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Sister Kathleen Deignan Honored at Iona Homecoming Reception, October 13, 2017

The Office of Mission and Ministry at Iona College is honoring Sister Kathleen Deignan, CND, and two others for their exemplary commitment to faith, justice and service at their Friday, October 13, 2017 Homecoming Reception from 7-9 pm at Thomas J. Burke Lounge, Spellman Hall.

Please see invitation for further details.

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Congratulations, Norma and Anne!

Recently, Holy Trinity Parish, Trail, BC, hosted the Diocesan Development & Peace Fall workshop. Sister Norma Gallant organized the event along with generous support of many parishioners. The Fall workshop’s main objective is to oversee the education component of the annual Fall campaign. After a successful weekend, the participants attended Mass to mark the 50th Anniversary of D&P where a second highlight took place. Unbeknown to Norma and Associate Anne Pisacreta – they were both acknowledged and honoured for their generous dedication and commitment to the goals and accomplishments of D&P over the span of many years. The activities of the weekend and the tributes offered brought much joy into our Eucharistic celebration.

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Conversations of the Heart

On Sunday, September 24, we began our "Conversations of the Heart" monthly gatherings. Our opening prayer was "Celebrating Creation" in the spirit of the Month of Prayer for the Care of the Earth from September 1 – October 4 introduced by Pope Francis.

Following our time of contemplative prayer, we reflected and shared on our experience of Chapter in July. Many commented on the sense of peace, joy, and deep listening that pervaded our gathering, as well as on our discernment for leadership. It was felt that the process of preparation initiated by the Chapter Planning Committee enabled us to enter fully into our table conversations. 

 

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Celebration at de Sève Residence!

Celebration! At de Sève Residence, on September 21 and 22, it was Diamond Jubilee Celebration time! Though Fall was waiting at the door, Summer with its sunshine and flowers, brightened our community gatherings. On the Thursday evening, Sisters Marie Azzarello and Françoise Boisvert, following the inspiration of Sister Joan Foliot and questions from us all, created a 'self portrait' one block at a time, of their lives lived from novitiate days to the present. Such rich, deep, sharing 'painted a picture' of the wise, generous women they are today. On Friday evening, we gave thanks to our loving God at Eucharist for these Diamond years. Sisters Anne Marie Lynch, Patricia Simpson and Doreen Zeppetini, diamonds too, were with us as were Sisters Joyce Roberts and Susan Cleevely. A festive two gatherings they were, with much joy and gratitude. 

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Reflection on the Las Vegas Shooting

The day after the Las Vegas shooting a first grader came to school with a few pages, carefully printed in the best first grade script she could manage. On the first page she had written, “Guns are not toys. I do not play with toy guns.” And she had her picture attached to it. On the second page was written “Kids don’t let kids play with guns.” The third page was a request for a toy gun turn in at her school.

Children unfortunately understand violence, some first hand and some by hearing their parents speaking about it. Every child in the United States absorbed, in one way or another, the tragedy of Las Vegas through their families and the news.

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Area meeting at the Villa in Blessed Sacrament

Photo: Sister Joan Curtin, CND, and Sister Rosemary Cianciolo, CND

 

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Becoming the Mystics and Prophets We Are Called to Be

Some 40 participants gathered for three days at Villa Madonna in Rothesay, NB to learn from Jan Phillips, author/artist/ activist. Jan is a superb teacher, leading us gently through specific tasks, to create in ways we never thought we could. She used poetry, videos, paper exercises, music, humour and her own story to inspire us to go deeper into truth, exploring our own journey. For me, personally, she stirred up a profound gratitude for the gift of life, all life. 

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Earth, Air, Fire And Water

I had the privilege/grace of attending the workshop offered this past weekend to Congregation de Notre-Dame sisters and associates at Howe Island. Never again will I experience the elements of AIR, EARTH, WATER and FIRE in the same way or take them for granted. Sister Eileen Power and her colleague and friend, Kathy Murta, with the use of multi-media, brought home to us the truth that we are all intrinsically connected with the COSMOS, as we are with our loving, compassionate GOD, the CREATOR of all that is. Their presentations were so well prepared, so vibrant and thought provoking as well as 'heart-felt.' I think that all present were inspired, encouraged to go forth, while aware of the challenges of our time, to give witness to the words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si that "the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise." Is this a response to "How Then Shall We Live?" 

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Spirituality Opportunities

Difficulty Praying? Discussing a Potentially New Conversation with our God

A day to reflect on various ways to communicate with God is being offered by Dr. Beverly Musgrave, Ph.D

Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM– 3:00 PM

Location: Barat Spirituality Centre – 1455 Summer Street – Halifax NS

Cost: $20 suggested donation

Please call ahead to register 902-456-6112 

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Another JPIC Year Begins

Greetings from JPIC. As a new school year begins along with a new Congregation de Notre-Dame Social Justice Network Action Plan and a new Development & Peace Fall Campaign, JPIC is also gearing up for some exciting new initiatives. Soon you will be receiving news about advocacy and solidarity projects regarding our top priorities: Climate Action and Spirituality, particularly as it relates to our Congregational Corporate Stance, Water as Sacred and as a Human Right and the work of Reconciliation with First Nations, particularly with regard to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

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Visitation Place

Friday, September 15th was the first gathering of the Visitation Place community. Meet Shannon, Sarah and Sister Sue. We are grateful for your prayerful support. Be on the lookout for an upcoming article and photo in The Catholic Register by UPEI student Elizabeth Iwunwa. After homemade pizza, salad and ice cream we prayed using John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us "For a New Position.” We shared lines that struck us and our desires for the year. Shannon, Sarah and I then discussed how we would reach out to others to join us. In true Visitation style, we will host a BBQ September 22nd, inviting friends to "come and see." Book and synod survey discussion groups are being considered as well as volunteer opportunities. Next time, I cook and they lead prayer! 

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Honouring Our Jubilarians

Photo: Sister Margaret MacDonell 

On Sunday, September 10th several friends and relatives gathered at Parkland Cape Breton dining room to enjoy an Open House and Afternoon Tea in honor of our Jubilarians. Sisters Ada Gordon, Anne Maureen Cleary, Evelyn McNeil and Isabel Chisholm celebrated their 60th anniversary while Sisters Faustina Grant and Margaret MacDonell observed their 70th anniversary. Sisters from the city were also in attendance along with sisters from Parkland. They all had an opportunity to be photographed cutting the beautiful cake. A great spirit prevailed and all were very pleased with their afternoon. Congratulations to all Jubilarians! 

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A Journey to Remember

On Thursday, September 7th, the sisters of Providence Mother House, associates and friends were treated to a presentation by Sister Marijke Gerretsen in which she took us on a PowerPoint journey on the El Camino. Marijke, her brother John and a friend made the pilgrimage in May of this year. With enthusiasm and wonderfully well documented information, Marijke described the details of making such a journey. Her experience was really one of “Visitation” as she recounted the many beautiful and warm hearted encounters they experienced on the way. A truly contemplative experience, her pictures spoke more than a thousand words as we delighted in the beauty of the landscape, the ancient buildings that still displayed the scars of wars fought long ago. The lodgings, rugged and primitive showed the full meaning of sharing, as Marijke described the sleeping quarters shared in a dormitory style. The whole impressive presentation was truly a gift to all who had the privilege of being there. 

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Completion of the Small Plot Mission

In May 2011, two CND sisters (Eileen Roach and Becky McKenna) opened a mission in Three Brooks with a four-fold mission of Contemplation: Care for the Earth: Working the land, and Collaboration. After six years of living these commitments, we have indeed reaped a bountiful harvest, a testimony to the work of collaboration. Margaret Mead’s words are true, that a small group of people who act upon their commitments truly can make changes in the world. Our Wednesday morning contemplative group was a place of deep sharing and heartfelt presence. Among our several collaborations, the two most significant were: The Seeds of Hope Community Garden, an ecumenical project of the five Christian churches in Pictou, and the CAiRN group which brought two Syrian families to Pictou. 

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This is the America most of us long for

There is a true story in the book ”Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed” which relates the efforts of Le Chambon, a small village in occupied France during World War II. Unlike most of Catholic France at the time, it was primarily Huguenots, a Protestant sect. They had a pastor, Andre Trocme, who faithfully preached Jesus’ teaching of love of enemies. So when the SS guard of the Nazi regime set up headquarters in their town, the teaching took on a new challenge. Under the spiritual and practical leadership of Pastor Trocme and his wife Magda, the entire town resisted them nonviolently in hundreds of creative ways. They never raised the Nazi flag in the town. In the same building as the SS guard there was a printing press for forged documents to rescue Jewish people. Over 2,500 Jewish adults and children passed through the town to Sweden. They were housed in the homes of all the people of Le Chambon under the eyes of the Vichy government. One example of resistance was the town’s response to a parade put on by the Germans to honor one of the visiting commandants. No one in the town showed up for the parade. There was a response of silence. This silence had nothing to do with passivity in the face of evil. The people constantly refused to cooperate with their occupiers while doing them no harm. After the war one soldier commented that the conspiracy of goodness in that town paralyzed the Nazis.

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Surprised by joy - a runner's tale

 

Photo: My new home. Note: these are not my running shoes. 

I write to you now from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Interprovincial Novitiate for the Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal. Gosh! What a sentence! To catch you up - I had a 3-day prolonged 'goodbye for now' to PEI, overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends, packed my boxes, drove 13 hours to White Plains, moved into the novitiate, welcomed family members to NY, officially entered as a novice, and a week later am settling into a routine. I will post later about the grace-filled entrance ceremony and the many changes that have happened in only a week, but was struck by beauty yesterday and need to share. 

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Radical Spirit

In this newest book, Sister Joan Chittister is writing about the 12 steps of humility, from the Rule of Saint Benedict. She’s setting forth the wisdom from a life well lived as Joan speaks candidly of her struggle to understand the “old” ways most of us were taught to obey, to be humble. She remains a true and loyal Dominican who has been led by the spirit to see a much broader view of “God’s Will” than she used to have. Sister Joan’s story is one of evolution – she is a life-long learner; she continues to recall and repeat the strong sayings and counsel of her wise mother, and she constantly processes the experiences – chosen or not – that have shaped her and continue to enrich her reflections.

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Our Gazebo!

Photo: Sister Connie, Joan Caldwell, resident, and Nadine Oliver, General Manager

After nearly six years of planning and encouraging, Sister Connie realizes the dream of the new Gazebo at Parkland Cape Breton as she participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony along with a long time resident of Parkland. This took place in the context of the family fun day and many of the residents and sisters took part and enjoyed a barbeque. The Gazebo is a beautiful and restful spot to be used in days to come. This was a fitting conclusion to Connie's involvement in the development of Parkland Cape Breton and her liaison with the Shannex Corporation. Thanks to Connie for all her work on our behalf. 

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We touched the Stanley Cup!

Photo: Sister Sally MacPherson; Sister Therese Arsenault

We were gathered in the dining room at Andrews. We were told there was a Special Guest coming and it was a surprise. Then in walked Andy O'Brien carrying the STANLEY CUP! Andy is a native of PEI who joined the Penguins in 2015. He is the Pittsburgh Penguins director of sport science and performance and has helped their success as Stanley Cup winners two years in a row. His mother was a former employee here at Andrews and he offered to accompany her here with the coveted trophy. He patiently and kindly went from table to table, allowed each one to touch the Cup and answered our questions. It was a delight to see such a lively group of excited seniors!  

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Beyond Truth and Reconciliation in Atlantic Canada

The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, Maliseet, former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick will speak on moving forward in Truth and Reconciliation. As well, Sisters Dorothy Moore, SC, and Gloria Keylor, SP, will share stories of on how religious respond to the Calls to Action. It will be followed by a table discussion. In the afternoon, Fr. Timothy Scott, CSB, CRC Executive Director will provide an overview on the Calls to Action. 

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