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Visitation Province

With Gratitude

Dear friends, we are connected because four hundred years ago a child named Marguerite Bourgeoys came into the world. I have been blessed to be a Visitation Province coordinator for four years. In that time I have worked with wonderful coordinators, associates and sisters within our province and beyond. No matter where the road led I was always made welcome and lived many Visitation moments. Connected by our shared charism and mission our time together fed my fire and reinforced my belief that Associate Relation-ship is a gift to our world. You have supported me with prayer throughout these years: in illness, health, and the everyday unfolding of our lives. Thank you Marjorie for surprising me with a “Gratitude newsletter’; what a beautiful souvenir! To everyone who contributed, sent e-mails and cards - know your words touched me deeply. I ask for your prayers as I begin my new role within the Congregation. Holding you close to my heart and in my prayers.

In the spirit of Marguerite,

Anna Rowley


  • September 17-23 – Pilgrimage to Troyes, France by sisters and associates from Visitation and Blessed Sacrament Provinces.
  • October 12 at 5:30 p.m. – Art Exhibit of Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters and former students followed by a wine and cheese reception. A Concert of the Cultures at 7:30 p.m. celebrating 150 years of continuous Congregation de Notre-Dame presence in Miramichi. All these events till be held at Carrefour Beausoleil, 300 Beaverbrook Road, Miramichi, NB.
  • October 13 at 11 a.m. – Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters in Miramichi and the 400th Anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys at St Mary’s Church (St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish), Miramichi, NB. Reception to follow in the Parish Centre.
  • October 18 at 7 p.m. – Presentation on the Spirituality of Marguerite Bourgeoys by Kathleen Deignan, CND, at Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Tantallon, NS. She’s also making presentations at Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Sydney, Parkland Cape Breton Residence, CND Health Care Centre, University of Cape Breton.

Fortress of Louisbourg Celebration

As part of the 400th Anniversary for St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, sisters and associates of the Congregation of Notre Dame, attended a Benediction and Memorial Service for Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters who lived in Louisbourg in the 1700’s at the Fortress of Louisbourg. This event was held on Sunday, August 25th, on the feast day of St. Louis XI.

Sisters and Associates, visitors and animated staff processed into the St Louis XI Chapel to the sound and beat of drums played by soldiers dressed in 18th Century military uniforms.

Fr. Bill Burke, pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Sydney NS, commenced the Benediction celebration with a warm welcome and introduction. Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Apostolic Administrator, was also in attendance. Several CND Sisters including Sr. Libby Osgood (newly professed CND Sister), Sr. Susan Kidd, Sr. Maureen Baldwin and Sisters Catherine Walker and Rebecca McKenna of the Provincial Leadership Team were present for this special celebration.

Following the Benediction service, a procession took place to the Memorial Monument commemorating the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame who answered the need for teachers to educate the girls of the Louisbourg colony. A biography of each sister was read by associates and sisters. These courageous sisters lived the charism and spirituality of their foundress, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, while enduring many hardships during their mission of educating young women.

Fr. Bill Burke closed the Memorial Service with prayer and all in attendance sang the hymn “Salve Regina“. Special mention was made of the attendance of our dear Sr. Catherine MacPhee, 104 years young and as she quotes with a laugh “I am preparing now for my 105th birthday”. God bless her!

Special thank you to Sr. Constance MacIsaac and her assistants for organizing this memorable celebration.

Prior to leaving the Fortress of Louisbourg, Fr. Bill Burke and the Most Reverend Brian Dunn visited the Congregation de Notre-Dame Exhibit where they both blessed a portrait of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. This beautiful portrait was donated by St. Theresa’s group associate, Patrick Iannetti.

400th Anniversary of her birth.

Submitted by Theresa MacNeil, Co-Coordinator of Associate Relationship

Visitation Moments

In July, I had the opportunity to visit with two associates who live where associate groups have not existed for some time on Prince Edward Island. Regardless of this reality, their love for Saint Marguerite and commitment to associate relationship is unwavering.

On a warm Sunday afternoon I had a visit with Stella Gaudet in Tignish. Stella is in her ninth decade, is legally blind and exudes joy. Her ministry is prayer and as she tells me, the associates and sisters are always included in her daily prayers. We prayed together and I shared with her upcoming activities for the 400th Anniversary of the birth of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. Her love of family (she is a multiple great-grandmother), God and St. Marguerite Borugeoys are reflected in her words and actions. We topped a beautiful visitation with tea and pie, which Stella baked from scratch, crust included!

Tuesday, Sr. Esther Clarkin and I went to visit Souris associate Mary MacPhee. She has settled in to her new home at Coleville Manor where her children stop by often for a visit or to take Mary out for the day. Mary appreciated the latest Visitation East newsletter, literature and prayers as they permit her to stay connected with all the activities in Visitation Province and the congregation. We were fortunate to participate in the mass being celebrated that day at the Manor, the singing was especially exuberant and everyone was so welcoming to Sr. Esther and me. Another grace-filled visitation!

Submitted by Anna Rowley

400th Anniversary Celebrations

NB Congregation de Notre-Dame Provinces Gather in Saint-Louis-de-Kent

On August 28, 40 sisters and associates from the 2 NB Congregation de Notre-Dame Provinces gathered in Saint-Louis de Kent to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the birth of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. Most had never met before. Some associates expressed that they felt right at home with each other. When we arrived, each Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province sister and associate had the name of a Visitation Province sister or associate and they warmly welcomed us and had refreshments prepared.

After meeting each other, we were given a tour of the Grotto/Shrine Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes and Calvaire/Calvary by Alfreda Comeau. The Grotto was built in 1878 and Calvaire in 1882. From their brochure, we learned, “Since then, the Shrine and Calvaire have been a site of pilgrimage to Our Blessed Lady and a historical site appreciated by parishioners as well as visitors.” During the summer months, Alfreda provides tours to those visiting the area.

We then walked to the area where two statues have ben erected. One is of Msgr Marcel François Richard, the father of Acadian Renaissance, who arranged to have the Grotto and Calvaire built in the late 1880’s. The other is of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.

The eight Sisters who live in the Saint-Louis-de-Kent Convent invited us into their home to for a little visit.

Then we drove to the St-Ignace Seniors Centre for a delicious lunch. The associates prepared chicken fricot, celebrating their Acadian heritage. During lunch, we got to sit beside associates and sisters that we didn’t know and learn more about them. Posters and albums that groups brought with them were on display at the Centre.

Following lunch, everyone went to Catholic Church in St-Ignace which was very close to the Centre. There, we celebrated the Prayer that had been prepared for this special occasion, “Care of the Earth and Our Support of Other People’s Actions”. Each group brought water from their local area which was poured together in a glass bowl to symbolize “the coming together” of all Congregation de Notre-Dame in NB on August 28. We want to thank Sr. Eleanor McCloskey for preparing this very thought-filled prayer.

We returned to the Senior’s Centre for an afternoon of sharing who we are as associates and how we are living out the Congregation de Notre-Dame Orientation and especially how we are going to the peripheries.

A Bookmark that had been prepared to commemorate this visit to Saint-Louis-de-Kent was given to each Pilgrimage participant.

It is bilingual with a quote of Marguerite’s, the 400th Logo and new image of Marguerite on it. The quote is “… all that I have ever desired and what I still most ardently wish is that the great precept of the love of God above all things and of the neighbor as oneself be written in every heart”. p. 187 WMB

The hosting associates and sisters sang “Viens voir l’Acadie … parole” par Donat LaCroix when our day together was ending. What a memorable day we had together, one that we hope will be repeated in the future.

Merla and I enjoyed a very scenic drive through Kouchibouguac National Park with Camilla Vautour as our tour guide. The photo at the right is of us at Kelly’s Beach.

Throughout the day, St Marguerite Bourgeoys was remembered in the celebrations!

Marjorie Allison-Ross, associate

As part of our celebrations in this 400th birthday year, sisters and associates from Visitation Province went to St. Louis in Kent County in Northern NB to meet with the sisters and associates of Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province. What a happy day we had! Associates from Woodstock, Moncton, Fredericton and Miramichi journeyed to St. Louis where we were received with much joy and festive hospitality. We began with a meet-and-greet in the church; then we had a visit to the Grotto where a professional guide gave us a rich history lesson. We visited the beautiful statue of St. Marguerite on the grounds and the Sisters invited us into the convent. From there we went to the Golden Age Club in St. Ignace where we were served lunch of fricot and dessert.

The French-English language didn’t seem to inhibit lively conversation and of course, smiles and laughter don’t really require language.

After lunch we went to the church in St. Ignace for a prayer service. Associates had brought water samples from home; we put all the water together in a big bowl and immersed our hands in the bowl in a clear sign of inclusion and solidarity.

We returned to the Golden Age Club for a sharing time. It was like a “town hall” time where we were invited to speak of our efforts to live out the charism of Marguerite and especially to realize “going to the peripheries.”

Visitation Associates had brought bottles of pickles, chow, relish, jam and jelly as gifts to leave behind.

It was the dream of Camilla Vautour (Associate Coordinator, MB Province) and Marjorie Allison-Ross (Associate Coordinator, Visitation Province) that made this day possible. We felt we were making history come alive and we are so very grateful to these two leaders among us. What a Happy Birthday for Marguerite!

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Celebrating the continuous presence of the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre Dame, Miramichi and the 400th Birthday of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys


St. Ann, Burnt Church

St. Joachim’s, Eel Ground

St. Mary’s, Miramichi

St. Samuel’s. Miramichi

Sts. Peter and Paul, Bartibogue Bridge

In Honour of our Founding Sisters:

  • Sister Montpetit
  • Sister Laflamme
  • Sister Purcell

who arrived in Newcastle on October 29th, 1869

Join us in celebration

Saturday, October 12th 2019 at Carrefour Beausoleil,

Beaverbrook Ave., Miramichi, NB

Art Show and Reception: 5:30 p.m.

Concert of the Cultures: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 13th 2019 at

St. Mary’s Church,

Newcastle Blvd., Miramichi, NB

Mass of Thanksgiving: 11 a.m.

for all 5 churches of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish – this will be the only Mass this weekend.

Reception to follow – all welcome!


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