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Movie: Victoria and Abdul

The film is teasingly introduced as “based on facts – mostly.” This may take history buffs off guard, but seeing Judi Dench’s portrayal of the aging Queen Victoria is such a treat one tends to be caught up in the story anyway. Judi has a couple of scenes in particular that are powerful reflections of a lonely monarch, and scenes that show her delight in learning of faraway places and new things. Her performance is superb. Also, the actor who plays her wayward son and heir, Bertie (later Edward VII), gives a realistic performance that fits the historical records about him! Viewers will enjoy the humor in the tale, as well as feel the power of the unlikely relationship between Victoria and the handsome young man whom she calls her “munshi” (i.e. teacher). 

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Making St. Marguerite known

My brother, home for Thanksgiving, is a volunteer at two veterans' hospitals in Toronto. He says many of those men pray to a woman whose name is St Marguerite and he asked me if I knew anything about her. So the whole family at Thanksgiving got a mini version of her story. I then sent to those men the prayer card for the sick (revised in 2012). Here, at Andrews, 35 Marguerite Bourgeoys charm bracelets have been purchased (cost $10) to give to relatives and friends. There are 20 charms on the bracelet, each of which depicts an aspect of Marguerite's life. The bracelets come with a typed account of her life story. All proceeds go to our communities in Central America. These bracelets could be a welcome teacher-aid for catechists who wish to share the story of Marguerite with their students. 

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St. Gertrude’s parish in Woodstock, NB, celebrates 175th Anniversary

After a busy year of preparation and planning, St. Gertrude’s parish in Woodstock celebrated their 175th Anniversary on Sunday, October 8. I was invited to represent the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters; our presence in Woodstock goes back to 1983. The people there have stories and happy memories of all who served there. A lengthy slideshow during the meal brought back faces familiar to us. Sister Therese Arsenault, who was there from the beginning, (Sister T., she was called) was given honourable mention in many conversations. Congratulatory letters were read from Sisters Esther Clarkin and Ann Marie McDougall, two of the most recent ministry persons; both were unable to be present. The Congrégation de Notre-Dame Associates continue their active involvement since we have moved from the parish. It was a treat to be included in the celebration events with Bishop Harris, former pastors, past-and-present parishioners, friends and guests. 

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