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Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associate Relationship Coordinators’ Corner

Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associate Relationship Coordinators

We hope that you are doing well as we begin to emerge from this pandemic and find a new “normal” in our lives and for the life of our world. We now realize that there is no going back to how things were pre-pandemic but we all have a part to play in what the future will be like. We would like to share with you several significant things that have happened and are ongoing in Visitation Province since the last issue of Coordinators’ Corner.


Bringing the Chapter Home

During the past five months we have taken significant steps to hear the many graces and calls expressed by both the Congrégation de Notre-Dame 2021-2026 Mission Orientation Statement and the Visitation Province Elements of Deepening. Just before Christmas there were two videos created to give a flavor of the General Chapter. Then in January a Province-wide Zoom meeting was held on the Orientation Statement. 83 Sisters and Associates took part in the gathering which provided time for reflection and sharing on the Statement. This gathering was recorded and the link made available to all so those who were unable to attend could still access the gifts of the gathering.

In February & March all Sisters and Associates were invited to take part in a prayerful reflection of the Elements of Deepening using a Lectio Divina Process. Participants of this process were invited to submit the fruits of the process. From this, a colorful WordCloud was created along with a list of calls that are being heard. A second Zoom gathering was held in March with 80 Sisters and Associates joining together. During this gathering the fruits of the Lectio Divina process were also shared and then time was spent holding the two Statements together, seeing how one flows from the other. This gathering was also recorded with the link to the recording made available for all to watch. We will come back in the Fall, to the calls heard, to continue to discern and live out of all that we are call to by our Chapters.


During the Visitation Province Coordinators’ Spring Meeting, Sr. Mary Anne Foley presented a PowerPoint prayer exhibit of the Spirituality of Visitation. Teresa McKerral, Coordinator West region introduced CND Sister Mary Anne Foley as author of the book “Moving toward the Other” and also Leader of Blessed Sacrament province. Sister Mary Anne began with an opening song, “In the Footsteps of Mary,” and then she gently guided us through a myriad of symbolic images of the Visitation. After each digital image we would pause and remember our connectedness with Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, and our family, friends, and strangers. We silently contemplated and through conversation explored the meaning of each beautiful creative sacred picture. The story of Mary’s Magnificat, the Incarnation, the Angel Gabriel were examined, and we shared what it means in today's world compared to the past. We connected our daily home visits to the Mary and Elizabeth Visitation, making time and receiving the other. Mary Anne explained some visits are not always joyful as Mary’s Visitation with her cousin was, and we must listen to where the other is coming from as we experience everyday moments in our life. We can all be influencers and participate in the transformation of a more ‘just’ world. Sister Mary Anne shared many profound quotes on friendship, creating space for the other and believing in yourself. She spoke of friendship and being with the other in joy and sorrow. We were reminded of the Visitation through various questions, e.g. How did Mary feel as she hurried to bring God’s Word to Elizabeth, and how was Elizabeth’s life transformed? We compared St. Marguerite Bourgeoys’s inspirational journey to our Blessed Mother’s trip, both trusting in God. Much of the art was contemporary and depicted biblical scenes. We were all encouraged and inspired after our morning with Sister.

Coordinator Central region, Jacqueline Fehlner, expressed heartfelt appreciation to Sister Mary Anne Foley and together we closed the meeting with another CND song, the Magnificat prayer.


Anna Rowley, Coordinator, Central Office of Associate Relationship, visited the Visitation Province Coordinators’ meeting via Zoom.

Mary Myers welcomed Anna to our Coordinators’ Meeting Monday, May 2nd, 2022.

Anna’s time with the Coordinators and Liaison Sisters was basically a question and answer period. Here is a summary of what was discussed:

Can Virtual Sessions offered to Sisters and Associates be recorded?

What are the possibilities of reducing the timeframe for Journeying Associates? Anna advised the timeframe of 2 years was approved by General Council. The candidate is answering the call to a Vocation. Time is required to discern…“is this my calling?”

Coordinators noted that at times it is a challenge to get someone to journey with the new candidate.

Anna suggested the possibility of utilizing Zoom for journeying sessions, reaching out to former coordinators and other group associates. It does not have to be the coordinator. This situation calls for creativity.

When will feedback be shared on the Moving Forward Together process? Anna advised feedback would be shared with the Coordinators during the Gathering in August 2022.

Appreciation was extended to Anna for her time spent with us during our Spring Meeting.


VIVENCIA JOURNAL

Why? How did it come about and get its name?

The Vivencia Journal began as a lead-up project to the celebration year of the 40th Anniversary of Associate Relationship within the Congregation de Notre Dame de Montreal by the Visitation Province Associate Coordinators. We are continuing it with your on-going participation.

Pope Francis, in his many writings, speaks of the importance of “Encuentro”, the meeting of two (or more) people who come together to share from their heart a part of themselves that enables a deep understanding and connection between them; and “Vivencia,” which means sharing our story, our lived experience of how we have been called to meet and grow in love by God.

Everyone has a story. Everyone knows someone who has a story.

Your story has the power to touch someone’s heart: someone who is searching for the more, or wants to deepen their contemplative spirit, and has a desire to serve others.


Friday FACQs

The Visitation Provincial Leadership Team and Coordinators were very pleased to welcome Sister Eleanor McCloskey to be updated about the weekly internal communication newsletter, the Friday FACQs.

Sister Eleanor began the FACQs in 2001 with Sister Eleanor Monahan when fax machines were the current method of sharing message. At that time, FACQs were 1 black and white page and sisters being the only contributors and recipients of the FACQs.

Ottawa Associate Kathy Kelly is now on the FACQs team with Sister Eleanor McCloskey. Kathy and Sister Eleanor meet weekly.

The FACQS has now evolved and developed, with input from sisters and associates, to 3-4 coloured pages, including photographs, sent as an attachment by email to both sisters and associates. In communal settings, sisters print and share the FACQs with other sisters.

Sister Eleanor is available for contact anytime, except during line dancing class!

Thank you to Sister Eleanor and Kathy Kelly for this great communication tool.


20th Anniversary celebration of ARCAN 

Dear Sisters and Associates

You are cordially invited to attend a 20th Anniversary celebration of ARCAN (Atlantic Religious

Congregations Associate Network) via zoom Tuesday, June 7, 2022 , 9:30-11:30 am ADT.

Theme: ARCAN 20th ANNIVERSARY: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Presenters: Peggy Madigan, Congregation of Notre Dame Associate, Sr. Alma MacLellan, Congregation of Notre Dame, Margie Gillis, Sister of Charity, Peggy Gorman, Society of The Sacred Heart Associate, and Linda Longmire, St. Martha of Antigonish, Associate.

Our guest speakers will reflect on the beginnings of ARCAN, the middle years and finally the recent years. There will be time for group sharing on the future of ARCAN.

Mark your calendars and come join us to celebrate ARCAN’s 20th Anniversary.

 

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