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Charity, Justice and the Founding of Ville Marie

It began as a dream that inspired an extraordinary group of men and women “to go forth” to the peripheries of their known world to establish a missionary settlement that would not only teach the good news of the Gospel but would also receive in abundance from the persons that they served. Ville Marie, the “mustard seed” from which the city of Montreal grew, was planted in response to this Gospel invitation. Its detractors called it the “folle entreprise,” the “crazy business.” Wednesday, November 22nd brought together sisters, associates, parish social action representatives as Sr. Pat Simpson masterfully walked us through that first idea, the early days with its challenges and choices and fidelity to mission. Truly a jewel of a presentation! Thank you Pat!! Thank you Paul Chomedy de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance, Marguerite Bourgeoys and so many others for holding the dream!! 

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Movie – Wonder

This movie is truly a family movie – it’s about a family and it could probably help families see ways they could improve their honest communication with each other. It might help all of us understand more about other persons and their stories – the stories we may never know. Viewers get to walk with Auggie, a little boy in Grade 5, as he experiences home, school and social interactions. You may want to bring along some tissue. The story is not sad; it just feels so real. 

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Celebrating Internationality Day

Photo by Noreen MacDonald, CND

Gathered in our Community Room, we prayed the Prayer Service prepared by Visitation Province. As each country in which our sisters live was named, someone placed the flag of that country in a glass on our prayer table. We prayed in solidarity with our staff which represents not only Canada, but also India, Philippines, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. We are really living in an international atmosphere. Several significant points in the prayer were highlighted as we shared what touched us in a special way. We extend our gratitude to those who prepared this service. 

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Advent Prayer Service: Longing For Light In The Darkness

Photo Credit: Marie-Claire Dugas

Introduction

Leader:  During Advent, we are called to seek the light of Christ,

                even in the midst of darkness.  The prophets assure us

                that the darkness will not overcome us.  They call us to

                watch for the light.  We are called to wait, to hope, to

                trust in God.

               As we make this Advent journey in faith, we invite God’s

               light to dispel the darkness.  We ask for the grace to let go

               of any burdens or barriers that we may carry in our hearts

               as we search for the light.  We ask for the gift of

               attentiveness that we may truly see God’s loving presence within and among us.

              May our faith we renewed so that we might be light for others.

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News from Visitation Province

Celebration!

Sister Melba Vásquez, a CND from Honduras, has been our guest since October 8 and will remain with us until November 30. She will then return to Montreal from where she will prepare to go on mission in New York. 

It was amidst much joy coupled with surprises that we celebrated her Silver Jubilee in Summerside, PEI on Friday, November 10. She was aware we were celebrating her but had no idea that sisters from other areas were invited. Surprise… surprise… when we gathered to pray to have twelve additional sisters present to celebrate with us including Sisters Eileen McQuaid and Ann Broderick. Thanks everyone for the beautiful CND intercultural support! 

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CND Celebration of Internationality, November 16, 2017

 “How then shall we live today?”

(CND Orientation 2016-2021)

Leader: We are gathered in the Spirit deep within us and all around us. 

Opening Prayer: (All) Loving Creating Spirit, we thank you for your abundant blessings as we, sisters and associates, gather  in Cameroon, Canada, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, United States to celebrate our international identity.   

 

*Silent Contemplation [5 minutes] (Singing bowl to begin and end time of contemplation)

One Voice

…..Perhaps it is a time to become more deeply rooted in who we really are, to become so entrenched in the love of God which allows us to do love’s work and energizes us to go out of ourselves to where the needs are, to the peripheries…

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Learn to act in the face of human misery

Even with the long warm fall New England has enjoyed this year, there will be a winter and it will be cold. People living on the streets or moving from shelter to shelter will become more obvious, as most of the rest of us do less outside activities and stay inside on the cold days. As we enter a coffee shop or a fast food restaurant we are liable to meet the homeless. Some will be standing looking desperate; others will beg for a handout. Sometimes the homeless knock on car windows or mutely stand there at intersections holding placards begging for work or money.

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Peace & Justice News From Blessed Sacrament Province

I invite those who are attracted to the third aspect of our orientation to consider the following invitation which came from The Green Faith Network. There is a new multi-faith initiative which you can join. It calls us, “to walk our talk, to align our behaviors with our values… to change our consumption habits… to join a journey towards lifestyles of compassionate simplicity, for the sake of the human family and our precious planet.” To give concrete expression to your response sign the multi-faith statement, Walk on Earth Gently.

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From Blessed Sacrament Province Leadership Team

Photo: Ann Marie Strileckis 

After consultation with Peggy Doyle, who has served as Director of Vocation Promotion for the last 10 years, we have appointed Ann Marie Strileckis as Coordinator of Vocation Ministry. Ann Marie will be working on forming a team to work with her, and one of her main tasks will be to encourage all of us to participate in various ways. We are very grateful for her willingness to assume this critical ministry in addition to her work as pastoral associate at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and we thank Peggy for her many years of service and her willingness to continue this ministry in another capacity.

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Women Of Excellence Awards

The Progress Women of Excellence Awards takes place each November. Hosted by the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis, it honors 7 inspirational women who play an important role in our community. This year, Progress Women of Excellence is honoring Libby Osgood, recognizing her as a passionate educator and innovative researcher.

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Book Review

Grounded: Finding God in the World by Diana Butler Bass. (HarperCollins; 2015 Paperback 360 pages.) This book does pretty much as the title suggests: the author speaks her experience of God present all around us, not just “above” us. She invites us to look around in our own life. Her chapters are titled water, dirt, sky, home, roots, neighbourhood. Diana shows how people are reflecting and discovering God, delighting in God, even, in the natural world and in Earth, our Common Home. People are coming to know a Creator-God; our faith enlarges and expands in getting to know that God. A line I liked: “My mother used to say some Christians are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good. Mom was right.” (p. 295)

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Area Day in Fredericton, Monday, November 6th

Co-coordinators Anna Rowley and Marjorie Allison-Ross shared with us (Miramichi, Woodstock and Fredericton) the Presentation given by Associates at the Chapter in July. The collection of photos on the big screen was amazing – happy faces full of joy and hope! Anna gave us all “speaking parts” throughout the presentation and helped us feel the excitement and energy coming from last summer’s event.

We are so fortunate to have these leaders among us, so fired with the spirit of Saint Marguerite and so generous in sparking our fire!

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What Would You Say You Do Here?

 Photo: With Sr Kathleen Deignan

When I started this blog, I promised to share what life as a novice was like. Now that I have been at the novitiate for a few months, I have settled into a comfortable pattern and can better describe ‘a day in the life’. It should be noted that each religious order has their own way of forming novices, and even within the CNDs (my order: Congregation of Notre Dame), I have come to realize that each experience of the novitiate was different for each sister, so this is my experience, as of now.

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Thank you, Nina! Welcome, Maureen!

Dear Nina,

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the blessing you have been to Associate Relationship and especially to the Coordinators these past four years. You have: encouraged our gifts, supported our ideas, celebrated our accomplishments, lived mutuality and showed extreme patience in light of e-mail discussion that numbered in the double digits.

We ask Mary and Marguerite to journey with you as you set up home in Ottawa and discover your new life. May the Creator bless you with the love and laughter of family, friends and Sisters.

Know that you are in our hearts and prayers. Peace. 

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Visitation East CND Associate Relationship Newsletter

Visitation Province Coordinators (Canada) Attend Blessed Sacrament Associate Assembly (USA)

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

Blessed Sacrament Province (USA province of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame) held their second CND Associate Assembly in Wilton, CT October 20-22, 2017. The 5 Visitation Province (Canadian province of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame) coordinators along with the Central Office coordinators of Associate Relationship joined about 70 associates and sisters from the Blessed Sacrament Province. Many associates were involved in planning the event. Friday evening opened with prayer and Introduction of local communities and associates. Each group was to bring a symbol of their group. We Visitation coordinators decided to use a wooden sculpture of the Visitation as our symbol. There were socials Friday and Saturday evenings so we got to spend time with the associates and share what is happening in each other’s areas. 

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Charity, Justice and the Founding of Ville-Marie

Speaker: Patricia Simpson, CND

Date: Wednesday November 22, 2017

Time: 5:30-9:00 pm

Where: Archdiocese of Montreal

2000 Sherbrooke St. West

Parking is available

[A light supper will be served]

This event is organized by Kim Piché, coordinator of the Social Action Office of the Diocese of Montreal. Please rsvp to 514-931-7311 x 211 or KPiche@diocesemontreal.org

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Retreat With Heather Eaton – Toronto – February 2018

Joint Ecological Ministry (JEM) is a collaboration of religious communities and partners using their resources to promote caring for Creation. Since our formation in 2014, JEM has sought to bring together leaders, treasurers, and JPIC representatives of religious communities to reflect on how we can use our resources to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change. We have explored divestment from fossil fuels, investment in green alternatives, shareholder engagement, Laudato Si, and the Paris climate talks. Each gathering has further enriched the conversation between communities on how we can make a difference.

 

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Nuclear Weapons in the Spotlight!

History was made at the United Nations on July 7 with the passing of the “Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.” For its efforts in bringing about this historical achievement, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel peace Prize. ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries. The National Catholic Reporter featured quotes from several women religious in their article on the subject, including one by Sr. Stacy Hanrahan, CND NGO representative at the United Nations. Stacy said the fact that a nongovernmental organization won the award was both an acknowledgement of the strength of grassroots efforts and a tribute to those “who have been working on it [the nuclear issue] for years.” You can read the full article here: https://www.ncronline.org/news/world/organization-working-abolish-nuclear-weapons-awarded-nobel-peace-prize

 

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Request For Christmas Gifts

Associate Jackie Greenfield and the Grange Liturgical Community in Redding, CT are collecting Christmas gifts to send to Appalachia for the many homeless families and battered women with children who live at the shelter in Norton, VA and for the children who receive food from the food pantry.  They  would greatly appreciate donations of (new) gifts of infant onesies, diapers and wipes, basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo (no conditioner), deodorant, warm socks, etc., and, if possible Pack 'n' Plays. Pack 'n' Plays are foldable crib/playpens for new moms who have nothing for their babies, and when they are able to leave the shelter, they can take the Pack 'n' Play with them. Babies are safe in them for up to a year, so they are a true godsend.  If you wish to do this, please contact Jackie Greenfield at jkgree1@optonline.net, by November 30.

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Request For Volunteers

Associate Jackie Greenfield and the Grange Liturgical Community in Redding, CT sponsor trucks going to the Virginia area of Appalachia where we have two Sisters twice a year.  If anyone would like to help pack boxes for the trucks for Appalachia at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Fairfield, CT from 9 am noon, November 4, 11, 18, or December 2 or  loading the boxes on the trucks December 9, 9 am ñ noon, please contact Jackie Greenfield at jkgree1@optonline.net, or just show up. Free coffee and donuts!  

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