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Sister Réjeanne Bourque, CND

“In a little village on the Gaspé coast, I arrived on a windy October day. I was welcomed by furious waves in the Baie des Chaleurs and by loving parents, a proud grandmother and a little brother. Prayer was very important in our home. My mother had tried religious life but that was not her call. We moved to New Brunswick in my 7th year. I quickly learned English, but never stopped using my French, and we continued to be involved in Church and community activities.

I attended St. Mary’s Convent through High School where I met the Congregation of Notre Dame. I loved my teachers and noticed the good relationship they had among themselves. We were privileged to have sound religious instruction daily and were involved in drama, music and art. One outstanding event was my participation in a play on the life of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, foundress of the CND. I became a teacher after High School and taught in a public school near the convent. I enjoyed visiting their chapel and having occasional conversations with the sisters.

Being a normal, outgoing teenager, I enjoyed a good social life. Dancing, skating, sleigh-rides and dates were all an important part of my experience. Why did the idea of religious life keep coming up when I didn’t want to hear it? I tried to convince God and myself that it wasn’t for me. The opportunity of marriage and motherhood seemed to be within my reach. This ‘tug-of- war’ haunted me as I went to Teachers’ College and taught for four years.

During Lent, I made the Way of the Cross daily. One day, at the 11th Station, ‘Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross’, I was overwhelmed by the realization that Jesus didn’t hesitate but freely extended his arms to give his life. Although I was outwardly silent, a voice within me was screaming: ‘What am I waiting for? Nobody will force me to enter… I am FREE… The decision is mine. Become a religious? I should! I MUST! I WILL!’ From that day to this, there has been no turning back.

My decision brought great peace. Parting brought some tears, but life from then on, much joy. I wanted a community where I could be at home in French and in English. The CND is home to me. I have learned to know and love my sisters who speak Spanish and Japanese as well. I am grateful for the feeling of belonging, the spiritual, educational, ministry and countless other opportunities my community provides. ‘For all that has been, thanks. To all that will be, yes!’”

Written Stories

Sister Mildred Chabasol, CND

[…] “I asked ‘Marguerite, what am I doing here?’ The response came when a flood of deep peace and a thrust of energy entered me…” [read]

Sister Brigitte Minkada, CND

[…] “‘I will marry the poorest man in the world. The only request I will make of him is that he love me unconditionally. Nothing else will matter.’ She smiled back at me…” [read]

Sister Réjeanne Bourque, CND

[…] “‘Nobody will force me to enter… I am FREE… The decision is mine. Become a religious? I should! I MUST! I WILL!’ From that day to this, there has been no turning back…”

Sister Louise Breton, CND

[…] “It was the first step toward my new spiritual life: recognizing with all my heart that I had been chosen, that I was a child of God, I was worthy in His eyes and that He loved me.…” [read]

Sister Bernadette Gallant, CND

[…] “‘I would like to be a nun so that I would be sure to get to heaven.’ This was about the extent of my knowledge of nuns then and up until a very few years ago…” [read]

Sister Susan Kidd, CND

[…] “I did not see bright lights or hear voices (that would be scary!). But the more I spent time with the sisters, the more at home I felt, the more I could see myself as a Sister…” [read]

Sister Peggy Doyle, CND

[…] “I made the decision to join a community rather quickly. The truth is that while I had thought about religious life for a few years, (along with a lot of other things…” [read]

Sister Marie de Lovinfosse, CND

[…] “I asked myself: ‘What do I want to be when I grow up...?’ The first thing that came to my mind was: ‘I will never enter a religious order because it’s dull!’…” [read]

Sister Tsukimi Fujiwara, CND

“I first learned about the CND from the bulletin board at Saint Ignatius Church, the Jesuit Church in Yotsuya, Tokyo. There I saw some information about a vocation retreat…” [read]

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