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2017 CNWE Conference

2017 CNWE Conference was held May 26-29 at St. Paul University in Ottawa. Over 50 keeners from all across the country spent the weekend exploring the broad theme of Honouring the Past, Keeping Faith in the Present and Shaping the Future. The keynote speaker was Sister Christine Schenk, CSJ, founder of Future Church. Sister Christine is also known for her writing and for her work efforts to have Medicaid extended and expanded to include low-income women and children. ( Jessica Heatherington spoke on "More than Care for Creation: Ecotheology and Churches into the Future.” She had some deep questions to offer: What does resurrection look like in a world that promotes massive deforestation and continues ocean pollution? Earth is being crucified. Louise Courville shared her research of courageous women of faith in past times, emphasizing Saint Mary Magdalen, and Sainte Marie de l'Incarnation, intense mystic and artist. Joelle Morgan spoke of “Settler Christians: Facing the Colonial Wound.”

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Make a World of Change to the People we Encounter Everyday

For most western cultures, June is the month of graduations at every level, from kindergarten to advanced university students. It is always a time to celebrate. For some the accomplishment is easy and unspectacular. For others, the same graduation from the same school is almost miraculous where obstacles and reality have called forth incredible courage and stamina. Children of professional people stand next to children of immigrants, some of whom are illiterate.

Parents are proud but at the ceremony itself, many are grateful if it is brief. Graduation speeches are rarely remembered, many because they are boring at best and tasteless at worst. Some are political rallies, others diatribes against opposing views from those of the speaker’s.

At one college graduation the speaker spoke of hope for a few minutes and then sang a song of hope. People stood and applauded. Dr. Seuss gave a commencement talk which became his book: “O the Places You’ll Go”. One of my favorite graduation speeches came from Fr. Daniel Berrigan. He got up at a college graduation after a five minute introduction for him and said, “Know where you stand and stand there.” One sentence was his entire address.

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Ottawa Visitation Gathering

On May 28, the sisters and associates from Ottawa, and Sister Eleanor McCloskey, a visitor joining us, gathered at Serenity Renewal for Families. The theme chosen to provide a focus for Marguerite was "Dancing in her Footsteps." We shared prayer, reflections, renewed vows and commitments, and enjoyed a meal and conversation together. It was also an occasion to celebrate Kathy Kelly's 30th and Carmel Horan's 25th anniversary of associate membership as well as Maureen Killoran and Eleanor McCloskey's 60th anniversary as Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. We took time to acknowledge and thank Siter Ann Marie Fortin and Sister Elizabeth Jane Fraser for their many faithful years of service at Howe Island. 

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