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Visitation Province

Happy Birthday, Claire!

On October 17th at the CND Health Center, we were fortunate to celebrate the 97th Birthday of Sr. Claire Beaton. Sr. Claire received many birthday wishes from friends and family. It was a beautiful day to celebrate her.

Arlene Rutledge, CND coordinator

Thanksgiving ~ Andrews of Charlottetown

It was OCTOBERFEST and THANKSGIVING all rolled into one featuring seasonal displays created by Sister Marie Gaudet using a variety of her items as well as those contributed by others. Our evening celebration began with a "Prayer of Gratitude" which was attributed to a Native American. The prayer began with the words:

"Oh Divine Gift-Giver We stand beneath the Endless waterfall of

Your abundant gifts to us...”

and ended with our desire that our lives would be

"A constant song of thanksgiving."

Following our prayer, we enjoyed refreshments always provided by Ann and Regina.

Anne T. Gillis, CND

East Kootenay Associates have dedicated this year to deepening their personal and Associate relationships with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. We want to build bridges in our community for Truth and Reconciliation.

Using the wonderful content from the Howe Sound Virtual retreat we are exploring our own personal blindness and seeking to “see” with new eyes and a new heart. We each brought to our meeting a personal symbol of blindness or sight. Items included broken glasses, canes, rescued dragon fly skeletons, earmuffs, a map and pictures of those are no longer with us but with whom we missed times of connection and presence. Each Associate shared what their symbol meant to them. We quickly discovered in our sharing, that often our vision as well as other senses, can give us a distorted view of the other. This distorted view is due to many factors such as experience, environment, socialization etc. To have “right” vision is something that we must continually work at developing more fully. Our new vision or way of seeing events and persons happens when we remember, like Marguerite Bourgeoys, that each encounter is with a fellow brothers or sisters of Christ. We strive to continually discovering Christ in the other by embracing a Visitation and Pentecost spirituality in our lives. In the months to come we will be using the text Listening to Indigenous Voices and inviting both parish members and members of our local indigenous communities to share their story and experiences with us.

Over this year, we hope to enrich our Associate relationships and to build a bridge to greater understanding and compassion in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.

Gerri Fletcher on behalf of the East Kootenay Associate group

A Formal Blessing for the Peace Garden

A few years ago, I jumped on board a parish project that stirred my imagination. The project was to create a garden from the neglected pile of weeds and eyesore our church’s empty lot had become. I was eager not only because I love gardening but because I was convinced our city of Trail needed a Peace Pole. I first learned about Peace Poles from Teresa McKerral when she was giving a talk at our annual gathering of Western Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters and Associates some years back. And so, our garden, as we were building and still today, became dubbed the “Peace Garden.” This past week, the Peace Garden received a formal parish blessing put together and officiated by Sister Norma Gallant, and myself. It was part of our monthly CWL meeting which happened to fall by divine plan on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a favourite saint for gardeners. We also paid special tribute to Mary, by gathering around her statue in the garden and praying a decade of the rosary and reciting a litany. Making our event even more special was the appearance of our Bishop, Greg Bittman, who coincidentally happened to be in our town conducting other business and upon learning of our scheduled Garden Blessing, decided to pay us a surprise visit. At our invitation,

Maureen Wiley, Associate

Welcome Sister Maureen as the CND Liaison with Mary of Peace Community and Coordinators!

October 11, 2022

“May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.”

By John O’ Donahue

May the light of your soul guide you!

Carmie Rizzo, Coordinator, Mary of Peace

Joan Foliot, CND 90th Birthday!

Gather Again

Thank you God for allowing us to gather again with friends from other residences that we have not been able to celebrate (Sisters Flossie Robidoux, Donna Rose, Sheila Sullivan, Patricia Simpson). It is befitting that Sr. Joan Foliot’s birthday belongs in the month of the praise-induced feast of Thanksgiving.

So much to be grateful for, and the day unfolded flawlessly. The party seemed to be accompanied by prayerful support on this idyllic, sunny Autumn day. All guests and staff present witnessed the celebration of a life well-lived! Gratefulness and glee oozed from Sister Joan, joked Sister Clare O’Neill.

The party began with a prayer Sister Françoise Boisvert gave me, “The Birthday Beatitudes.” Since Sr. Joan has a strong devotion to Blessed Mother Mary, it was apropos that “Ave

Maria” was sung by our singing sensation Sister Kay Duffin, and was followed by “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” A well-deserved toast cheered in English, French and Italian (Salute!) partnered with the “invisible clinking” of wine glasses, served with cheese/fruit platters prepared by the kitchen staff added to the communal celebration a “je ne sais pas quoi” element. “C’était extra spécial!,” remarked Sister Gilberte Bussiere.

It is clear that so many of her dear friends, family, former students and colleagues hold Sister Joan in very high esteem as we see in all the colourful cards with heartfelt handwritten messages delivered from all over the globe before, during and after her festivities. Furthermore, there were endless emails, countless phone calls and fabulous flower arrangements.

An animated Sister Sheila Sullivan entertained us all with her lively enactment of Sister Joan’s reaction to winning the CND Lottery to attend the canonization of Marguerite Bourgeoys in Rome. Hoots of guests’ laughter and applause could be heard from far away. One Sister re-named our community room the ‘Party Room!’

All the thought, care, planning, decorating, requisition forms filled up, furniture moved, chairs removed and clean up crew played a role in making this party amazing! The lace and crocheted tablecloths and centrepieces brought in from our homes to create a cozier ambiance with a classic touch of traditional.

Also, the freshly picked two-toned hydrangeas burgundy and antique rose from the Résidence Bon-Secours grounds were a bonus!

Special thanks to Nurse Claudia who was present and attentive to our Mary of Peace Sisters’ needs throughout the party. Hospitable hostesses (Sister Maureen, Lina & Carmie) and gracious guests made a good combination. The TV dinner tables were very useful. The pillowy white vanilla cake was a nice finishing touch. Heat-generating yarn was gifted to our marathon knitter who donates her priceless woolly hats, scarves and mitts to charity.

In sum, Sister Joan was delighted and beamed that this day exceeded her expectations. She expressed her gratitude for all who attended, participated and made this day possible and memorable.

Carmie Rizzo, Coordinator Mary of Peace


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