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Cut Back on Plastics

Recently, at our residence, we had a presentation about plastics. Carl Duivenvoorden is a devoted environmentalist, the first Canadian volunteer to be trained by Al Gore. Carl has a special gift for speaking clearly on serious issues, in positive nonjudgmental or threatening ways. And he lives his message. Carl came with show-and-tell containers and materials, and facts.

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Prayer to Celebrate Earth Day

Prayer to Celebrate Earth Day

Setting:

Globe

Four candles representing the four corners of the world

Images reflecting earth’s beauty, faces of boys and girls

Container with water, small plant

North ---- water

South ----- earth

East --- fire

West ----- air

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration And Birthday Celebration At Mary Of Peace

If green is a sign of hope, there was hope a plenty as we gathered to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Mary of Peace community. And, not to be forgotten, our favourite Scott Mary Catherine Cameron was celebrated marking her 94th birthday. Fun was had by all and a reminder that yes, hope is contagious. Let’s keep hopeful!

Lorraine Costello, CND with Mary of Peace community, Montreal

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March 22 is World Water Day

Today Is World Water Day – an annual day we are invited to focus our attention on sustaining the world’s freshwater resources. This year’s theme is “Leaving No One Behind.” We who have available the water we need, could seek to learn more about the reasons why people, even in our own privileged country may be left behind without safe water. As we pour today, a glass of clean, clear water and drink, we can be appreciative. As we wash our hands today, and feel the cleansing liquid on our skin, we can be grateful. We can look at the food at our table today and notice which foods needed water to cook them. Even if we experience tears today, we can allow them to slide down, maybe even to our chin, and be glad for water.

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Marguerite, What Am I Doing Here?

When I moved from 12 years of parish ministry in Newfoundland to Kingston, my thoughts were on what shall I do now? As I explored the city the word that was always on my mind was “Periphery.” One afternoon my attention was drawn to a very large campus with beautiful grounds, a striking array of buildings, topped with a majestic red dome. It all reminded me of Disneyland. I concluded that it was a Theme Park. I awaited its opening, only to be informed it was one of the five prisons within the city. That was a shock, yet gradually the realization came... here lies the periphery for me.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

From Our Leadership Team

We are happy to announce that beginning on July 1, 2019:

  • Maria Cabello-Vazquez will serve as Co-Coordinator of the Associate Relationship for a three-year term. She brings a profound relationship with Marguerite Bourgeoys and apparently boundless energy. Donna Wuhrer will continue as Co-Coordinator, as will Joan Mahoney (until June 2020).
  • Jaculyn Hanrahan, CND will serve as Coordinator of Peace and Justice for a three-year term, with the hope of being joined by a Co-Coordinator next year. Jackie has been active in advocacy, research, and networking with regard to environmental and economic justice in rural Virginia for many years. She will be expanding her scope to all the areas where Associates and Sisters reside.

We are very grateful to both of these generous and talented women.

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News from Sister Josephine Badali

Reflection For First Sunday Of Lent

For to His angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all of your ways.

In reading Psalm 91, we see and feel God’s heart for His children. Here we read that when we acknowledge Him as our refuge and fortress, our God in whom we trust, He then offers us His everything... His strength in trouble, His protection against evil, His comfort in our distress. And then, just to delight, He commands His angels to guard us in all of our ways. I know as a child seeing the familiar picture of two children crossing a bridge, an angel spreading her wings around them, was a magical scene. I never doubted back then. Of course, I had a guardian angel! Of course, I needed to leave room for her on my seat in school! I was sure about angels. And then... I just began to forget. Life happened, marriage and babies happened and sad to say, my guardian angel took a back seat.

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Marie-Aveline Bengle, Mother Sainte-Anne-Marie Remarkable Woman in Quebec’s Educational History

It is with great joy that the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame have learned that the name of Sister Marie-Aveline Bengle (known as Mother Sainte-Anne-Marie) is found on the list of women who were honoured by the Quebec Government today, for the great impact they had in Quebec’s history (see communiqué).

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Online Resources For Lenten Journey

As we enter the Lenten journey, these are two websites you may want to check out.

www.sacredspace.ie: offers help with praying with the daily readings. It is the website of the Irish Jesuits.

www.ronrolheiser.com: Fr. Ron is a Canadian Oblate whose column "In Exile" is carried in more than one hundred papers around the world. The website gives you access to his writings as well as interviews with him on various topics.

 

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For these things I weep... Lamentation for a Suffering Church: A Reflection for Ash Wednesday

The last few weeks have been difficult for me. At our Montréal associates and sisters gathering in January, we had a very frank and honest discussion about sexual abuse in the Church. It left me troubled. Troubled, because, as a Church, we have been derelict in our duty to care for those entrusted to us. Even more troubled that some of us have done great harm. Lives have been broken; either through acts of commission or equally damaging acts of omission, cover-up, and lies. I did not leave my meeting feeling hopeful. Neither did I feel very confident that Church leadership was serious about implementing change or fixing a culture that allowed this to happen. There is a crisis of trust. I too have succumbed to it. I have been praying and reflecting on this ever since.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Going to the Peripheries

For the past 6 years I have been an active member of the Cape Breton Coalition for Social Justice. In 2014 the Coalition launched a Literacy Project to help reduce poverty through education, the goal being to assist families in obtaining books for children of all ages, especially pre-school age children, and stay at home parents. New and used books are being delivered to Food Banks and various Social Service Agencies. Donations of new books just prior to Christmas have been used by families as gifts for their children. The annual “Under One Umbrella” event in Sydney has been another avenue for making books available to families. Nine hundred (900) books were donated to families during the 2018 event. The goal of this day is to provide “free support services under one roof to those who are homeless or at high risk of being homeless.” Services provided include dental, hearing and vision testing, diabetic screening, massage therapy, foot care, chiropractic services, family physicians, hair dressing, clothing, legal aid as well as food and entertainment.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Good Shepherd Ministry

It has been a wonderful and productive month in the clothing room at Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto. Sr. Joan Lewis, who gives clothes to the homeless, had help from three seminarians from St. Augustine's Seminary, a novice of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood and lay woman.

On these extremely cold days it has been great to work together as a team; sorting donations, serving those who come looking for warm clothes, boots, hygienic articles, etc. Even the opportunity to have a shower is appreciated.

Upstairs breakfast is served. Throughout the entire building the words of Jesus are echoed: "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me.”

All will return to their studies. Only Zena, a faithful and generous lay woman will remain. However, I believe it will be an unforgettable experience that will mark their journey towards the priesthood and consecrated life. The highlight of the day is to celebrate Mass at noon in the small chapel at the center.

We pray for all those who volunteer and those who come to the Good Shepherd. Please join us in prayer.

Joan Lewis, CND

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Lenten Prayer Service

Leader

Lent is about becoming, doing, and changing

whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now.

--Sister Joan Chittister, OSB

Lent is not an event. It is not something that happens to us. It is at most a microcosm of what turns out to be a lifelong journey to the center of the self. The purpose of Lent is to confront us with ourselves in a way that’s conscious and purposeful, that enables us to deal with the rest of life well.  It is not a “penitential season.” It is a growing season. It requires us to determine what is worth dying for in our own lives and what it may be necessary for us to become if we really want to live. - Joan Chittister, OSB, A Growing Season

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Good Shepherd Ministries

It has been a wonderful and productive month in the clothing room at Good Shepherd Ministries in Toronto. I help in the distribution of clothes to the homeless people and received help from three seminarians from St. Augustine's Seminary, a novice of Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood and lay woman.

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Novice Libby Osgood

Novice Libby Osgood will be leaving for North Carolina on February 18th for her next apostolic and community experience. She will be forming community with Sisters Margarita Castañeda and Thérèse Martin in Hayesville and will also have the opportunity to meet-up with the associates of the area. Libby will be returning to White Plains on June 1st. While there, she will be participating in a series of ministry experiences in the parish as well as in the local area. I invite you to pray for Libby and her new community in this next stage of her discernment process. May her next apostolic experience help her to integrate her sense of religious life within the mission of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. Many blessings and thanks!

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Fanning That Flame Of Mission

On February 10, Monica Lambton, JPIC coordinator, journeyed to Toronto for the monthly gathering of sisters and associates. We got a good turnout of almost 20, just ahead of the wintry blast.

Carrying forward the theme of last year's Associate Assembly, Monica spoke about Fanning that Flame of Mission. Mindful of the core values (e.g. act with courage and boldness), we must strive to keep hoping in the big shift, despite naysayers all around us. Sometimes, it takes a letting go before we can grow our hope. Allies are important along the way ... and always have been. Comparing notes in small groups, hearing what others are doing to care for our common home, we began to see how much more each one can do. We can also help each other to see how far we've come already, even though there's still such a long way to go. Laudato Si' is a valuable resource: "Everything is beautiful. Everything is fragile. Everything is connected"

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Going To The Peripheries

The Miramichi Quilt Guild of which I’ve been a member for 20 years, gives a quilt annually to an organization in the Miramichi area to sell tickets to raise money for their cause. In 2018, a quilt that I made was quilted by another Guild member, Betty Doyle. It was donated to Special Olympics Miramichi and they raised $6,250.00 in 11 months for their organization. The funds will be used February 21st - 23rd, 2019 when Miramichi hosts the NB Special Olympics Winter Games.

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From The Formation Corner

Annunciation House, El Paso, Texas

Dear Friends, Cathy, Libby and I (Maco) just returned a few days ago and are filled with gratitude to each of you for your prayers and moral and financial support during our time in El Paso, TX. In honesty, we have felt the CND presence on this very special journey. It has been an incredible community experience filled with many visitation moments and it will take a long time to unpack the many graces. 

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Peace & Justice News

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Report issued January 2019

You can read the report here: https://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-BL-18-00511.pdf.

The key take away from this report is that the exact total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities at our southern border is unknown. We do know that in the spring of 2018, a zero tolerance policy for certain immigration offenses was announced by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Implementation of this policy often resulted in children being separated from their parent or guardian. Public opposition to the policy grew in the next few months. The policy was challenged in Federal Court in California and in responding to a June 2018 Court Order; HHS identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents in the time since the new policy was announced.

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