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Development and Peace Meeting at St Marguerite Parish, Sydney

Tara Hurford, animator for Development & Peace

On Saturday January 24th Gerald and I attended a Development & Peace (D&P) Workshop hosted by Fr. Bill Burke, Pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Sydney NS. We felt blessed to meet the new animator for D&P, Tara Hurford, who helped open our eyes to some of the marginalization that exists in the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria. Although small in number, we were big in spirit from parts of Antigonish County to Lingan, Cape Breton, and areas in between. The people of Tacloban in the Philippines have suffered severely from Typhoon Haiyan where most now live in tents that grow stifling under the hot sun where they face forced displacement by the government. D&P has partnered with Urban Poor Associates (UPA) where the women have formed the Yolanda Survivors Women’s Association and are producing gardens where they are able to grow stronger and can see that by working together they can create a better future. Maria of Brazil is helping her people rise above land owners who promise work on large plantations only to find themselves forced to work long hours for scant wages. Through the work of D&P who have partnered with Pastoral Land Commission, Brazilians have reached out to bring awareness of workers’ rights. Maria felt that their eyes have been opened in fact they realize that their employers will only respect them when he knows that they are aware of their rights. Samuel of Nigeria, a poultry farmer was given an opportunity to participate in several training sessions through D & P and is now versed in bookkeeping, veterinary skills and management; in addition, he was able to secure a loan that helped him diversify his activities. His stock of 300 birds, now numbers 700. We were very encouraged by the awareness of the workshop and feel that this would be something our Foundress would be passionate about and would want us to be involved in!

News from Visitation Province


All creation shouts for joy as we celebrate the occasion of your Jubilee! We wish you many blessings and thank God for your presence among us. May you be blessed for your generous choices and in turn be a blessing for those whose lives you touch.

80 years professed

Mary MacLeod, CND

Lillian Gillis, CND

Margaret MacKillop, CND

Catherine MacPhee, CND

75 years professed

Anastasia Murphy, CND

Mary Edna Levangie, CND

70 years professed

Kathleen Enos, CND (in memoriam)

Catherine Vickers, CND

Mary Campbell, CND

Joan O’Connor, CND

Kathleen Chisholm, CND

Anastasia (Anne) Coffey, CND

Teresa LeFort, CND

60 years professed

Geraldine Cordeau, CND

Helen Carroll, CND

Angela McCaw, CND

Anne H. MacDonald, CND

Anne Fallon, CND

Mary Gillis, CND

Ann Marie McDougall, CND

Marilyn vonZuben, CND

Marie Hagen, CND

Lucille Corrigan, CND

Esther Clarkin, CND

50 years professed

Margaret Paterson, CND

Marie-Marcelle Desmarais, CND

Marijke Gerretsen, CND

Eileen Power, CND

Lorraine Costello, CND

Donna Rose, CND

25 years professed

Katherine Coltart, CND


Team Building Days

Sisters Ann, Catherine, Connie, Donna, and Nina gathered at the Bethany Spirituality Center, in Antigonish, NS, March 1-4, 2015 with Sister Bríd Long, a Sister of St. Louis as our facilitator. Our time together was both reflective and engaging as we experienced both team building and long-range planning. We hope that the on-going gift of these times together will nourish our team ministry.

2016 General Chapter

The 2016 General Chapter will take place August 11-29 in Cornwall, Ontario at the NAV Center. The theme of the Chapter is: Rooted in Jesus Christ, Cultivate Love and Compassion. The Chapter Preparatory Commission is already fully engaged and will begin to involve the whole community in a pre-chapter reflective process. Sisters Becky McKenna and Eileen Power are the two members of this Commission from Visitation Province. We are grateful for their acceptance of this task on our behalf. Thank you Becky and Eileen!

Corporate Stance

Earlier this month, Sr. Josephine Badali wrote to all sisters and associates concerning climate change and the urgent need for us to take concrete action “against the ongoing threat to our Planet.”

Each province/region and the Central Office of Associate Relationship are now organizing for how the collection of signatures will take place. The process will integrate education, reflection and action. Resources have been developed from the Social Justice Network office and each province and region is to adapt them for their own context.

The work has begun and momentum is building. Each province and region is developing its own schedule. Associates are also being coordinated through the Central Office.

In unity and solidarity, sisters and associates of Visitation Province will join this collective action by being invited to sign the Congregation’s declaration and committing ourselves to personal and communal transformation. More information will follow in the near future.


Special Climate Action Project

Following the example of the ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge,' we challenge the sisters and associates to become involved in Climate Action by taking part in the ‘Climate Action Challenge’ also known as the ‘Daisy Challenge.’

The Daisy Challenge will continue until Pentecost.

The Visitation Province Administration Team challenges sisters and associates to the ‘Daisy Challenge.’ The effects of Climate Change have certainly been a reality for those of us living in the Halifax area. The snow banks even attempted to take over our office parking lot. The hills are alive with snow!

As a team we accept the challenge to educate ourselves on the effect that Climate Change plays on our winters. For every 2.5 cm of our highest bank of snow in our parking lot, each member of the team has pledged one dollar to Feed Nova Scotia. Our snow bank measured 213 cm!

Spirituality Committee

The Spirituality Committee has given birth to a Draft Report called “Awakening Spirituality – A New Moment.” This report is not for publication yet. It is a concrete written expression of the committee’s reflective gathering at Seton Spirituality Center in November 2014, woven together with the feedback we received from a sampling of sisters in the Province. The committee, in its March conference call continued to explore and shape its direction and mission for the future.

The Committee reflected on how Spirituality seems to be “interconnected” with so many developments, projects, committees already alive and at work in the entire province. For example: Assembly preparations, Governance conversations, April Congregation Leadership Team Visit, Intercultural awareness, Year of Consecrated Life, Climate Change Corporate Stance, Vocation Formation Committee’s Creativity, Finance decisions, just to name a few! This discovery gave us joy. It is no surprise that we are all living our spirituality in our day-to-day choices and commitments.

IDEAS need to move to ACTION and so our committee, together with your help, wishes to be:

  • Gathering more feedback from the province
  • Sending a “reflection” to the province in May
  • Planning a Workshop/Retreat on Revisiting Visitation in the coming year
  • Inviting sisters in the 65-75+++ age group, who are interested, to plan and create a gathering to share their lived spirituality and more…
  • Encouraging our contemplative practice and dialogue, personally and communally, flowing out of the Assembly experience
  • Connecting in a mutual way with other committees

GIFT Box 2015

Efforts are being made to bring GIFT Box to the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games being held this coming July in Toronto. GIFT Box was first introduced at the London Olympics in 2012 as a collaborative effort of the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UN.GIFT) and STOP THE TRAFFIK, a global organization working to end trafficking. GIFT Box is a walk-in piece of public art that draws people in with the false promise traffickers use to entice their victims. Once inside, visitors learn about the horrible realities of human trafficking and ways to take action against it.

The Administration Team of Visitation Province Inc. recently made a substantial financial contribution to this worthwhile project that strives to uphold the inherent dignity and freedom of every person. We encourage our Sisters and Associates to be on the lookout for the GIFT Box if you are in Toronto this coming summer.

Jesus Risen is gift…

of Peace…

of Hope …

of Love …

This Easter may we rejoice in these gifts and

always feel the presence of the Risen Christ

as we continue to live the Gospel message. 

Associate Assembly April 17-19 2015

Sister Patricia Simpson is not able to be with us for the Saturday, April 18 keynote presentation. A work in progress, the following two shorter presentations will be given that morning.

Origins of the Associate Relationship: Marguerite Bourgeoys' Experience and Vision – Sisters Mary Ann Rossi and Joan Mahoney

Fire in the 'Whole': Living an Explosive, Expanding Love – Sister Barbara Mullen, CSJ, a reflection on Charism in Associate Relationship

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