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WOMAN – CND

To become a woman

like the WOMAN

who brought God forth.

To stand strong

like the WOMAN

who stood at Calvary.

To be gentle, tender, compassionate

like the WOMAN

at Cana.

To be IN Church

like the WOMAN

in the upper room

after the resurrection.

To be WOMAN . . .

Letting her live again

through me, in me.

That is my identity.

That is who I am. 

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The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is a delightful musical with fabulous sets, amazing choreography and lively songs. The story is based on the character PT Barnum and inspired by his creation of the Barnum and Bailey circus. In this film, we see a variety of themes: family life, human frailty, relationships, compassion, forgiveness, the pain of being different and the joys of belonging. Hugh Jackman is so talented and here supported by a huge cast. Loved it! 

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Movie Recommendations: All Saints

All Saints is a recent well-reviewed faith-based movie. It is based on the true story of the experience of a newly ordained Episcopalian priest and his family at his first parish in Tennessee. His as signment is to close the church because of dwindling attendance and finances. A group of Burmese refugees who have arrived join the parish and efforts are made with their farming experience to use the surrounding land to increase income so the church won't have to close. It's available on ppv etc. 

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Timely Reflection from the research of Sister Patricia Simpson, CND

Timely Reflection from the research of Sister Patricia Simpson, CND recorded in Marguerite Bourgeoys and Montreal: 1640-1665. (p.4-5)

Like several of the other early leaders in Montreal, Marguerite Bourgeoys came from a region of France where women had played important public roles since at least the Middle Ages. In becoming part of the Montreal endeavour, she participated in an undertaking in which women played key roles, both behind the scenes in France and in the leadership of the early colony. The evidence of the time indicates that the relationship between these women and the men who were their partners was cooperative rather than confrontational. But Marguerite Bourgeoys was not just concerned with the prominent persons of Montreal, the men and women whose names history has recorded. She was convinced of the importance of the ordinary women of the colony: in their hands - the hands of those who were to be its wives and mothers – lay the future of Canada. Their education was of paramount importance to her. Marguerite’s words, as well as the lifework she undertook, reflect her belief that people, and therefore society, can be changed if only they can be enabled “to understand,” an object of all true education. 

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Happy Feast Day!

For Saint Marguerite: On January 7 at Serenity Renewal for Families, Louise Dunn, CND, and Wendy Brown, Associate, facilitated a prayerful and reflective afternoon. Those of us gathered pondered the prayer service readings and shared what struck us in small and large groups. We continued our sharing with a good meal and friendly conversation. 

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A party for "Maggie Boo"

On January 12 we celebrate the Feast day of saint Marguerite Bourgeoys... aka "Maggie Boo"!

Watch the video here.

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News from our Associates in Eastern Canada

New Year’s Message

Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross

I found this message on Facebook on January 5. The person who posted it was wishing her friends the blessings of Epiphany. When I read it, I thought of the Congregation de Notre-Dame Orientations and how we can live out interculturality, go to the peripheries, and honour and respect our common home. The message in the quote is really describing for us what Marguerite Bourgeoys did during her lifetime. May we reflect on this message and find ways to continue Marguerite’s work in 2018.

“When the carols have been stilled,

When the star–topped tree is taken down,

When family and friends are gone home,

When we are back to our schedules,

THE WORK OF CHRISTMAS BEGINS

To welcome the refugee,

To heal a broken planet,

To feed the hungry,

To build bridges of trust, not walls of fear,

To share our gifts,

To seek justice and peace for all people,

To bring Christ’s light to the world.”

- Michael Dougherty 

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees - Bilingual Mass for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

For more information, contact the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.

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The Challenge to Imagine a New Way of Life

In the past week, the first week of 2018, two different sources gave us words of wisdom that can challenge all of us to the core of our moral sensibility. The two sources are separated by eighty years: Pope Francis and a three year old boy.

On January 1st, Pope Francis said: “Let us nurture the seeds of peace as they grow and let us transform our cities into workshops of peace.” For so many of us, the measure of progress in our cities is a lower unemployment rate, higher school test scores, fewer high school drop-outs, a decrease in violent crimes, fewer traffic fatalities, safety in public places, adequate public transportation. Each of these measures is a good goal and a real achievement when reached. But Pope Francis is imagining far greater accomplishments. He is encouraging us to make our cities “workshops of peace.” Where would we begin? Schools? Churches? Police Departments? Public Institutions? Families? Housing? 

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Pre-Christmas Celebration at Holy Redeemer Convent

On December 15, 2017, Sisters from Parkland Cape Breton, CND Health Care Centre and those living in the city, joined the Sisters at Holy Redeemer Convent for a pre-Christmas Celebration. They were welcomed at the door and ushered into the community room for a meet and greet. This was followed by a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The best was yet to come, Colleen’s decadent plum pudding and heavenly sauce for dessert! Before leaving the dining-room, there was a spontaneous chorus of “Here Comes Santa Clause” as each one received a small gift bag. In closing the celebration, all gathered in the chapel for a beautiful Advent Prayer Service. To the delight of all present, the hymns were accompanied by Sister Elaine Hawrylak on the organ.

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Feast Day of Marguerite Bourgeoys January 12, 2018

*Before beginning, place a cloth on the prayer table.  Items will be added as we pray.

Introduction

Leader:  Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal. (Place a picture or statue of Marguerite on the prayer table)  In 1653, Marguerite Bourgeoys, a native of Troyes, France, came to a tiny and beleaguered Ville-Marie, (now Montreal, Canada) still undergoing its birth pangs.  In 1659, when Marguerite's first companions joined her on a return voyage, her Congregation of Sisters began to educate and guide the children and women in New France. Marguerite, an Extern (type of Associate) with the Congregation of Notre Dame Sisters in France taught poor children and brought the spirit of that movement to the women in New France

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Peace in the New Year

The beginning of a new year is often a time for renewed prayers for peace. We will need them more than ever in 2018, but as we turn the page from 2017, I invite you to rejoice in all of the peacemaking that we have been part of. The Campaign to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and we have a CND connection to that. Take a look at this article – Sisters from Marguerite Bourgeoys Province are also founding, and continuing, members of Antennes de paix.

https://www.devp.org/en/articles/human-rights-day-lets-meet-canadian-woman-peacebuilder

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Sister Catherine MacDonald, CND, Receives CWL of Canada Maple Leaf Service Award

Sister Catherine is shown receiving her Catholic Women’s League (CWL) of Canada Maple Leaf Service award from: Left: Doreen MacDonnell; Barbara Burke; and President of the CWL Mary Myers. 

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Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7.1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 / Romans 

HOW THEN SHALL WE LIVE TODAY? (Orientation, 2016-2021)

How then shall we live this week?  Let us use our Orientation and Mission Vision Statements as our lens. These statements so beautifully reflect the essence of the Beatitudes and our contemplative stance to live with deeper awareness and intentionality. 

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Interfaith pot-luck supper

One of "Canada 150" celebrations held at Kingston's City Hall, was an interfaith pot-luck supper. It was a celebration of hospitality, growing understanding and spiritual sharing of the many faith groups in the city, including the indigenous people and a choir from Providence Mother House. A delicious moose stew was served by the ladies from Tyendanaga and a plethora of desserts and salads were provided by the attendees. After the sharing of food, each group shared a short presentation on their specific beliefs, followed by a prayer or song for peace.  A group from the Providence Mother House choir, to which Eleanor Monahan, CND, and Emily Doherty, CND, belong, presented two selections; Dona Nobis Pacem and the Celtic Alleluia. The evening ended with everyone looking forward to a further meeting in two weeks.

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Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61.1-2a, 10-11 / 1 Thessalonians 5.16-24 / John 1.6-8, 19-28 

Blessed are those who are flexible, for they don’t get bent out of shape.

And my, oh my, this is a season where so many times we can get bent out of shape.

As Catholics we have heard many times that this is a season of preparation for the comings of Jesus.

First, the coming of Jesus. In Isaiah we see the phrase: “wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels” it might make us think of something much more splendid than being born in a stable surrounded by shepherds and sheep. This was not how many thought the Savior would announce himself to the world. Yet, as Catholics, following the life of Jesus we are called to be living Christmas; to live a life of simplicity, a life of generosity, a life of service and a life of welcome and hospitality to others (Father Kevin Obrien). We are called to welcome Jesus, and to encounter His love for us. Since Jesus became man, became one of us, we can be assured that we are loved in all our humanity, in all of us there is the Light of Christ. 

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Marguerite Bourgeoys Relic

In early November, we received a package from the Office of Worship of the Diocese of Providence. A First Class relic of Marguerite was included with a note indicating it had been given to Father Frederick Halloran. Father Frederick’s nephew Monsignor John Halloran had saved it when going through his uncle’s things after his death. Neither Father Jeremy of the Diocese nor Monsignor John were aware of how the relic came to Father Frederick. If anyone knows anything about the history of the relic and/or knew Father Frederick, please let us know at the Province Office. I have assured Monsignor John that his uncle will continue to be remembered in our prayers. 

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Peace & Justice News

I thought I would approach my ministry in a different way this year. So, I am in the midst of setting up an “evolutionary” Social Justice Committee. Currently, Sisters Bea Baker, Marilyn Medinger and Anne Seeley are working with me. I am seeking Associates who have a passion for justice and might have skills in technology to join the committee.

Description Of Province Plan Related To Our Orientation:

Leadership Team’s Goal #1: We will engage the CND family of Blessed Sacrament Province in the implementation of the General Chapter 2016-2021 orientation.

Jesus Christ calls us to humanize all our relationships. How then shall we live?

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Associate News

During this holiday season, many Associate Communities have been coming together to bring glad tidings to those in need and to our Senior Sisters.

The Congregation de Notre-Dame Associates and friends of Rhode Island held our annual Advent Retreat on December 3rd at the home of Kristen. The warmth of her home facilitated the warmth of our coming together to prayerfully share our personal Advent symbols and stories. In keeping with the spirit of "going to the peripheries", we adopted a homeless family from Holy Family Home for Mothers and Children run by a local parish in Providence, fulfilled their Christmas "wish lists", wrapped all the presents and readied them for Santa's sleigh. We also enjoyed all of the home made delicacies prepared by everyone for the occasion.

Judy Laffey, Associate

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News From Congregation De Notre-Dame In Wilton

On Thanksgiving Day, 26 Sisters of the Congregation de Notre-Dame, including six from Lourdes gathered for the holiday celebration. Our “traditional” getting together had some new elements. The new venue allowed us to sit closer together in smaller groups, provided ready-to-go table settings, and most importantly allowed easy access for the Lourdes healthcare centre Sisters. In other years, we had to transport them by car! The traditional turkey and all the trimmings were cooked by our local Stop and Shop and were quite delicious! As someone from Lourdes said: It is the getting together that matters!!

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