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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Summer’s End at Louisbourg

On September 19, 2018 the staff at Fortress Louisbourg hosted our volunteer review. The stories told, comments made, suggestions and questions were animated and filled with the excitement of the summer and the hopes for next summer. Troy Allen, Product Development Officer, thanked us sincerely for bringing the past into the present; he said that it was such an asset having the congregation of the 18th century present today at the Fortress.

The volunteers talked about being energized by the history, the wonderful response of the visitors, the curiosity of the children, the welcoming staff and their own personal growth and learning over the summer.

Following a pizza lunch we drove out of the Fortress past the majestic ocean with waves delighting in the final winds of Hurricane Florence as she brushed against our shores.

Connie MacIsaac, CND with all volunteers

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Updating and Renewing Ministry of Prayer and Presence

“Blessing” is a way of life, a lens through which the whole world is transformed. A blessing promotes protection, healing and creativity in a world sorely in need of wholeness. (John O’Donohue)

Our senior sisters participate in this way of blessing, bringing the needs of the world and all its peoples into the compassion of their hearts. With their unique abilities and the gift of time they are able to bless the lives of others, especially those on the peripheries.

As sisters update and renew their ministry of prayer and presence we acknowledge the way in which they bring the needs of the whole world to God. This expression of mission is a blessing for us all.

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Child abuse of any kind is unmitigated evil

Child abuse of any kind – physical, sexual, emotional – is unmitigated evil, criminal and mortally sinful. Anyone who knows about it and does nothing is as responsible as the perpetrators.  Until we understand the horrendous nature of child abuse and respond in a morally responsible way, we, as a society, are shirking our duty to protect our children.

Most abuse of children happens in private. The perpetrator usually threatens to harm the child or his family if he or she tells anyone about it. Perpetrators also insidiously convince the children it is their own fault that they are being abused, telling them that they like it or deserve it.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

150th Anniversary of CNDs in Waterbury: Just as five Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters came from Montreal on September 8,1869, this time four CND Sisters – Ona Bessette (Waterbury Catholic HS 1973), Ercilia Ferrera Erazo (Honduras), Sophie Christine Mbougoum (Cameroon) and Jeanne Bonneau – made that same journey to be with us on September 8, 2018 for the inauguration of a year of celebration. What joyous Visitations ensued! We were so very happy that so many CND Sisters journeyed to Waterbury to participate in our CND liturgy and Meet & Greet afterwards.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Kingston Sisters Experience Internationality: This summer, the newer members of the Congregation de Notre-Dame (CND) from Central America, Cameroon, Japan and North America came to Canada for the opportunity to learn and foster intercultural relationships among themselves and to be in touch with the roots of the CND Community. They, and the sisters accompanying them, were at Providence Motherhouse on July 10. It was a first time ever for the CND Sisters of Kingston.

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News from our Associates in Eastern Canada

St Joseph Convent and Renewal Centre Open House

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

On Sunday, August 5, Visitation Province Leadership Team and CND Sisters invited people to an Open House to say good-bye to the building and mission of the Congregation de Notre Dame Sisters in Mabou, Cape Breton. The Sisters arrived in 1887 and are now closing their mission in October 2018, 131 years later. So many people have been impacted by their presence in this wonderful part of the world. The Sisters ministered to the people of Mabou and surrounding communities through teaching, hospitality, friendship, facilitating retreats and supporting the people in their faith.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Focus on Chapter Orientations: JPIC is getting ready for a new work year and we are looking forward to bringing alive our commitment to Care for Our Common Home and to continue our reflections and actions about Going to the Peripheries. We are planning a specific focus on water, climate justice and Indigenous Peoples. Bineta Ba, CND Social Justice Network Coordinator, inspires us by her example when she facilitated a creative session on water justice and the OK Water Project at the World Social Forum in Brazil last March. She collaborated with the organization ROJEP and the Oblates Franciscaines de Saint-Joseph, and was accompanied to Brazil by General Council member Sr. Ercilia Ferrera. In her proposal for the workshop Bineta wrote that she was 'inspired by the dance piece on climate change presented by the CND at the Word Social Forum 2016 in Montreal'. That project was initiated by Visitation Province and involved partnership with the CRC and Development and Peace with much help from KAIROS. JPIC looks forward to similar collaborative efforts in the coming months.

Monica Lambton, JPIC coordinator

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Response to the Church Crisis

Our hearts are torn once again at the recent news of clergy abuse of the vulnerable and leaders' failure to respond appropriately. We strongly endorse the LCWR statement and join our prayer and resolve to theirs that our church be more fully a place of healing and nurturing for all.

We thank the Sisters and Associates who have worked to ensure that the vulnerable are protected and healed, as well as those who have come forward to report instances of abuse. We urge others who have experienced abuse to speak of this, and we promise them our prayer and support.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team

Celebrating the feast of the Assumption during our August 14-15 meeting invited us to pray: “You have changed my life . . . and spread before me your vision of fragile simplicity.”[1] We felt the presence of Mary, our sister and mother, as well as all our sisters who have gone before us.

In other matters,

  • The President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization has invited Sr. Joan Curtin to give a Breakout Session at the II International Congress on Catechesis in Rome September 20-23. Congratulations, Joan!
  • Sr. Mary Anne Foley will replace Sr. Carmel Caputo on the Board of the Hartford-based Collaborative Center for Justice.
 

[1] from A Magnificat of Waiting by Ann Johnson in Miryam of Nazareth - Woman of Strength and Wisdom

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Open House in Mabou

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. (Dr. Seuss)

On Sunday afternoon, August 5, 2018, St. Joseph Convent and Renewal Centre opened its doors one last time to the many people who came to say good-bye to their beloved “house on the hill.”

Day of celebration at St. Joseph Convent

 

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Vocation News

Our new Vocation Committee, Sisters Margarita Castaneda, Eileen Dorney, Kathleen Dorney, Peggy Doyle, Eileen Good and Ann Marie Strileckis met and jelled quite well! Since we agreed wholeheartedly with #54 of the CND Formation directory, "While some sisters may receive a specific mandate for vocation ministry from provincial or regional leadership, responsibility for awakening and supporting vocations is shared by every sister and every community of the Congregation of Notre Dame. The first task of this ministry is to help the people develop an appreciation of her Baptismal call and of the variety of ways in which this call may be lived in the Church."

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Peace & Justice News

Kathryn Smith Pyle, a Sundance Institute Fellow and documentary film maker, has produced "Apple Forecast," a short documentary film in support of comprehensive immigration reform. These last few weeks have been filled with terrible reports of separation of families at our southern border. Several activist groups have called for a fast from June 24th to July 18th to protest these policies. These 24 days symbolize the approximately 2,400 migrant children that have been separated from their parents. I invite you to join in the fast as you are able on July 17th. You can sign up to fast at Break Bread Not Families, one of the organizations coordinating the fast. Perhaps we could include the following petition in our prayer that day.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

At St. Jude’s Church, South Holland, the Associates of South Holland were joined by Associates from Kankakee, Joliet and Sister Bea Baker from Joliet to celebrate Sylvia S. becoming a CND Associate on Saturday afternoon, May 26. Sylvia is a very dynamic, enthusiastic woman who is a true “worker bee” adding life, energy, and ideas to her parish and to the Associate group in South Holland. Associates Karen and Mary, South Holland co-coordinators, led her in the formation sessions. With a heart for Visitation, Sylvia connects her faith with justice helping her Deacon husband with his scripture classes, ministering to the homebound, and serving at a soup kitchen.

 

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Renewal Of Vows

On July 2, 2018, Janet Lawrence renewed her vows during a community liturgy at Villa Maria Convent. The celebrant was Father Fred Pelligrino, SJ, a friend of Janet and of the CND Community. Father has great devotion to Marguerite. Sr. Mary Anne Powers was present to accept Janet’s vows. The community shared in the beautiful celebration with support, prayers and blessings and was followed by a festive dinner. We prayed: “Go, Janet, like Mary and Elizabeth, living the gifts of the Spirit. Go, like Marguerite, in peace with courage and faithfulness.” In the Fall, Janet will begin her second year of chaplain residency in Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. Our prayers are with you, Janet.

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GreenFaith Fellowship Program

Sister Kathleen Deignan recommends that sisters and associates consider applying to the GreenFaith Fellowship Program, North America’s only comprehensive education and training program to turn clergy and laity into religious-environmental leaders. (She and Anne Seeley became Fellows in the past.) Fellows are drawn from a national audience of ordained and lay leaders, to be selected through a competitive application process. Applications are due on July 15, and can be received by emailing the program’s new director, Stacey Kennealy, at stacey@greenfaith.org! For further information, go to:

http://www.greenfaith.org/programs/fellowship/detailed-information

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CND Contemplative Prayer

Recently, a few of us were privileged to attend the week-long workshop, GOD, EVOLUTION AND THE UNFINISHED SELF given by Ilia Delio, OSF at Maryknoll. Throughout the week, I kept recalling how powerfully connected as one we were when we felt threatened by Rome as our religious communities were being investigated and challenged.

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Sister Libby Osgood, CND

Sister Libby Osgood, CND, is currently in Montreal for the International meeting of new members of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. She shares her joy of meeting the other daughters of Marguerite Bourgeoys.

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From Our Leadership Team

2017-2021 goals: to engage the CND family of Blessed Sacrament Province in the implementation of the General Chapter 2016-2021 orientation, to facilitate the sisters’ and associates’ participation in moving the province forward, and to create a climate that supports the capacity of each sister to live fully and well in mission for the whole of our lives.

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Jubilarians celebration

We Remember, We Celebrate, We Give Thanks 

I think we can all agree our get together and time of celebration was AMAZING, AWESOME, WONDERFUL, INDEED A BLESSING.

Our first words of thanks go to a God of our creation who gave us beautiful weather, scenery and people who made all this celebration possible. The reputation of the Maritime hospitality was proven over and over again. The CND Visitation hospitality was to experience the joy, happiness and blessings of being together.

First to arrive on Sunday July 1st at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Retreat Centre in Summerside were Sisters Patricia Arsenault, CND, Rosemary Shannon, CND and Joan Lewis, CND. The first contingence from the USA arrived: Sisters Cathy Molloy, CND, Margaret Farley, CND, and Nancy McDermott, CND.

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Thanks & Appreciation

We are deeply grateful to our sisters and associates who remembered us on the occasion of our Jubilee Year. Your presence, Mass offerings, letters, cards, emails, and phone messages were a wonderful reminder of the great blessings we share as community. God's fidelity never fails us. Our prayers of gratitude include prayers for all of you.

Sisters Thérèse Arsenault (70), Bernadette Gallant, Réjeanne Bourque, Katherine T. MacDonald, Hermine Bernard and Noreen Hickey (60)

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