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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team 

May 15-16 marked our third all-Zoom meeting. (Pat Ells zoomed in from her “office,” formerly the dining room.) Like many of you, we find it challenging at times and never as satisfying as in-person meetings. But we are getting better at it and are very grateful for the gift of being able to come together face-to-face, though virtually.

A highlight of our meeting was the opportunity to “meet” seven candidates for the Associate relationship by considering their applications. We were deeply moved by their love and service of those most in need and by their commitment to the spiritual journey. For all of them, Visitation spirituality is a way of naming the gifts they have brought with them, and we are grateful to be in mutual relationship with them. With enthusiasm we accepted the recommendation of the Co-Coordinators to welcome Julie, Marilyn, Edna, Marie, Veronica, Judith, and Jan.                                                                                                               

Feast Of The Visitation 

The Associate Co-coordinators have planned a lovely prayer service for the feast that includes the opportunity for Associates to renew their commitment and Sisters to renew their vows. The Co-coordinators will lead the prayer three times on Zoom.

Retreats 

Many venues have cancelled retreats for the foreseeable future, including Villa Notre Dame in Wilton. It seems most of us will have to discover new ways of creating space and time to deepen the life of the Spirit.

Fortunately, in this 400th anniversary year, a group of CND Sisters have prepared wonderful materials for prayer and reflection on the “garden” of our common home. Access at http://margueritebourgeoys400.org/retreat/en/index.php The materials can be used by individuals, of course, but also lend themselves to sharing with others.

In Other News

  • We learned of the creative ways in which Villa Maria, Notre Dame and St. Jean’s are providing distance learning and finding ways to honor their graduates.
  • Five Sisters have volunteered to reach out to some of the clients of Westchester Care-At-Home.
  • We anticipate that the province offices will reopen on June 4th, but our reopening will be very cautious, and most will continue to work from home.

Vocations News – Sr. Ann Marie Strileckis, CND

We just recently celebrated World Day of Vocations on Sunday, May 3rd in which Pope Francis prayed "Touch our hearts, O God and enable us to discover with gratitude God's call in our lives."  I want to share some key findings of the National Religious Vocations Conference about the new members.

Appeal: They are drawn by prayer, spirituality, charism, community life, and mission.

Attributes: They are culturally diverse and embrace intercultural, intergenerational living.

Lifestyles: They are committed to living simply and in solidarity with the poor.

Outlook: They are filled with abundant hope for religious life amid changing demographics.

Most were young, culturally diverse, raised Catholics and educated in Catholic schools, wanting MORE! "I wanted to live a life that was intentional, that was in community, where I would be challenged to be my best self, to give myself in love."

They are hungry for a deep, prayer life. "As I was growing in my prayer life, I realized that I really wanted my whole life to be that intimate communion with God, to be that life of prayer. And the more that desire grew, the more I saw the way it's lived out in religious life."

Our graduates and people we associate with regularly are hungry for a deeper spirituality and to share what we have. Invite them into your life, please... Now! During the pandemic, it has to be virtual, but please make the connections. Later, when they are finding the deepening of the spirituality and intimacy with Christ, you can invite them to join us as CNDs! Please invite them on all levels and means of contact now.

In light of Marguerite's 400th, let us continually thank God for all the graces and insights and urgings of the Spirit we have experienced in our own calling as we pray and work and invite those in our surroundings called to love and serve all God's family.  Peace and Love, Ann Marie

 

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