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At the beginning of November Vicki and I attended a development workshop in Sparkill, NY. On November 6th our Advisory committee met for the 2nd time. Several issues were discussed and it was decided that the next meeting would be held after the new Mission Advancement Director is in place.

We received several very generous gifts in November. These gifts have been invested for Health and Retirement. Please continue to keep our benefactors in your prayers.

Our benefactors’ names will be posted on our intranet. If you know any of these generous donors, please send them a thank you note/Christmas card. It would mean the world to them. We would be happy to give you addresses.

During this Advent season, may your hearts be opened more and more to receive the gift that Christ is offering you.

We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a New Year of good health and deep peace.

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Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, Foundress

In 1640, Marguerite was 20 years old. Following a spiritual experience, she decided to “give (herself) to the service of God.” At that time, her spiritual guide was Monsieur Gendret, priest in St-Nizier Parish (Troyes). She wrote that the good Father spoke to her about religious life. “But the Carmelites refused me even though I was strongly drawn to them. I went to others, but this did not succeed either.”

Monsieur Gendret was aware of Marguerite’s efforts. He studied the quality of the young woman who was under his guidance, her spiritual aspirations and her ability to attract others to her. He spoke to her about planning to found a community which would honour the life of the Blessed Virgin. An unsuccessful attempt was made in Troyes: of the initial group of three, one of these young women died, the other married and Marguerite was left alone. What was God’s will for her? For a while, she continued to commit herself to teaching in the outskirts of her home city. In 1643, she made a vow of chastity and a little later a vow of poverty.

In 1653, she travelled to New France to become a teacher in Ville-Marie (Montreal). Did this mean that she no longer aspired to religious life?

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NB Area Day

NB Sisters and Associates gathered at St Anthony’s Parish Hall in Fredericton on November 1. It had been 4 years since we had this opportunity to visit with one another. Sr, Eleanor McCloskey, CND, led us in prayer with a theme of “All Saints Day”. She said, “All Saints Day beckons us to some-thing beautiful. It reminds us of our great potential – the promise that lies within each of us; the promise of holiness”. As part of the prayer, we remembered the six NB Associates who had died since we last met in November 2010. Our guest speaker for the day, Sr Della Gaudet, CND from Charlottetown provided us with an enlightening history of the life and charism of our Foundress, Marguerite Bourgeoys. Winnie and Marjorie provided an update of their Coordinator work. There were photo and book resource exhibits. During Lunch, everyone had time to visit and share with one another what was happening in their groups. The participants were asked to provide feedback in an Evaluation to assist with planning for future Area Days. The participants said that they were thankful to be able to gather, learn, share and visit with one another. We did learn that the first Saturday in November is not a great time for NB Associates to meet so in 2015, we’ll find a date in later October. We plan to share the feed-back summary with the Maritime Group Contacts as it may be of assistance to other groups. A Special Thank You to Edy, Sisters Eleanor and Charlotte for their assistance with the planning!! 

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