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Pushing for Peace

I am sure we are all feeling deep sadness regarding the recent violence in the Quebec City mosque. Carl Hetu, former Development & Peace animator in Ottawa, and current Director of Canada Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has written a very helpful op-ed piece. I encourage you to take a look at it here:  http://www.cnewa.ca/default.aspx?ID=2903&pagetypeID=8&sitecode=CA&pageno=1.

Carl is a member of the JPIC Lay Network, which our JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation) office helped to found several years ago. This is a network of lay staff working on issues of justice, peace and creation with religious communities and in religious organizations. Through such groups we are able to cross-pollinate ideas and nurture deep reflection, thus cultivating the wisdom and courage to advocate for a just peace that considers root causes. 

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Curious about Associate Relationship?

Congratulations to new Associates!

On January 8 at the Chapel of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in North Providence, four women became Congregation of Notre-Dame Associates. In addition to attending the monthly Rhode Island Associate Gatherings when they could, these four women participated in the Formation blog. Since the theme of the Prayer Service for the Feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys was “Go to the peripheries”, we are focusing on how they do that in their lives using their own words.

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Have a Heart Campaign

When the idea for the Have a Heart Campaign began in November, I had no idea of how appropriate it would be. In the face of developing anti-immigrant policies and practices, I think we are called to take a stand on behalf of compassion and love. This Campaign provides a simple, concrete way to do that. I hope you will spread the word and invite as broad participation as possible. Thank you.

Congregation of Notre-Dame – HAVE A HEART” Campaign

February 14- March 17. In the spirit of our latest Congregation of Notre-Dame Orientations we invite you to “be open to the diversity of generations, cultures, attitudes and structures” and to “go to the peripheries” by being part of the “HAVE A HEART Campaign.” Today, our detention centers are certainly part of the peripheries. In this campaign, we will be collaborating with First Friends, an advocacy group in Kearney, NJ for those in detention in the NY Metro area. Between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day we encourage you to join the Campaign by being involved yourself and by finding others to join with you/us.

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Formation Corner

Can you all believe it is February?

Here, in White Plains, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we have been working diligently and hard to continue to prepare our formation house.

Donna Kelly, CND arrived on January 6th from Kingston, Canada and on Saturday, February 4th, we will welcome Cathy Molloy, CND who arrives from Cameroon!...

 

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Goodbye Sister Cathy and thank you for all those years of presence!

After many years of missionary service in Cameroon, Sister Catherine Molloy returns to the U.S. where she will join the Formation House community in White Plains, NY. ...

 

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New Publication: Hostages with God

The night of April 4 to 5, 2014, Sister Gilberte Bussière, CND, was abducted by a group of armed men in the extreme north of Cameroon; a few meters away, members of the same group also captured Father Gianantonio Allegri and Father Gianpaolo Marta. Captive for 57 days, they were freed on May 31, feast day of the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame...

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Novena in honour of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

On Tuesday, January 3, 2017 the parishioners of St. Mary Parish in Mabou joined with the sisters and associates in praying the Novena in honour of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. In preparation for the celebration of her feast on January 12 the Novena prayer was recited following Mass each day and those at home were invited to join us. Father Andrew Gillies, Chaplain at St. FX University, was invited to celebrate the Eucharist. Josephine MacNeil, associate, welcomed the congregation. Sisters and associates took part in the Entrance and Offertory processions and fulfilled the roles of Lector and Eucharistic Minister. Following Communion Peter Sargent, associate, presented a short, heartfelt reflection on St. Marguerite and how she strongly influences his life. Following our time of prayer and praise expressed in word and song we all assembled in the Renewal Centre where we enjoyed the traditional “cup of tea” and delicious lunch which was prepared by our associates. May St. Marguerite continue to intercede for all of us as we strive to live the charism designed by her so many years ago.

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School Reunion - St. Mary’s Convent in Miramichi (Newcastle) NB

School Reunion – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of St. Mary’s Convent in Miramichi (Newcastle) NB. Former students are organizing a reunion event for July 8th and 9th to be held at St. Mary’s Parish Centre. All who attended St. Mary’s Convent (ever!) are invited to register (before April 7th) with Susan Butler (susanbutler@xplorneet.com) Meet-and-greet, supper, Mass and closing luncheon included. Total cost $45.

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January 7, 2017, Perpetual vows ceremony

Sister Mariana de Jesús Sagastume Ventura

Some pictures from that very special day

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Let us be about the kingdom of God

February Article for The R.I. Catholic

The Statue of Liberty has been restored and reopened within the past few years. With all the patching and plastering, painting and preening, the pedestal still holds the famous poem by Emma Lazarus “The New Colossus.”

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

(Photo: Sister Patricia McCarthy, CND, pictured here with Sister Ann Broderick, CND (seated) and Sister Patricia Flattery, CND)

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Holy Cross Students share their Mission Experience

On January 16, students and teachers from Holy Cross Secondary School in Kingston, shared with the Sisters at Providence Mother House, their experiences of Mission in Jamaica and with the homeless people in Toronto. They spoke with warmth and enthusiasm of the time they spent with the poorest people in small villages near Kingston, Jamaica. They were impressed with the children’s joy and eagerness toward going to school. These children appreciate the privilege they have in getting an education and are so grateful for everything that is done for them. The students remarked how they often resist going to school themselves for some reason or another. This experience in so many ways has enabled them to not take so many things they have for granted. One activity that really engaged their energy and gave them a sense of accomplishment was helping to build a house.

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Marguerite Bourgeoys’ Feast celebrated in Kingston

The day of celebration began at the community Mass with the Sisters of Providence, RHSJ’s and CND’s united in praising St. Marguerite. We “sang out her glory” and listened as Sisters Emily Doherty and Eleanor Monahan shared some anecdotes from Marguerite’s life which typified her compassion and mercy as she responded to the needs of the young colonists and their families. In the afternoon the CND Sisters and associates of the city with the Sisters of the other two communities enjoyed a delightful harp concert given by Pat Marshall, someone many sisters will remember as a former CND, who has remained a friend of the community, especially of Sr. Mary Meagher. Pat travelled from Ottawa to entertain us in honour of St. Marguerite. The music included a variety of familiar Christmas Carols, including a French one for Marguerite, Irish songs and some classical renditions.

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Bread and Soup

Little did the parish and Pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish realize when they served bread and soup at the luncheon on the feast of their Patron Saint, that they were carrying on a legacy of our Saint. Sunday, January 15, they were honouring Saint Marguerite and her daughters in a beautiful celebration of commemoration and gratitude. The soup and chowder were prepared by the pastor who was actually unaware of the significance of the bread and soup offered to us as they recreated the spirit of Marguerite. Father Bill Burke is to be commended for his efforts in promoting the knowledge and respect for Mother Bourgeoys. He himself, like Marguerite, is faced with rebuilding the church after the disastrous flooding as well rebuilding parish community after the closure of the three parishes which form the new St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish. He commented that this coming together to honour Marguerite and her daughters has proven a community builder. In coming together to honour us they honour their own efforts to become a new parish. People were meeting and speaking to other parishioners for the first time. Bread and soup proved to be another catalyst in the process.

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Marguerite Unites Us

On January 12, at our weekly morning Prayer Service open to all the residents at Andrews, Sister Della Gaudet gave a short reflection in which she shared some fascinating stories about our foundress. This was greatly appreciated by the participants.

At 11:30, nearly all of the PEI sisters joined us for prayer in Andrews’ Activity Room. Our prayer opened with “O St. Marguerite” accompanied by Sister Phyllis Gallant at the keyboard. A delicious dinner followed, served by Andrews’ kitchen staff. A large picture of St. Marguerite with children, (a replica of the statues in downtown Montréal), adorned the wall. It was a wonderful opportunity to come together, to enjoy one another’s company and to celebrate our foundress.

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Celebration of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours

January 15th, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel was alive with CND sisters, associates, friends, and supporters as we celebrated St. Marguerite Bougeoys’ feast day.

Archbishop Christian Lepine presided over our celebration of the mass and spoke of Marguerite’s history and her impact on the beginnings of Ville Marie. He emphasized, over and over again, that the source of her strength was her life of prayer, especially prayer to Mary and to Eucharist. Her life is a model for, not only the CND community, but for all believers. A life dedicated to following Jesus in the accompaniment of Mary.

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18-25 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – an annual ecumenical celebration. This is a time widely recognized as an opportunity to join with Christian people around the world to pray for Christian unity. The theme for this year is Reconciliation - The Love of Christ Compels Us (2 Corinthians 5:14-20). Many churches and faith communities offer special services during his week.

Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice. See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010. Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government. Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen. Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017. It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice.  See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010.  Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government.  Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen.  Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017.  It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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ST. MARGUERITE MASS

On Thursday, January 12th at 10:00 a.m. the televised liturgy of the Eucharist honored St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.  Four CND sisters from Waterbury were in attendance.  Father Robert Russo from the Holy Family in Enfield celebrated the Mass.  I’m sure St. Marguerite was extremely gratified that the Holy Family honored her in this way.

Prayer of Love

Composed and read by Sister Terry Martin, cnd on the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial Service held at Texana, N.C. on January 16, 2017 on the 25th anniversary of their Community Center which Sister Terry helped to establish and rebuild in the community.

Theme of the day: “There is but one human race” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Lord, we come before you this morning realizing more deeply each day, that you truly are a loving God, that you are an unconditional lover.

We come before you with a grateful heart for the countless ways you have loved us.

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