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Cameroun: Progressive Social Justice Report

The period March – October 2021 has been marked by many events in the Congregation, namely the celebration of first and final vows, the General Chapter and new missions, to name but a few. These events have not prevented us from making progress in the implementation of the Social Justice Action Plan, albeit timidly.

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Guide Me In The Way Of Peace

A COMPASS: AN INDICATOR  A GUIDE  AN INSTRUMENT TO SHOW
THE WAY, TO HELP ME NAVIGATE UNFAMILIAR PATHS.
Using the compass of my heart
I face the cold white blanket of the North
Do I trust and hope to see new life waiting beneath
the frozen, barren land?
I gaze towards the warmth and light of the South
Am I asking  for guidance to plant seeds that will bear fruit?

 

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JPIC Meeting, November 15, 2021

Visitation Province Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Core Committee met in a Zoom to make plans for moving on with the work of JPIC. Sister Maureen Baldwin and Sister Karen Kelly from the new leadership team joined us and expressed their enthusiasm in accepting to be liaison with the Committee for the next few years. Sister Maura McGrath led us through a discussion of several broad questions and everyone participated in generously sharing ideas. We will meet again soon. Watch for our continued input!

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Internationality Prayer

A group of Congregation de Notre-Dame Associates in Woodstock, NB, met on Thursday, November 11 at the Parish Hall. It was a beautiful sunny day to gather and pray together. We were properly spaced around the hall, one person per long table, and we were masked. Marjorie Allison-Ross led us in prayer; we shared mostly on the 3rd reading, about dreams and our own dreams. We very much appreciated Sing Gently, the music link provided with the prayer. We saw a short video from Central Office, and Marjorie gave an overview of the celebrations planned for this 40th year of Associate Relationship. Planning for meetings in December and January concluded our time together.

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Memorial Service

On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the Mary of Peace Community at Résidence Bon-Secours gathered to honor and celebrate the lives of the sisters who died since February 2020. Bishop Wingle celebrated a memorial mass in English in our community room, followed by a sharing of memories of them. A picture display of the eight sisters further served as a reminder of the smiles and faces of these sisters, whom we loved and the gift they were to all of us. All agreed that this celebration brought healing and comfort. We are grateful to Bishop Wingle for participating in this event and making it extra special. Forever in our hearts, rest in peace Sisters Anastasia Murphy, Joyce Roberts, Patricia Landry, Elizabeth Schratz, Violet Belair, Katherine Coltart, Mary Catherine Cameron and Anne-Marie Lynch.

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No Room

Have you ever thought of Jesus looking for a place
to stay,  asking for hospitality  feeling rejected
or who wonders if his close friends would also leave Him?
And finally not even having a burial place?
Jesus was "A man like us in all things but sin."
Right from His birth we read " And she brought forth
her firstborn Son, laid Him in a manger, because there was
no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2: 7)

 

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News from Visitation Province

To mark the 170th anniversary of the CSJ's arrival in Toronto, October 7, 1851, Visitation Province sent flowers to the CSJ Residence (at 2 O'Connor) where CND Sisters Denise Burns, Marie Landers, Helen Frechette and Élise Corriveau live. Here is a photo of Sister Élise, in the chapel with the lovely arrangement.

Eileen Power, CND

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Lovely Liveliness

What a joy-filled 91st birthday celebration for Sr. Gladys Hayward. Featuring newcomers to Résidence Bon-Secours, Sisters: Françoise Boisvert and Joan Foliot who read the Birthday Beatitudes and a poem from Joyce Rupp, respectively. Special thanks to Sr. Kay Duffin for singing spontaneously “My best to you.” The “Psalm celebrating God’s Providence” was read by Carmie Rizzo who happily organized the celebration. 

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“The Intersection of Ecology and Christianity” webinar with Heather Eaton

“The Intersection of Ecology and Christianity” webinar with Heather Eaton took place on November 1 presented by Green Churches. Heather’s presentation focused on the history of eco theologies including the challenges, limitations and current developments in the efforts to “green” Christianity. 

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All Souls Day Celebration at the CND Health Center, Sydney

We had a communion service remembering the sisters of Visitation Province who died this past year. A candle was lit in their memory. As the names were called out, it was a somber reminder of the eight sisters who died at the CND Health Center this year. Our prayers continue for those who now live on in our memories. Following the service, a light snack and music was provided.

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Celebrating the Anniversary of Marguerite’s Canonization!

On Sunday evening, October 31s, we Sisters at De Sève Residence in Montreal welcomed Sisters Violaine Paradis and Dominique Sabas to help us celebrate the anniversary of Marguerite’s canonization. We had a wonderful evening together. We began with a bilingual prayer, shared wine and cheese, and enjoyed a delicious meal, but what made the evening so pleasant was the open sharing among us and the evident joy of being together. Most of us knew little about Dominique and were eager to get to know her a little. Realizing that her inability to speak English was not a problem, Dominique shared her interesting life journey with us. Violaine, whom we knew a little more, told us about her ministry in the East end of Montreal as an “Agent de Pastorale Sociale.” As the evening drew to a close, we felt that a bond had been established among us as Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters. The evening had been a visitation moment, and we had taken a small, concrete step to live interculturality and intergenerationality.

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One Stick at a Time

"I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the 
course of the year to a great bundle of sticks, far too large 
for us to lift.  But God does not require us to carry the whole 
load at once.  God mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us
first one stick, which we are to carry today, then another, 
which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on."

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Things don’t make us happy. Sharing does.

A Canadian religious sister was visiting her sisters in Cameroon in Africa. The sisters were taking her to a poor woman living in a traditional round adobe and thatched roof hut of the area. They gave the visitor a bag of rice to bring as a gift to the woman. They entered the home and gave the rice to the mother of the family. She invited them to be seated and said she would be with them in a minute. She left with the rice and returned a few moments later with half the bag gone. She had given the rice to a neighbor who had no more rice for her own family. Then the visit began.

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Letting Go

I stand alone as this tree.  Slowly being stripped.
Yet, still showing the beauty of the God who  created me.
It helps me understand my vulnerability, my need to let go.
The wind has passed my way and taken away some of my coat.
The rain has poured over me and scattered part of me on the ground below.
What are some of the elements in my life that have forced me to LET GO?
 

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God’s Paint Brush

Wandering through the forest something delightful is happening all around.

Splashes of color are surrounding me; all is being transformed.          

I stand in the center of these magnificence colors

How am I experiencing my own transformation?

I am the Masterpiece of the Divine Artist.

How am I responding to the Divine strokes of beauty in my life?

God sees within me the hope for perfect fulfillment of all God has create

me to be.

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St. Theresa’s and Holy Angels group meeting

St. Theresa’s and Holy Angels group met at the home of Theresa MacNeil October 17 and Lorrette Andrews read the opening prayer, Prayer to the Holy Spirit, while Genevieve Paquette, Journeying Associate, read the new General Chapter Orientation. Dianne MacAskill shared on the Elements of Deepening. The video on Associate Relationship produced by Anna Rowley, Coordinator Central Office was played and discussed by the group. This is the first group meeting since May. The St. Marguerite Bourgeoys novena was the closing prayer.

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Meeting in Sydney Mines

Theresa and Dianne were invited to attend a meeting in Sydney Mines at the home of Frances Gordon on October 13, 2021. Geraldine Walker read the opening prayer and Elizabeth MacNeil read the closing prayer. Theresa discussed the new 2021-2026 Chapter Orientation and I briefed the group on the 2021-2025 Visitation Province Elements of Deepening. A group sharing was initiated by Jennie Gordon. Due to travel and COVID restrictions, this group has decided to meet locally and say the Rosary at the exact time and date as our Rosary is recited at Parkland Sydney. Power of Prayer.

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Visit with Sisters Connie MacIsaac, Elaine Hawrylak and Mary Morris

Theresa and Dianne visited with Sisters Connie MacIsaac, Elaine Hawrylak and Mary Morris on Oct.9, 2021. This was a preliminary meeting held to discuss tentative plans for the 2021-2022 Associate Relation 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

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Celebrating Our Internationality*

At this year’s celebration of our internationality, we are invited by our 2021-2026 Orientation to expand our hearts still further in order to “intentionally live and deepen interculturality and intergenerationality.“  In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis shares this commitment: “It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity (kinship). Kinship between all men and women.”

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Celebrating Sister Mary's Life

The Sisters of Notre Dame Community, Kingston are mourning the loss of yet another of our Sisters. Though Mary Cockburn had been facing many health challenges, her death was a surprise to us and a sad relief. Once again Monsignor Joseph Lynch, in his warm welcoming manner, made St. Joseph's Church available for a short wake and funeral Mass. Members of Mary's family joined Sisters from Toronto and Ottawa. Sisters of Providence and Hotel Dieu along with Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame from the city were present. Staff members from Providence Motherhouse offered support by their presence and prayers. Many Associates, friends and acquaintances were also present. In her introductory words, Sister Rosemary Brosseau reminded us of Mary's many and varied ministries carried out with creativity, courage and love. Rest now, Mary and with Marguerite guide us along the way.

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