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January 12 celebration in Visitation Province (Canada)

Visitation Province

Celebrating St. Marguerite: Andrews of Charlottetown

On Friday, January 10th, we were happy to welcome all Sisters the Congregation de Notre-Dame in PEI to join with us in celebrating Marguerite’s Feast. We began with the liturgy of the Eucharist made very meaningful and joyful by our celebrant Fr. Bob Coady and our song leader Sister Shelley Grant. This was followed by a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings. Much to our surprise, each of us found a personal message from Marguerite taken from her writings at our place setting. In the evening, we gathered to pray the much appreciated evening prayer prepared by our Sisters of Blessed Sacrament Province. Later, we ended the day sharing our stories about our journeys inspired by Marguerite’s life and enjoying some refreshments. 

Anne T. Gillis, CND

Ottawa Celebration

On January 12th Ottawa sisters and associates met to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. Intrepid, they ventured out despite the threats of ice and freezing rain. The day became crisp and sometimes sunny with soft snow underfoot, no freezing rain, a fine winter’s day that Marguerite, herself, might have enjoyed. Starting off the year of the 400th anniversary of Saint Marguerite’s birth, the occasion was in some sense historic and the small group, small but mighty like the foundress, focused on stories Marguerite tells in the Writings.

“From early childhood God had given me the inclination …”

“I was led to a room which was very far away. I closed the door and barricaded it with everything I could find. …”

“In Quebec there were not more than five or six houses … everything was so poor that it was pitiful…”

“I told him that we would work and that I promised them bread and soup.”

Spirited conversation and genuine exchange followed reflection. There were chuckles in the mix and the afternoon concluded with the sharing of a meal and a toast to Saint Marguerite.

Rosemary Murray, Associate

Feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys: Tuesday, January 14th

Overcast skies and light freezing drizzle did not deter a small delegation of Kingston Congregation de Notre-Dame sisters and associates from attending a Eucharistic celebration in honour of St. Marguerite at Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School in Kingston. Under a large banner proclaiming the 400th anniversary of Marguerite’s birth, the front doors burst open as members of the student council came out to welcome us. From that very moment, we knew ourselves to be in good company as we were led from the staff room, to the St. Marguerite Bourgeoys chapel and to the large auditorium where Eucharist would take place. Following her welcome the Chaplaincy Team Leader and a Regi student gave a short but moving tribute in memory of Maranda Mitchell, a student whose funeral was still very fresh in the minds, hearts and experience of all gathered. We were reminded that Regiopolis-Notre Dame is a community in which it is okay to cry as well as to celebrate; we bring all of our lives to the Eucharist. This event was filled with life, music, joy and yes...sorrow in the loss of a friend.

The readings, music, songs and homily focused on love, and especially on Marguerite’s desire that “the love of God and neighbour be written in every heart...” In his homily the presider reminded the students that Marguerite is always available to them; that they can turn to her as a companion and guide as they try to discern how God desires them to make a difference in this world. In her final words, the principal spoke to us of the importance of our presence there as a concrete witness of lives dedicated to loving God and neighbour.

We will return to Regiopolis-Notre Dame in March for another event in the context of the 400th anniversary of Marguerite’s birth.

Denise Bérubé, CND

January 12, 2020 ~ Montréal

Today in historic Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours a beautiful Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Chrétien Lépine of Montreal. There were many Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters, Associates and Friends present. The Archbishop smiled when I told him I was representing the Maritime Provinces at the Mass.

The music was magnificent and very fitting for this 400th anniversary year of Marguerite’s Birthday.

The Archbishop spoke of Marguerite’s baptismal call and her total response to that call by responding to the tasks of each day and

following the example of Our Blessed Mother who is our model as well. I consider it a great blessing and tremendous privilege to be here on this joyous occasion.

Mary of Peace community celebrates

This past week at Mary of Peace Community in Montreal has been a very special week as we celebrated two special days.

In addition to the usual French liturgy for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys in the chapel at Bon Secours Residence, Bishop Emeritus James Wingle offered to say an English language Mass for the sisters of Mary of Peace on Sunday afternoon, January 12. The sisters were very happy to celebrate a complete Eucharist n English, and they joined in the praying and singing with great enthusiasm. Following the Mass a special "collation" was served and Bishop Wingle stayed and joined in the conversation with the sisters. Marguerite truly blessed all who were present.



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