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Associates News - West Canada

Associates - Western Canada



Due to distances and our increased concerns about long distance driving this year we chose to locate the educational component of our area gathering in both Cache Creek and Cranbrook. We invited Alana Forrester, one of our Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associates from Ontario, to facilitate an introduction to the process of discernment in both places. Our associates used the discernment process to reflect on the General Chapter Orientation and look at the practical implications of “How then shall we live?


The Cranbrook Associates were delighted to have Alana Forrester visit us in Cranbrook and share with us the message she would be delivering at Cache Creek.

Alana started her presentation by exploring the topic of discernment and its importance to sound decision making. She then moved on to the 2016-2021 Chapter Orientation statement stressing that a statement such as this was a “guide to creating a community of like minded people” but how a specific group put this statements into action would differ from region to region according to the unique needs of that area.

She had us reflect on which of the three statements resonated most deeply with each of us and we then shared our responses within the larger group. Then, using the statements as a guide, we listed the needs of the Cranbrook community and compiled a list. We took a moment to reflect on how each of us has lived some aspect of the statements in the work we do within the church and the community. We moved forward to identify what challenges in our community were most critical and then focused on what need was beginning to emerge within our group and what actions we might move towards. We compiled a list of concerns that the Associates, as a group will use in their continuing discussions as a guide to moving towards action. We thank Alana for her presentation. She gave us a process to follow and helped bring the Orientation statements to life as something concrete for us to use as a guide for future planning.


Friday. May 12, found the Western associates meeting and greeting one another over a delicious supper at the IHM Centre, in Cache Creek. After all had settled into their rooms for the weekend we joined one another for evening prayer prepared by the Trail community. Following prayer, each person added to our central prayer table their symbol of our oneness that shows how all creation, (humanity, nations, nature, the cosmos and beyond), is interconnected and explained the personal meaning it holds for them.

The next morning we gathered with Alana Forrester, an Ontario Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associate, who brought her experience as a retreat director to facilitate our understanding and practical application of the process of group discernment. She helped us explore, as a group, some of the implications of the 2016 Chapter Orientation for our living CND Associate Relationship today in Western Canada.

Sunday morning we gathered for our leaders meeting. As we were missing a number of our groups at the area gathering this year we opened this meeting to anyone attending and pursued questions surfaced in the group gathered then joined the local community for Eucharist.

Sunday afternoon we were delighted to have sister Connie McIsaac, CND, from the Visitation Province leadership team work with us to prepare us for the upcoming Visitation Province Chapter being held in July in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.


Our Feast of Visitation and Renewal of Commitment in the West Kootenay took place a week early on May 24th, 2017. We gathered at St. Rita’s Church hall in Castlegar for our prayer service and a potluck luncheon. Our guests joining us this year were Father Raphael of St. Rita’s parish and Sister Nancy Hurren Co-coordinator. We were welcomed by a lovely table adorned with African daisies and Mother Marguerite. Our Blessed Mother, Mary looking over all. We began with the prayer/reflection service responding to our call to interculturality and an African understanding of Visitation. The African daisies added to the theme of the reflections. Great sharing and discussion was shared at refection time. Following the service and renewal of vows and commitments, all enjoyed a wonderful luncheon of cold meat and salads and delicious desserts.

On June 4th, 2017, Sister Norma and several Associates journeyed to Fruitvale to be welcome by Stan and Gizelle Doyle for Stan’s renewal. We welcomed Norma, Associate, to our West Kootenay group, who recently moved to Fruitvale from Cranbrook. The same prayer service was used and Stan (who will be 100 years young Dec 25th) and Norma renewed their commitment. Gizelle served us her scrumptious huckleberry upside down cake as well as cookies. All enjoyed the hospitality of Stan and Gizelle. A wonderful couple to visit, and enjoy the beautiful stories they share.


Kamloops Gathering

At Sister Marianne’s in 108 Mile

Kamloops Associates have been busy about many things over these last few months not least of which was hosting the Area Gathering in May. They are faithful to connect with each other including those scattered over their vast geographical territory, from Quesnel and 108 Mile in the north, Savona and Ashcroft on the West and to Salmon Arm and Eagle Bay on the east. Occasionally the group as a whole gathers in these outlying areas.


Sister Frances MacDougall retires from her many years of service to the Church in Edmonton and returns to her native Prince Edward Island.

Sister Frances has worn many hats in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. She’s been a teacher, counsellor and spiritual director. She’s worked with elementary school students, lay leaders, seminarians and priests at St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College. Her guiding principle, passed on to her by her Catholic parents, has proven true: Find God’s plan for your life and you will find happiness.

Innisfail Alberta



Visitation Greetings from the Sunshine Coast

I joined a meditation circle for the earth this morning, in Roberts Creek, with chants and readings from different faith traditions + periods of silence. It was a pretty wet day for any planned outdoor activities, I fear.

This afternoon, I attended a presentation by two excellent speakers – one an account of travel in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel in 2014 with amazing photographs and tales of warm hospitality – and a great lack of much-needed tourists. The other was a much compressed history lesson from before the bronze age to the present of what we call the middle east, with special emphasis on Syria, with mind-boggling charts and some very telling modern cartoons. I was left close to tears. I know the situation from reading and listening to news accounts, but being presented with a condensed history and the crazy complications of international complicity and the plight of ordinary people is overwhelming. The good thing is it was well attended, as it is one of the fund-raising efforts for the Syrian family the Sechelt Seniors Centre hopes to receive this summer; they are a doctor and his wife (also a professional) and their 3 sons, currently in Jordan. Members of two other families were present today; they were sponsored by three church communities in Gibsons. Anyway it is heart warming to see the local efforts being made, even if the are a very small drop in a huge bucket of need.

Electronic and spirit Visitation on this Feast of Visitation, which was very much in flesh and spirit. Rejoicing with love that each of you are companions on our journey.

Blessings,Anne A.E. Stuart, 351-5160 Davis Bay Road, Sechelt, B.C. V0N 3A2


Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna


On Pentecost Sunday ten of from the Okanagan including Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna gathered for a renewal of our associate commitment. It was a joyful occasion as it is not too often we get to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation and Pentecost so close together. Sister Nancy led us in a beautiful prayer service taken from a presentation by Sister Sophie Christine Mbougoum which gave us a new insight about Visitation from an African perspective. Into the midst of this service Sister Nancy had woven our renewal of commitment. After this prayerful time we celebrated with a glass of wine, a time of sharing and a delicious potluck dinner. I think we might say that the Holy Spirit was truly with us as we shared our dinner and our friendship. It was a very happy event.



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