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Sisters and Associates, Visitation Province

CTV Mass for Shut-Ins, honouring Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, will air on Sunday, January 15th at the regular time (11:30 Atlantic). (Mass will be taped Saturday, January 7, 10:30 am at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church in Sydney.) “The Struggles of Waiting: Meeting Jesus in our Fragility this Advent.”On a cold sunny day in Advent, on the shores of the Lake of Two Mountains, twenty-three associates and religious from three Montréal religious congregations came together at the new Villa St. Martin Retreat House for an Advent silent retreat. This year our Montréal Congrégation de Notre-Dame associates wanted something different for their annual Advent retreat so we decided to go “away” for the day. In the process of organizing the day, it quickly became apparent, that perhaps this was the time to realize another one of our long-held desires – that of bringing together associates and religious of other congregations for a joint activity. We started with two other congregations where we had contacts and perhaps this new relationship will grow and blossom into other shared initiatives. The theme of our retreat day was “The Struggles of Waiting: Meeting Jesus in our Fragility this Advent.” It was led by Father Kevin Kelly, S.J. and Holy Name Associate Dina Amicone from the Ignatian Centre of Montréal. During our retreat time, we explored the concepts of chronos vs. kairos (God’s time) reflecting on our experience of time, our kairos moments in the midst of our busy lives. In the afternoon we were invited to embrace more deeply our vulnerability and humility as we wait during this Advent time. In between sessions, the brave could go for walks in the frigid temperatures to pray and reflect on the questions while the wise stayed in and contemplated from chairs looking out on to the lake. The day ended with a beautiful spiritual conversation where we were able to share the fruits of our prayer. Charles Taker, Associate The Church celebrates World Day of Peace January 1. In mid –December, Pope Francis released his World Peace Day message for 2023. Using the theme, “No one can be saved alone,” the Pope references the experience of the global pandemic. People’s experiences around the world may have differed, but the lockdowns, the fear, the scramble for vaccines, the lack of resources for health care and the death count caused suffering everywhere. Pope Francis offers these questions for reflection: 1. “What did we learn from the pandemic? 2. What new paths should we follow to cast off the shackles of our old habits, to be better prepared, to dare new things? 3. What signs of life and hope can we see, to help us move forward and try to make our world a better place?” “We never emerge the same from times of crisis,” the Pope says. “We emerge either better or worse." He calls us to embrace a real commitment to the common good. The Pope’s annual Peace Day message is distributed to heads of state and governments around the world. Eleanor McCloskey, CND Listening to Indigenous Voices. This week, our group followed Lesson 5, on the topic of treaties, and we learned a great deal beyond the material in our book. Imelda Perley, a well- known Elder from New Brunswick, and her husband David were our guests. Both are educators and activists with much to share. Online, we met Jessica Ramos (new Social Justice Coordinator for the Congregation), Dr. Jeanne-Marie Rugira (resource person hired to work with the Congregation) and Benigne Kangaj (grad student working with Jeanne-Marie). Our next meeting will be January 17, 2023. – Eleanor McCloskey, for JPIC Christmas Party in Kingston: Because Christmas is such a busy day for Santa, Saturday, December 18th, Mrs. Claus, with the help of a few elves, threw a Christmas Party for the Sisters of Notre Dame Community, Kingston. • She prepared the setting. • There was food and drinks, songs were composed and sung. • There were games played that evoked lots of laughter and some chaos. • Gifts were given. Gifts were received. After gratitude was expressed to Sisters Pat, Mildred and Denise for their faithfulness all year round, a community picture which included the elves was taken to remember this happy occasion. -Rosemary Shannon CND Recommended Webinar Video: This was a very interesting recent 60-minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&As coordinated by the Jesuits of Canada. Father Kellerman outlines the history of slavery in the Catholic Church and his own Jesuit community over the years. It is well documented, and he gives many examples. One finding which surprised him was that the early Jesuits in New France had both Indigenous and Black slaves. He also discussed the challenges of the existing legacy and what steps might be taken now. Kathy Kelly, Associate Conclusion of COP15. Our federal government has set the ambitious goal of conserving 30 % of Canada’s land and water by 2030, seeking to halt and reverse the decline in biodiversity and influence in a positive way climate change. We know that climate change and biodiversity loss are issues that threaten our health, our economy, our weather patterns and our future. Conserving wildlife habitat, wetlands and protecting migratory bird routes will be essential as people become more and more motivated to collaborate with communities, government and industry to renew and restore our beautiful world to be enjoyed by generations to come. Eleanor McCloskey, CND for JPIC


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