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Heart of Goodness / The Life of Marguerite Bourgeoys in 30 poems

In 1653, Marguerite Bourgeoys arrived in New France, determined to bring faith to the developing Ville-Marie community and education to the young women of the colony (now Montreal). Carolyne Van Der Meer delves into the heart and mind of Marguerite Bourgeoys and, through poetry, explores the hopes and challenges she faced as she established the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. These poems, originally written in English, have been translated by the author into Bourgeoys' native French, thus bringing to life the aspirations of this extraordinary woman who changed history. 

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From the Formation Corner

It has been a while since the last Formation Corner Communiqué went out. It is not to say that we haven’t been busy about formation business at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in White Plains, NY. So much has happened this past year. First, Sr. Donna responded generously to a call from Visitation Province to help with our senior sisters at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Montreal, Quebec. This month, she will be returning to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Inter-Novitiate Community. We are glad to have her back!

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Mother House Welcomes Women From Chez Doris

The Mother House grounds were transformed today August 13th into an outdoor concert venue to welcome women from Chez Doris, a charitable organization offering a daytime shelter 7 days a week for all women in difficulty. The sisters were happy to receive these guests, often on the peripheries of society. Some of Chez Doris’ clients who are now in temporary housing have been faithfully maintaining quarantine and social distancing and this morning’s concert provided them with a much needed respite from the isolation imposed by this situation. The personnel of Chez Doris and its volunteers arranged for the concert and expressed their gratitude to the sisters for opening their grounds for this special event.

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Joint Interfaith Statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

6 August 2020

As a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world, we have committed to speaking with one voice that rejects the existential threat to humanity that nuclear weapons pose. We reaffirm that the presence of even one nuclear weapon violates the core principles of our different faith traditions and threatens the unimaginable destruction of everything we hold dear. Nuclear weapons are not only a future risk, their presence here and now undermines the ethical and moral foundations of the common good. We call for your commitment to a world that is more peaceful, safe, and just—a world only possible with the elimination of nuclear weapons.

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Working for Peace in the Nuclear Age

Traveling south on Route 95 entering Providence, Rhode Island, for many years, there was graffiti written on the side of an overpass. In enormous letters it said, “It is a sin to build a nuclear weapon.” I was doubly intrigued by the facts that it was written there and that it stayed there for years. I eventually found the source of the quote. It was from a book on the Gospel and nonviolence by Fr. Richard McSorley, S.J. I wish the sentence was still there.

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World Day against Trafficking in Persons: Quiz

Question 1

At which sporting events did the CND sisters present demands to limit human trafficking?

a) The Montreal Grand Prix

b) The Olympic Games

c) The Tour de l’ile

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

The joy we felt at seeing the Sisters and Associates at the Summer Gathering flowed into our July 14-15th meeting. Visitation on so many levels! This was especially important as together we mourned the passing of Sr. Kathleen Fitz Simons.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Riverview Associate Fundraising for ALS

Al Kavanaugh, Associate from Riverview, NB, raised $10,000 this year for ALS, making his all time total $193,000. He has been doing this for 19 years now to honour his friend, Ken. Everyone walked separately this year because of Covid- 19.

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The First Atomic Bomb

On July 16, 1251, Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to St. Simon Stock and gave him the brown scapular, a symbol of protection and a sign of trust in God. On July 16, 1858, in the final apparition at Lourdes, Mary appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb, code named Trinity was detonated at White Sands Missile Site in New Mexico.

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The Ranchers at Ground Zero for the Nuclear Age

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

The Nuclear Age is seventy-five years old this summer – an anniversary not to be celebrated with anything but sorrow, regret and penance. There is much to be considered in our look at history. Usually the date for the start of the Nuclear Age is July 16, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was detonated at White Sands Missile Range. However the dawn of the disaster began earlier with the eviction of 110 farm families from their ranches in New Mexico in 1942.

 

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The Visitation: Women of Faith, Hope and Vision Meet

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

Read: The Visitation: Lk 1:39-56

Mary, as Servant of the Lord, influenced by the Spirit, hastens to visit Elizabeth, her cousin. Saint Ambrose of Milan says that Mary went with haste because inspirations of the Holy Spirit cannot be delayed.[i]  Luke shows in his Visitation narrative then that God’s visitation to Mary and God’s Word planted within her womb are experiences to be communicated and shared with another person.


[i] https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/saints/Marysvisitationofelizabeth/. Accessed November, 2015.

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The Congrégation de Notre-Dame Celebrates 50 Years Of Presence In Cameroon

Did You Know?

Meyomessala

That the CND opened the first Catholic kindergarten and primary school in the parish of Sangmélima?

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Celebrating 50 years of presence in Cameroon

This third “Did you know” is about the experiences of three former missionaries: Sister Pauline Asselin (15 years), Sister Sarah Leboeuf (21 years) and Sister Monique Daigle (15 years). For this total of 51 years of service, let us give them a big round of applause and let us give thanks to the Lord for supporting them in their beautiful mission.

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Mary and the Incarnation: Archetype of our Journey with God

Read Luke 1:26-38

St. Maximus the Confessor wrote, “The Incarnation is the model of what God wants to achieve in us. By the power of the Spirit, Christ is always born mysteriously and willingly, becoming incarnate in us.[i]  Being steeped in this mystery is an invitation to reflect on the Annunciation in Luke’s gospel. In so doing, may we become more conscious of this wondrous mystery unfolding within us.

 

[i] St. Maximus the Confessor, “Mystical Conception, The Annunciation to the Theotokos”. The Word Magazine (March 25, 2005) www.antiochan.org/wordarticles. Accessed, June, 2010.

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Associates News

During this time of Covid-19, one of the technology that we have had to learn is to ZOOM. As members of many groups we have zoomed with Development and Peace, with our Laudato Si Group, with the other boards we are on, as well as friends and family. We have Zoomed with the associates and sisters in the Maritimes with Anna Rowley’s presentation of the Garden Retreat. One of us has even zoomed a few times a week to participate in her daughter’s yoga classes!

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The Congrégation de Notre-Dame is celebrating 50 years of presence in Cameroon

Did you know that…?

24 CNDs who were missionaries in Cameroon or who were responsible for missionaries, have entered the house of the FATHER:

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

60th Anniversary Celebration

On Monday, June 22nd, the sisters of de Sève residence celebrated Monica Branchaud’s Diamond Jubilee of Religious Life. The festivities began with a Prayer Service and a presentation of our gift.  Following this, we had a bit of a “Happy Hour” and an evening meal. The honoree chose the menu which all of us enjoyed.  Afterwards, we returned to the community room for some fun which included a PowerPoint presentation illustrating different events in Monica’s life and a melody of hits from the 1950’s and the 1960’s. Most of us are of an age that we could actually remember the lyrics and sing along with the music! We thanked Monica for her dedicated life of service within our Congregation. May she continue to follow the path which God presents to her daily. 

Donna Rose, CND with de Sève residence sisters

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Spanish Influenza: Excerpt from Histoire de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Photo: Sister Saint-Alfred (Délia Clément) during the Spanish Flu epidemic, [Montreal, Quebec], [1918?]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame – Montreal (200.100.018)

Spanish Influenza: Excerpt from Histoire de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Volume XI, book 1: 1900-1950, 1972, p. 35-37.

In 1918, throughout the world, and particularly in Canada, an influenza epidemic known as the Spanish Flu, brought grief to thousands of families and decimated the population. Because hospitals, doctors and nurses could not help all the afflicted, the Archbishop of Montreal asked the religious communities to organize free volunteer services for the poor and all who could not get help. A Circular letter from the Superior General called on the sisters in Montreal: 

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News from White Plains NY

These months of COVID-19 and racial unrest have invited us to witness a new awakening to the systemic injustices in our society and to act consciously as Christ would want us to. We, CND sisters in White Plains, Cathy Molloy, Peggy Doyle, and Maco Cassetta, have responded to the cries of our neighbourhood by feeding the poor, connecting with parishioners who have been in isolation, and marching with our neighbours for equality because black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with the many who respond to the current call to care for our common home. On this 400thanniversary of the birth of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, we are propelled to go to the peripheries and respond in hope to the cries of our wounded world.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

The folks at de Sève residence have weathered these past months of COVID-19 together… here we are! The occasion was the Feast of the Visitation and Pentecost, following the Mass we viewed from St. Monica's Parish in Montreal. We enjoyed lunch prepared by our weekend cook, Jeanne D'Arc. We have truly enjoyed some leisurely communal meals and meaningful prayer times these past weeks. Are we not fortunate? We keep each other in mind and heart as we ponder what our loving God is saying to us through all of this. Are we listening? Be well!

Kay Duffin, CND

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