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April 16 – Feast Day of the Patron Saint of the Homeless

The Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s mission statement includes the following inspiring and thought provoking lines: In today’s world, we commit ourselves to live simply and closer to the reality of the impoverished, the excluded and the oppressed.[1] April 16 is the feast day of a saint who turned his back on his comfortable life to become himself a mendicant, and thus become the patron saint of the homeless.

 

[1] 2011-2016 Chapter booklet, p. 8

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A “Good Samaritan” from Mabou NS.

The past weekend we went to NB for our granddaughter's birthday. Friday morning we received a call from a neighbour asking what time we planned to leave because she was making a lunch for us to have on our trip. She arrived and left our surprise package in the car. We had some business in Port Hawkesbury, so just before leaving there, we picked up a coffee, and when we cleared the 'busy' traffic of Aulds Cove we opened our coffee and reached back to retrieve our care package. Well, this lady didn't forget anything. First there was the wet hand wipes, followed by the napkins, a little tray full of deviled eggs and in a Tupperware dish, there were fresh, buttered biscuits, and packaged separately was Italian sausage and cheese. Then there was a big bag of homemade fudge. Last, there was a nice card wishing us a pleasant trip, with money for the coffee. We ate to our satisfaction, and stored the rest away for later. Around 7 p.m. we stopped in Salisbury, NB, got another coffee, and polished off the remainder of the lunch with delight. The fudge, of course, we treasured, eating it sparingly, making sure we saved some for our grandchildren. This we did, and to insure they did not, 'pig out', we had a fudge eating contest. Whoever could make their piece of fudge last the longest, would get another piece. The slurping and smacking of lips could be heard in the back seat of our car for a long time. This little note is not at all an adequate way of expressing our appreciation for such a kind and considerate act from our treasured friend and neighbour, Margie MacInnis. 

Sister Ellen Hickey

Although I did not live with her or teach with her or attend her classes, I feel privileged to have known her brilliant mind and sparkling personality in her final years even though old age was taking its toll. Meeting her was like stepping into a warm sunbeam. She was always upbeat, smiling, greeting me warmly and reciting some lines from a song or poem and always with the remarkable ability to make you laugh. She introduced me to many fine writers and poets from the past and also those from our present day and shared great literature and stories of her family and childhood and days of teaching. I always took great delight in listening to her. She believed each one of us is the architect of our own destiny. She often said, "We must always be open to a capacity for wonder and discovery. At every age the human imagination must be nourished, cultivated and enriched." She was always very optimistic about the future of the church and religious life and said that we must experience pain and loss before anything great and beautiful can arise. We must never lose hope in ourselves and in our future. Thank you dear Sister Ellen for bringing so much joy and laughter, positive thinking and hope for the future into our lives. We shall long remember you.

 

 

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