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Associate Newsletter: Visitation Province West/North, June 2015

Winnie Odo and Marjorie Allison-Ross


Please join us in prayer during the week of the Assembly in Toronto

Prayer for Assembly

O God, ever ancient and ever new,
may your Spirit abide deeply in us.
Pour out on us the graces of
deep listening
expansive imagination
extravagant trust
audacious hope
as you call us forward.
Dwell in us as the source of love
as holy mystery
as creator
as presence
so together we can
transform and be transformed
create and be created
renew and be renewed.
We ask this trusting in the promise
that you will make all things new.
(Rhonda Miska, Adapted)

Notes From The Local Folks

Cranbrook, Feast of the Visitation, 2015

On Sunday, May 31st the Cranbrook Associates met at the home of Frank and Evelyn Gray to celebrate the feast of the Visitation. All present renewed their commitment as Congregation of Notre Dame Associates and were pleased to have the opportunity to sign the Corporate Stance.

We were delighted to have Gene and Lou McDonald with us so we could offer our blessing and congratulations to them for their 25 years of Associate relationship.

Gene and Lou have been mentors to so many of us. Through their example and experience they have helped us strengthen our identity as Congregation of Notre Dame Associates. 

Thank you Gene and Lou.


A delightful pot-luck followed and we thank Frank and Evelyn for offering their home.

The group also said goodbye to Bernadette Haley who is moving to Lethbridge. Bernadette was presented with a Prayer Shawl. 

Bernadette was a member of the Formation Team and her contribution to not only the work of the team but also to our general discussions will be greatly missed. Good luck in your new home Bernadette. 

Cache Creek: A Special call for Visitation in face of a disaster!

Theresa Takacs responded to an appeal for help from the Mayor of Cache Creek the day after their disastrous flash flood. Her full account of the day follows:

After our initial orientation meeting with the mayor’s wife who made a Facebook plea for help the night before we set out to personally see if people needed help. She was concerned that some seniors wouldn’t ask because others were worse off. The woman I paired off with and I helped one woman make a pathway to the drain for the muddy water that pooled in her driveway and on her grass. Then we joined another group, including youth, at a home worse hit to shovel and wheel barrel mud out to the road.

After that, as we drove around to give water and snacks to people outside, and to remind them of the meeting with the government that night for those needing financial help, we noticed that the home right across from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine property (IHM Shrine), the very place where we had our annual Congregation of Notre Dame gathering for our province of BC the weekend before with Monica Lambton talking on Climate Change, was totally off its foundation and mud was all through it. Just below the church, which was the path the flood drove through, there is a chasm where a portion of the road and the edge of the IHM Shrine property has disappeared.

At the IHM centre I told Jerry Biollo (who shop vac'd 400 gallons of water from the basement IHM the day before) and Fr. Pat about the meeting and they sent me to parishioners Tony and Aurora, who were evacuated. Although he still hauls wood for his fireplace Tony explained to us that he is 84 and he has shingles now. Insurance will not pay out and his daughter is really worried that if he is not in a place he calls home soon he will become depressed. It is hard enough for seniors to move in the best of conditions and even though they had help from several people when the police gave 15 minutes to get their stuff out of their home, heavier items were left behind and much of what they took is in storage.

On the other side of the Bonaparte Creek and against the back wall, where dirt was still being cleared, a fellow mentioned that two of his neighbours plus himself recently lost a spouse and another neighbour has cancer. Often when there is a new grief, previous losses come to the forefront.

But Fr. Richard Rohr in one of his talks offers words of hope when he states that these disasters can make us more aware of our spiritual connection to one another. In this situation I can do my small part in being present to people impacted by this one, we can all pray, and, equally important, each of us can do our part, in whatever corner of the world we live in, to delay, if not stop all together, climate change.

Update: as of Sunday May 31 most of those evacuated were allowed back into their homes to clean up and see what they can salvage. Volunteers are still greatly needed, and are asked to report to the Resiliency Centre in the Community Hall.

Submitted by Theresa Takacs 

Vancouver Island News 

While in Victoria, Sr. Nancy had the joy of visiting Marlene Taylor in Campbell River, Rob and Maria MacDonald in Sooke and Edna Wright in Victoria. They send their regards to all the associates in our area. 

Campbell River and Marlene Taylor

Being a 'single associate' for two years now has been an interesting experience. It has been an opportunity for me to reflect on how I live Associate Relationship here on Vancouver Island. Being adopted by the Kamloops group of associates has been encouraging and nourishing for me. Receiving the prayer services from their meetings and summaries of their gatherings has helped me feel connected. This year I was able to be a part of the May Gathering in Cache Creek. Meeting people whom I had known only through emails was wonderful. Being part of the prayer rituals, hearing the input, having time to reflect and then to share was a positive experience and helped me to realize I have a wonderful support group of people. Bringing this home is helping me to continue to appreciate being part of Associate Relationship.

Receiving information about prayer requests, and newsletters from the western sisters and associates, from the Central Office and from the Central Region all help me to feel connected. What I do miss is personal contact. So, I plan to try to travel to Kamloops at least once or twice a year for their gatherings as well as next year's May Gathering.

I also miss opportunities to share on a regular basis as I did when I lived in Ontario close to a large group of sisters and associates. So I have been thinking of what could be done. I have been wondering about sharing about books we have read, articles and of course the latest encyclical from Pope Frances. I am not holding my breath for my parish to mention this encyclical much less offer any way to share reflections. So if our western group can somehow connect on this level it would be quite encouraging for me. And by suggesting it, I am thinking of how I could share some of the books I am reading and finding inspiring.

Another topic I would like to put forward is to have associates share how they live out Associate Relationship in their milieu. It would be encouraging and inspiring to read this kind of sharing. I appreciated hearing from the people who shared their experiences after the flooding in Cache Creek which happened the weekend after our time there. So the challenge is there for me to do the things that I am suggesting. 

Congregational Chapter August 2016

Over the next few newsletters we will be including information on some aspect of Congregation of Notre Dame life for your personal reflection.

Congregation of Notre Dame Associates 2015: Who & where we are! Taken from various Chapters, the following statement is Part 2 of the Identity Statement sent out by Central Office for Associate Relationship on June 2, 2015. Again, as we journey together towards General Chapter 2016, we are invited "to read reflectively the Identity Statement ...and to ponder more deeply what echoes in your CND heart as you read this description." 


To follow Jesus in a preferential option for the poor and to live our mission of liberating education in fidelity to the prophetic charism of Marguerite Bourgeoys in today's world, we commit ourselves to live simply and closer to the reality of the impoverished, the excluded and the oppressed.

In solidarity with them,
we commit ourselves to protect our planet
and to participate actively in the transformation of Church and society
for a more just world.
(Mission Orientations, Chapter 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 with additions)

Skill Testing Question: Do you know the geographical location of each Congregation of Notre Dame province? (Answer in next newsletter)



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