Recovery Day Ottawa.


Sister Louise humbly accepted the award on behalf of all involved in Serenity Renewal for Families, acknowledging that she and Alexa Smith co-founded Serenity Renewal. The Award was a tribute to Sister Louise and Alexa as well as the past and present staff.

As the day ended Sister Louise and Alexa had been receiving lines of people who came to re-acquaint themselves, give gratitude and some to set-up appointments to visit the staff at Serenity Renewal and begin a road to healing.

It was a day celebrating the mission of the Congregation of Notre Dame and we congratulate and thank Sister Louise and Alexa for what Serenity Renewal has done for the over one hundred thousand men, women and children who have found a path to recovery over the past thirty-three years. 

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