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“The Right To Be Cold”

“The Right To Be Cold” by Sheila Watt-Cloutier will be featured in “The Canada Reads” competition March 27-30 on CBC radio. It is the personal story of one woman’s efforts to save her Arctic culture, the Arctic itself and the Planet. She has many outstanding accomplishments especially being nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, was awarded the Aboriginal Achievement Award and the UN Champion of the Earth Award. Her personal story is a story about climate change and how shifting environmental conditions affected her and her Inuit people’s history. But it goes farther than that when she describes the great disconnect that has developed between our communities, our economies and our environment. She says “we Inuit are the ground-truthers of climate change; we are on the front lines of cataclysmic environmental shifts that are affecting the world, and we have observed and confirmed these changes in the Arctic for decades.” She goes on to say: “If we cannot save the frozen Arctic, how can we expect to save the rest of the planet?” 

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Reflection Fifth Sunday in Lent; Reflections on John 11: 1-45

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

In this Gospel reading we are to see ourselves in Lazarus and his two sisters. Jesus uses this miracle of restoring physical life to show us that, if we truly believe and trust in Him, He will give us eternal Life. Much hope is offered to us in Psalm 23, ' The Lord Our Shepherd'.

Jesus' weeping for Lazarus is not only for His love for him but for each and every one of us when He grieves over our sinfulness. We have come to know Jesus as a very merciful God. His love for us shines through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead when He conquers death forever. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for His friends.

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Reflection Fifth Sunday in Lent, 2017

Sister Mary Ann Rossi, CND resides with four CND’s in Norwalk, CT where she is the local leader for the eight CND’s at Lourdes Health Care Center.  For many years she was part of the RI Associate group and now gathers each month at Wilton with Associates from the CT area.  

John’s Gospel’s telling of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is a favorite of mine for two reasons.  First, Martha is a favorite of mine and it is in THIS Gospel, she proves to be a strong woman of faith in her direct exchange with her friend Jesus at a painful time in her life. It has been always easier for me to identify with Martha rather than her sister Mary. You know Mary, the one who sits at the feet of Jesus while Martha is in the kitchen making a meal for Jesus and his hungry followers!  I think that this is a genetic preference because my mother once confided in me that she was irritated with Jesus in this scene. “Mary Ann, who was going to make dinner if they were BOTH sitting at the feet of Jesus?  Mary reminds me of your Aunt Pauline who would be socializing with the guests in the living room while your father and I were preparing dinner.” 

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POLITICAL CRISIS IN CAMEROON – UPDATE from Sister Cathy

The on-going political struggle for recognition of the rights of Anglophone Cameroon as stated in the Constitution of 1961 led to the strike of Anglophone lawyers and teachers.  This strike is now in its fourth month.  Given the strike of the teachers, students on every level, nursery to university have been out of school since mid-December.  Efforts on the part of the Cameroonian government to get parents to send their children back to school have failed given the on-going presence of the military in major cities, arrests, and blocking of access to the internet since January 19th.  In addition, “Ghost town" days are held every Monday when all stores are closed and there is no vehicular traffic in the North and South regions.  Opposition leaders have been arrested and/or gone into exile adding to the difficulty of having meaningful dialogue to resolve the crisis.  The five Bishops of the Northwest and Southwest Regions sent a memorandum to President Paul Biya in December 2016 “… with a view to assisting the government to seek a lasting solution to this problem and enable its citizens to live in peace and harmony.” Please continue to pray for all those affected by this crisis and for wisdom for those who can help to facilitate dialogue.

(Sister Cathy Molloy now lives in the USA. She was a missionary in Cameroon for many years).

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Five Birthdays Celebrated!

Standing : Sisters Josephine Nestman, Pat Arsenault; Seated: Sisters Grace Martin, Ruth Penny, Emily Doherty 

 

On St. Patrick’s Day the Kingston CND’s celebrated the March birthdays of five sisters. The afternoon began with the shout “HEAR YE, HEAR YE” of the town crier regaled in Irish greens and calling all Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters in the name of the King of Limerick and rhyme to join in the fun of celebrating the five March birthdays and honouring the dear Saint himself.

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The Greening of Our Schools

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

An Outdoor Classroom for Project Based Stem (Science Technology Engineering Math)

LAND:  we are planting a school garden, butterflies for the youngest students, vegetables for P.O.T.S., flowers for Providence Rest, herbs for the kitchen, a berry patch for birds, and a heritage garden for our historical significance. Gardening has many positive impacts on learning, heath and community.

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Earth Hour 2017 – Saturday, March 25, 2017

Earth Hour is an annual event on the last Saturday in March in which people around the world turn their lights off for one hour. Earth Hour began ten years ago in Sydney, Australia. Since then, businesses, government organizations, communities and political leaders have taken part. It’s a small way of giving people everywhere a voice in supporting efforts to maintain a low carbon future for our planet. In previous Earth Hour observances, landmark buildings throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas have stood in darkness for one hour. In Canada, look for Earth Hour to be observed 8:30 - 9:30 pm Saturday evening. (Choose another hour, if it works better for you.) Our actions today will define our tomorrow. See https://www.earthhour.org/ for 2-3 minute video clip.

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Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Associate M. Kathy Chadwick lives in Florida. I think the Spirit is challenging us to see as God sees this Lent. I have been very conscious of seeking to truly “see” each person this week.

“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7

          Lord open  my eyes so that...

                    I may see you in all  I encounter

                    I may be able to look beyond the appearance and see the heart

                    I may see you in the beauty of nature

                    I might seek the truth and look past the falsehoods

                    I might be open to the message, regardless the appearance of the messenger

                    I might not judge by appearance

                    I may appreciate the gifts I have received

                    I may look only for the good in others

                    Seeing the pain of others I will become more compassionate

                    Seeing the suffering of the poor, I will become more generous

                    Seeing the problems in our society, I will work to find solutions

                    I will see areas where I can help others

                    I can bring a little light to those who live in darkness.

Lord, open my eyes and light my path on this Lenten Journey that I may rejoice in Your Easter victory over darkness and death.

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Who is St-Patrick of Ireland?

Patrick of Ireland is revisited every year by Irish Americans in a quasi-nationalistic-religious way in the days leading up to March 17th. The songs of the many revolutions and dreams of the Irish are sung and cried over; the dancers kick up their heels; the marchers parade, and the drink is passed around freely. Aside from the initial greeting of “A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to ye,” few even mention the man for whom we have the holy day/holiday.

 

Sr. Jeanne Bonneau (left)  and Sr. Patricia McCarthy (right) 

 

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Jardin de la Métairie receives the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ designation

Montreal, March 17, 2017 – Maison Saint-Gabriel, museum and historic site, was awarded the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ designation from the Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.

 

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Movie: The Shack

The book came out in 2007 and proved a very popular read; now comes the film. People who see it will likely be moved by its passionate take on themes like grief and forgiveness. We feel, with Mack, his awful loss and sadness, as well as guilt. God seeks him out and at one point tells him, “You can get so lost in the pain, you don’t see me.” There’s a homey common sense way of presenting God as always present, always with us, and always loving us. Mack is open to hearing, learning, exploring. It’s a story. Stories get us thinking, and sharing. Stories can bring about change. 

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Montreal Sisters and Associates March meeting

Carl Madigan, long-time associate, presented a Lenten reflection to the Montreal sisters and associates on March 8th. The journey began with a story of the beggar and his box, and the stranger, followed by awe inspiring photos. These led to a time of silent contemplation before Carl elaborated on the Divine Now/Eternal Presence. Drawing us to recognize the Divine Presence in ourselves, in others and all creation, Carl then encouraged us to make a habit of pausing at all thresholds to acknowledge the Eternal Presence. The evening became animated as participants joined in with comments and questions, leading Carl into further development of his points. This enthusiasm continued during refreshments, a bit beyond our usual stay with the de Sève sisters! Thanks Carl for a meaty Lenten reflection. 

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Catholic Women Preach

If you haven’t yet been to this site, it has 10-minute homilies by women, starting with Ash Wednesday and continuing through the Sundays of Lent. It is refreshing to hear these women speak and share their reflection on the gospel stories. Simone Campbell (of Nuns on the Bus) has the Ash Wednesday reflection. http://www.catholicwomenpreach.org

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Book Review

A new Book: The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller (order from Amazon). Weller highlights the intimate bond between grief, gratitude, sorrow and intimacy. He shows us that the greatest gifts are often hidden in the things we avoid. And offers powerful tools and rituals to help us transform grief into a force that allows us to live and love more fully. 

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CBC "The Current" - a CND Connection

On the March 14th program there was a 42-minute interview of two people affected by the 1978 shooting in Toronto of a Brinks guard. One was the perpetrator and the other was a daughter of the victim. They talk about their own long journeys to forgiveness. The woman, Margot van Sluytman, was a student at Notre Dame High School in Toronto at the time. In trying to deal with its effects she left home and was about to drop out of school. She credits Sister Lucille Corrigan with helping her which she described as a lifesaving act for her at the time. You can hear the interview at http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-march-14-2017-1.4022956/how-one-woman-came-to-forgive-the-man-who-murdered-her-father-1.4023042

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Food Sovereignty And Climate Change: Nurturing Human And Ecological Communities In Stormy Times

This was the title of the third annual Social Justice Symposium sponsored by the Cooper Institute on Saturday, March 11. The afternoon began with “environmental” entertainment featuring a popular PEI singer-songwriter Teresa Doyle who sang a couple of her compositions regarding climate change including “The World Is In A Pickle” and “The New Titanic” which, among other things, suggests that: “A Ship Of Fools We Are, sitting on our deck chairs, we push the climate to the brink… and think the boat will never sink…” 

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Third Sunday in Lent: “The Woman at the Well” (John, 4:5-42)

In this Gospel passage, we discover Jesus in one of the unique encounters recorded in the Gospels. We find him in conversation with a woman, the longest conversation with either man or woman of which we have a record. He was on his way to Galilee from Jerusalem. Jews and Samaritans were divided by religious differences, and Jews usually avoided going through Samaria, a country lying between Judea and Galilee. Rather, they made a detour. Jesus was audacious in transgressing the current customs and daring to speak in public to a woman, a Samaritan at that, and one who was looked upon as being a sinner. 

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Third Sunday of Lent

Associate Danielle Lizotte lives in Massachussetts with her husband and daughter.

There have been a series of synchronistic events in my life where I’ve heard or read that the Zulu people of South Africa have a traditional greeting that goes something like this.  One person says “Sikhona”, which means “I am here to be seen”, while the reply is “Sawubona”, meaning “I see you”.  We did this recently at a church service and it felt like a lot more work than a nod, or hello, or even “Peace be with you”, also more intimate.  How often do we greet one another without really “seeing” them?  While reading this Sunday’s readings, this experience came to me again as I read the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42).  This is among my favorite New Testament stories, Jesus breaking all conventions and offering some previously reviled person recognition and hope.  She is female, a member of a tribe in a long-standing feud with the Jews.  I’ve heard it surmised that because she is fetching water at the hottest time of the day, instead of the morning or dusk, that she may have been an outcast even among the Samaritans.  She is NOT someone a good male Jew should be asking for water, but Jesus says, “I see you.”  Not only that, but he offers her healing and hope.

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Evolution to Wholeness: Questioning with Ilia Delio, Teilhard de Chardin and Other Scientists

Theology on Tap: A monthly event sponsored by the SDU Institute for Christianity and Culture, on February 27th, featured Dr. Libby Osgood, whose topic was “Evolution to Wholeness: Questioning with Ilia Delio, Teilhard de Chardin and Other Scientists.” Dr. Osgood presented an in-depth look at four major aspects of the theme which included: the cohesion between science and religion, catholicity and working toward wholeness, the need to sit with the questions and encouragement to read the great authors she used as sources. It was amazing to experience the depth of her knowledge and her enthusiasm about what we might feel is such a complicated topic. It helped that we were familiar with the writings of Ilia and Teilhard de Chardin and could relate to other perennial questions such as the nature of allegory in Genesis, the intersection of science, theology and philosophy and the nature of the noosphere. What does one take away from such a deep, forward – looking exposition of our journey toward wholeness? For me it was to “sit with the questions” which fits with our efforts to engage in a contemplative stance as we journey forward and to be in relationship with profound mystery.

You can watch Evolution to Wholeness (Presented by Dr. Libby Osgood) here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwTntraluwM&sns=em

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New Blessed Sacrament Leadership Team

Provincial Leader

Sister Mary Anne Powers

 

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