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Visitation Provincial Assembly

Marjorie Allison-Ross, associate

Visitation Provincial Assembly - Toronto, July 6-10, 2015


A beautiful bouquet of daisies from Winnie Odo graced the meeting room when the Assembly opened on Monday evening. Eighty sisters and nine associates attended the Assembly along with Congregational Leader, Sister Josephine Badali. The three associates who attended from Visitation East were Bernadette Fegan from Halifax, and the Co-Coordinators, Anna Rowley and Marjorie Allison-Ross. Sister Nancy Sylvester (Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) was the facilitator and guest speaker on the topic of Contemplation and Contemplative Prayer. She invited us into a reflection process on the Province Direction Statement:

The desire to deepen our understanding of Right Relationship has brought us to a new moment. Contemplating the Sacred Community of which we are a part, we recognize the interconnected-ness of all God’s creation. This new consciousness evokes in us a deep compassion for the brokenness within this Sacred Community and compels us to act justly on behalf of the most vulnerable. Personally and communally, we commit ourselves to fidelity within the circle of these relationships. (Visitation Province Chapter, 2013)

We quietly reflected on the following questions and then shared our responses with someone at out table. What excites you as you live out your Chapter Direction? What challenges you? What concerns you?

Each day our prayer consisted of 20 minutes of Contemplation, Assembly Prayer and song (“How Then Shall We Live” by Linnea Good; “If Not Now” by Carrie Newcomer).

On the second day, Sister Nancy presented information about Emerging Consciousness; Deepening Contemplation; Listening and Speaking from a Contemplative Heart; Practicing Contemplative Prayer. When we visit the associate groups, we’ll be sharing more information on these themes. That evening, there was a Marketplace where various committees and groups set up exhibits to share information about their work. On our third day, we were asked to write an Invitation to deepen the personal and communal commitment to the Direction Statement. We then presented them to our table and from there, we developed one Invitation from the Table to go forward to the next day’s Assembly.

On the fourth day, the Assembly Committee compiled the 12 table Invitations into the following 4 themes to deepen the Visitation Directional Statement:

  • In our ongoing education and formation
  • Through our commitment to contemplative practice
  • To the larger world through our various means of communication
  • By joining our energy with the global movements of climate action

Also on the fourth day, the election of the sister delegates who will attend the General Chapter in August 2016 took place. Ten sisters and four alternates who attended the Assembly were elected by the sisters at the Assembly.

Thursday evening, we enjoyed a delicious Banquet. The 3 golden jubilarians were honoured. There were also 5 sisters who were celebrating their 60th anniversary of profession.

On Friday morning, we were advised that we would be receiving a compilation of the 4 major themes to deepen the Directional Statement. Mass was celebrated at the close of the Assembly. The Sister delegates for the 2016 Chapter were acknowledged by the Assembly.

You can find Sister Nancy Sylvester’s work on her website at


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