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Reflexion for Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Greetings fellow travelers!  Our Advent journey ends today.  I am Winnie Odo, from the East (not the Orient) from Visitation East of Visitation Province which takes in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.  Together with my husband Gerald we live in a tiny fishing community in Lingan, Cape Breton much like the landscape and seashore that surrounded Jesus as he grew up.  Like Kathy Chadwick who began our journey on November 29th, I have been blessed by the CND Community and Associate Relationship for the past 17 years.

From the Gospel of John 1:1-18, the Mass during the day, these words “the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” resonate with me.  The story of the Nativity always reminds me of the light that guided the Magi to the place of our salvation.  John helps me see the inclusivity of Jesus who enlightens ‘everyone’.

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Alive and Well in Fukushima

News from Visitation West North Associate

Christmas Blessings

As We Take Time This Christmas

To Celebrate The Birth Of Christ,

Let Our Hearts Be Filled With Joy

– A Joy That Spills Out To Our Neighbours,

So Much In Need,

And To Our Earth,

Which Cries Out For Our Care!

May The Blessings Of The Christ Child

Gift You And Your Families

With Peace And Hope.


Pat Weicker and Nancy Hurren, CND 

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St. Joseph Renewal Centre, Mabou, NS: A Sisters Retreat will be held at St. Joseph Renewal Centre, Mabou, from July 15-22, 2016 with Trevor Scott, S.J. as director. The theme of this retreat is “The Road to Emmaus.” Please check our website at www.stjosephrenewalcentre.com for further information.

Catherine MacEachern, CND 

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News from Visitation Province

A New Global Jubilee Has Begun, The Holy Year Of Mercy....

“God's mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14). ... Let us be renewed by God's mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of God’s love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”

- Pope Francis 

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The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Today’s Gospel is the Visitation passage. This, of course, is the pivotal story that led to the foundation of the Congregation of Notre Dame in imitation of the uncloistered and journeying Mary. In this experience Mary and Elizabeth illustrate the fundamental issue in the life of faith: seeking the will of God in relationships and in our daily encounters.  

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Lighten your footprint and adopt a green lifestyle

Want to lighten your footprint and adopt a green lifestyle? Check out the Queen of Green's do-it-yourself tips and advice, eco-friendly cleaning and cosmetics recipes, and how-to videos that will help you protect nature — from building a bee house to reducing food waste. You'll learn simple ways to make yourself — and the planet — healthier. And you'll save money, too!  (Example: Best not to equate “best before date” with “expiry date.”) 

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Movie: Spotlight

I found this film helps viewers to be reminded – after all these years – of the whole culture of fear, and power, and how good people just don’t speak up and speak out. We choose to not question. We choose to believe what we want to believe. The reporter is chastising the lawyer for his part in secret settlements, and the lawyer is reminding the reporter of the disbelief and ignoring of information supplied.

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Special day of prayer & reflection for local associates

On Saturday, December 5th the Sisters at de Sève Residence hosted a special day of prayer & reflection for the local associates. After receiving a warm welcome of hospitality, our day began with the theme of ‘Behold, Behold, Behold.’

Sister Joan Foliot guided us through the day with two thought-provoking input sessions. The morning session was about us beholding God and the afternoon was on God beholding us. We spent time in reflection and silence followed by an opportunity to share if we so wished. Also our shared mealtime gave us an opportunity to share and listen as we continued to be nourished.

Our day ended as Sr. Joan walked us through identifying the gifts and fruits of the day. Sr. Joan presented each of us with a shekel bearing the words “I Behold God” on one side “God Beholds Me” on the other. It was most evident that everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the day as we all left ‘refreshed and nourished.’ 

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Time for Climate Action: Rally and march in Halifax

“We have moved from a world where everyone said it was someone else’s problem, to one where everyone knows this can only be solved collectively.” (The Guardian-Ed Miliband)

It was a cold, windy day as hundreds of people gathered in downtown Halifax the afternoon of November 29th to demand action to stop climate change. Our deep desires for planet earth were expressed by people of all ages, marching side-by-side with walkers, strollers, and of course, our feet. Our united intentions were creatively expressed in song, creative signs/banners and powerful words from many speakers. As the rally began I was touched deeply by a pre-school youngster with his parents; he tugged at my jacket and excitedly shared “This is my first march!” We marched together and chanted mantras like: “We are unstoppable; another world is possible.” The organizers were “prophets of the new generation” waking us up and reminding us of what we know so well, that we all have a stake in what’s happening with our planet … and that our leadership is needed however and wherever it can be shown in our everyday lives. Are we in Visitation Province unstoppable and making a new world possible? 

Peace work is Climate work

As the U.N. Conference on Climate in Paris wraps up, we see the positive effects of our advocacy (the fruit of our Congregation of Notre Dame Corporate Stance) as it joined in with that of almost a million others. Over the past year we have been blessed with a Visitation Province calendar that has invited us to engage with the theme of Peace and to reflect on ways that we can be better peacemakers. These two paths of peace work and climate action are now converging in Paris and beyond with the continued work on global cooperation around climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been universally acknowledged as a credible source of climate related news. The latest report of the IPCC suggests that "global warming would have devastating impacts of a social and political nature as well, including economic decline, state collapse, civil strife, mass migrations, and sooner or later resource wars..." They suggest that we should consider the events in Syria and Mali as previews of what is likely to come later in this century on a far larger scale. They follow these dire predictions, however, with an assertion that "The best way to avoid future climate-related strife is, of course, to reduce the pace of global warming. Every fraction of a degree less warming achieved in Paris and thereafter will mean that much less blood spilled in future climate-driven resource wars. This is why the Paris climate summit should be viewed as a kind of pre-emptive peace conference..." 

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and humanity, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” - - Pope Francis “Misericordiae Vultus"

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Remembering sister Jeanne Brulé, born on Dec. 23, 1900

It was during the term of the 34th Superior General of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Jeanne Brûlé, named sœur Sainte-Marie-Consolatrice, born December 23, 1900, that the first Congregation of Notre Dame mission in Central America was founded in Honduras in 1962.

On October 13, 1960, the Canadian bishops addressed to all religious communities a joint pastoral letter strongly encouraging apostolic cooperation between Canada and Latin America.

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News from Visitation Province

  • International Human Rights Day Dec. 10, 2015
  • Visitation Blog
  • Congregation of Notre Dame Associates and friends Gathering in Kelowna
  • Sunday, Nov. 30th – Kingston Climate Action Rally
  • We are connected to the work in Paris
  • Fourteen P.E.I. environmental and social justice Climate Action is Everywhere!
  • Kevin Moynihan of Halifax has Canadian Video of Laudato Si with CND presence
  • Spirituality

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News from Visitation Province

Visitation Provincial Assembly “HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE?”

Assembly Presentations Continue

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

Bernadette Fegan, Anna Rowley and I have made 10 presentations this Fall sharing information about the July Visitation Assembly. Sister Nancy Sylvester was the guest speaker on the topic of “Contemplative Prayer and Dialogue and the Visitation Province Directional Statement.”


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Saint Jean Baptiste High School

December 1, 2014: Saint Jean Baptiste High School, located in New York City’s Upper East Side, set out to achieve an ambitious objective.

The all-girl independent Catholic community rooted in the spirit of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, launched 85 Acts of Kindness, a campaign to celebrate its 85th anniversary. As part of a school-wide initiative, student teams divided by homeroom committed to collectively perform 85 Acts of Kindness throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Every time a homeroom team performed an act of kindness, they posted a picture of the activity on Instagram with the hashtag #85KindActs. The posts were then shared on the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and updates were featured on the school’s website

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

Reminder: Money for the Syrian refugees in Europe can be sent to Pat McCarthy with checks made out to School Sisters of Notre Dame. To date we have sent $2140.00 to Europe through the SSNDs for the Syrian refugees crisis. Thank you.

Advent Email Community: As in previous years, the Advent Community of Associates, Sisters and Friends is enjoying receiving weekly reflections and responses from participants. If you would like to join this group, contact Sr. Joan at cndassocaitesusa@msn.com or jmahoney@cnd-m.org.

Reminder: Would you like to join Congregation of Notre Dame sisters and associates for a decade of the Rosary during the Climate Conference in Paris? Each evening, that you wish, at 7:30 pm EST through Friday Evening, December 11, 2015, join the following conference call to pray for the success of the conference: Dial-In Number: 712-432-1212, Access Code: 316 097 026

December Article for The RI Catholic

We all know the story; the details are familiar. Mary is pregnant with God’s Son. Joseph, her husband, is at her side. Political officials have decreed that they must go to Bethlehem to register. Rome, the oppressor, was keeping track of her subjects. Joseph walks while Mary sits astride their donkey for the arduous journey from Galilee. When they arrive, there is no room for them in any dwelling, so they settle for a stable and prepare for the birth of their son.

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