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From the Formation Corner

Last Fall we engaged in a book club conversation on Maria Cimperman’s book, “Religious Life for our World: Creating Communities of Hope.” The idea to have these conversations got started from our Provincial Chapter last June. One of the desires of the delegates was to engage more intentionally in conversations of the heart. At that point, I thought it would be a great idea to have a conversation around religious life and this book came to mind. A total of 24 sisters signed up to participate. What a great experience it was to share with one another on the book. It is my hope to offer another opportunity for conversation around religious life and our future. We are definitely at a crossroad and this moment in religious life has generated a lot of interest and energy around how congregations can adapt to what is been asked of us today as we respond to the cries of the world and cries of the earth.

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Kindness

"Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile,
In the warmth of your greeting--Don't only give your care,
but give your heart as well"

 

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The Story of Our Marguerite Feast in Montreal

In late November, COVID numbers were pretty stable in Montreal. Plans were underway at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel to have two feast day celebrations – one in English, the other in French. We seized on this opportunity and were interfacing with the chapel team to include our Associate Relationship 40th anniversary celebrations and the welcoming of our new associates. What venue would be more fitting than Marguerite Bourgeoys’s Chapel, right?

The plan was set (a schola was recruited, readers, intercessions written, etc.). Just before Christmas, Omicron arrived, and daily cases went from about 600 to 16,000 overwhelming testing capacity. The government declared a shutdown, including churches, as of New Year’s Eve. So, we decided to take the whole celebration online. The result that you might have witnessed on January 15 on Zoom exceeded our wildest expectations. Not only was it dignified, prayerful, and intimate, it also allowed us to add many leaves to the eucharistic table, to bring so many of you who would most certainly not have been present had it been in-person. For that we are wonderfully grateful.

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NB Associates celebrated the Feast of St. Marguerite

Woodstock, NB Associates celebrated the Feast of St. Marguerite on the feast day by gathering at St. Gertrude’s Parish Centre, following COVID protocols. 40th Anniversary activities, CND Orientation for 2021- 2026 and the process for the Future of Associate Relationship were discussed. We prepared a Bulletin insert and created an exhibit to inform parishioners about Marguerite, CND and Associate Relationship.

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New Social Justice Co-Coordinator for Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Region

I am pleased to announce the nomination of Sister Ligia Elizabeth Molina Sevilla as Social Justice Co-Coordinator in her region. Together with Sister Silvia Leticia Corea Sagastume, she will coordinate the social justice activities of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Region. Ligia, we welcome you to the network and are delighted to be able to work with a dispenser of justice of your calibre

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News from Visitation Province

Celebrating St. Marguerite at the Mother House

The pandemic continues to affect us all … Like elsewhere, we were not able to celebrate the Eucharist on Marguerite’s Feast. Instead, we gathered for evening prayer in the Oratory around the heart of Marguerite. It was a very prayerful and meaningful experience as we listened to and sang hymns in various languages all composed by our Congregation de Notre-Dame sisters. It is a custom at the Mother House that every 12th day of the month the sisters gather in the Oratory for their evening prayer having the intention of praying for the Congregation around the world. After prayer, a delicious dinner was enjoyed by all in the dining room suitably decorated for the occasion. The sisters at the Mother House have welcomed a sister from Haiti to live with them while she is studying in Montreal. Marijke Gerretsen, CND

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Go I Will Not Abandon You

I have only crossed the ocean a few times.
However, as I look across this bridge, I recall the number of bridges I have crossed
I take a moment to think of a woman who crossed the ocean seven times
Why? "To tell the world that they are loved."
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys heard the words "Go, I will not abandon you"
How often have I crossed over to bridge the gaps between myself
and others?

 

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Associates News Visitation East

Truro News

A quick note on our meeting here yesterday… the Truro associates met on December 3rd, five associates were in attendance. We opened with a prayer-song of Welcome… Anna Rowley shared on the 40th anniversary of Associate Relationship and Social Justice Action. We also talked about our Community Sharing Project, which we will begin in 2022. This sounds exciting, and very worthwhile. Then, we enjoyed a shared Christmas meal celebration, relaxed, and hugged each other, and extended a wonderful Spiritual and a Happy Christmas time, all around.

Sincerely, Truro associate, Joan Fraser

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The Star In My Heart

Stars are celestial bodies, that produce light and heat.
The stars are not fixed but are constantly moving.

As I look at the night sky I realize the stars are
light years away.
I recall a Sioux Indian saying:
"The longest journey you will  make in
your life is from your head to your heart"
What does this saying mean to me?
 

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News from Visitation Province

Welcome to Flight 2022

Good morning and welcome to Flight 2022!

We are prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Positive Attitude and Gratitude are secured and locked in the upright position.

All self-destruct devices; pity, anger, selfishness and resentment should be turned off at this time.

All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away.

Should you lose your Positive Attitude under pressure during this flight, Reach up and pull down a prayer.

Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith.

Once your Faith is activated, you can assist other passengers who are of little faith. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight.

God, our captain has cleared us for take-off.

Destination - GREATNESS!

Wishing you a New Year filled with new HOPE, new JOY and new BEGINNINGS!

Stay Blessed!

And welcome in 2022.

contributed by Charlotte Lockhart, CND

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Peace

Since 1967, the Catholic Church has celebrated the World Day of Peace on January 1st, appropriately the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. Mary gave birth to the Prince of Peace, the God of infinite love and the man who taught love of enemies as a path to peace.

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Social Justice Progress Report Cameroon

The sisters of the Meyomessala community are in the process of forming a group called Friends of the Environment. Through this group, the sisters hope to find collaborators with whom they can raise awareness and protect the environment in the Meyomessa area. Three meetings have already been held during which some basic principles of environmental protection and the functioning of the small group were discussed. In January, they plan on obtaining working tools such as dustbins, gloves, squeegees, buckets and many others.

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province

New York Associate Go to the Peripheries

I wish to share with all of you word of a recent visitation that aligns with our Congregation de Notre-Dame mission orientation to embrace the peripheries, and particularly the movement and outreach toward our southern border in solidarity with the peoples of Central America.  On December 1, I traveled to La Alianza, The Covenant House shelter for trafficked girls in Guatemala City. I accompanied Peggy Healy, the former Senior Vice President for Latin America at Covenant House International, who had the new Health Care Center at La Alianza dedicated to her for her years of tireless dedication and leadership.

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There Is A Time For Everything

The clock stands on the mantle.  I watch the pendulum swinging back and forth
as the minutes pass. That minute is gone.  I will never be able to retrieve it.
"Time ages things, time deepens things, time ripen things...  It brings everything to fulfillment.
I become more mature, more accepting, more serene.  I have survived so much already,

what can possibly destroy my equanimity now"? (Joan Chittister)
How do I respond to Sr. Joan's question?
 

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Gift Given And Gift Received

I think of how many gifts I wrapped and unwrapped.
How did I choose the gift and how did I wrap it?
From whom did I receive gifts?
God sent us a gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes
and laying in a manger.
 

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2022

Dear Sisters, Dear Associates,

As this New Year begins, walking in the footsteps of Mary and Marguerite, we trust that "nothing is impossible with God." Let us place the needs of our world into  God's hands. I pray that you are graced with strength and courage to be a presence of love and reconciliation. May fierce hope and gentle love be the gifts you offer to others. May you walk lightly on the earth and hold all that is fragile in tenderness. Blessings and peace this New Year!

Sister Ona B. Bessette

Many years ago, some indigenous friends of mine in Guatemala thought me a special greeting that I never forgot. When they greet someone, they ask, “How is your heart?” So, together with this greeting, I convey to you my best wishes for this New Year: “That our hearts beat to the rhythm of the peripheries, of the encounter and of listening to the earth, our Mother. May we, rooted in Jesus, be fertile land and resilient presence. Like Mary and Marguerite, may we be women and men of Magnificat, hope, and commitment to all life, Together for the Life of the World, for justice, peace, and reconciliation. Happy New Year!

Sister Ercilia Janeth Ferrera Erazo

At the beginning of this New Year, I bless you and wish for my blessing to extend to all you hold dear. Today, our human experience is marked by uncertainty, change and vulnerability. May the year 2022 see, in the Congregation, the world and among people, an increase in hospitality and kindness, love and compassion, sharing and respect, fairness and peace. May Marguerite Bourgeoys accompany each of our steps for the life of the world. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sister MBOUGOUM Sophie Christine

Happy New Year to you all. I pray that the love of a compassionate God will embrace each and every one of us in the world. In spite of the harsh realities of natural disasters, strife, stress in society, and COVID-19, we find beautiful examples of human devotion. As we join hands together, our world will be filled with love, compassion, and hope. May we follow in the footsteps of Mary and Marguerite, and may God bless you and give you peace in 2022.

Sister Yoko Ikeda

May God, the source of all blessings, grace us and the world with the gift of deep inner Peace, Joy and Happiness during the coming year. May Mary and Marguerite inspire us as we reach out to others in our daily Visitations, especially among the poor and marginalized. May each of us, sisters and associates around the CND world, hold on with fierce hope and courage to the vision and call of "Together for the Life of the World" in our daily life and prayer. Blessed, Happy New Year!

Sister Marijke Gerretsen

 

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Christmas

"There was no room for them". Luke 2:7


Jesus was born on the margins.

Can we, by welcoming him at Christmas, be a caring presence

for the excluded and marginalised around us?

 

 

(Creative : Victoire Roy, CND)

 

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News from Visitation Province

“In this Advent season—this season of awaiting and pondering the coming of God in Christ—let us light a candle for Mary. And let us, in our own hearts, dare to believe the impossible by surrendering ourselves to God, courageously cooperating with God’s creative, pregnant power—in us, for us, and through us. If we do, then we, like Mary, will become pregnant with holy aliveness…

Activate: Start each day this week putting Mary’s prayer of commitment and surrender, “Let it be to me according to your will,” into your own words. Let this be a week of presenting your life to God so that “holy aliveness” grows in you.” (Brian D. McLaren)

Joan Lewis, CND with the Spirituality Committee

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4th Sunday of Advent

When Marguerite left Troyes, France in 1653 she took very little with her, in fact, all she carried was held in the “Baluchon” that rested on a stick on her shoulder. These were material items but in her heart she carried the promise and trust made to her on Rosary Sunday “go, I will never abandon you.” These words were offered to her by the Mother of Jesus, our Heavenly mother Mary – Marguerite trusted in this truth.

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2022 marks the 90th Anniversary of the Congregation de Notre-Dame’s Arrival in Japan

Invitation to the Mission to Japan

How did the Congregation of Notre Dame proceed with its foreign missions and why was Japan the place of choice?

The first invitation to mission to Japan was given by Fr. E. A. Langlais, President of the Dominican Province of Canada. In September of 1930, he personally visited Montreal to invite the sisters of the Congregation Notre Dame to collaborate in the mission of the fledgling Dominican Order. In September 1930, he personally visited Montreal and asked for the dispatch of the sisters of the Congregation as collaborators in the mission of the fledgling Dominican Order. This request was accepted, and Fr. René Labelle, Superior General of the Congregation of Saint-Sulpice, who was asked for his opinion, expressed his heartfelt support.

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