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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

Visitation Encounter!

On May 31st, the Feast of Visitation and Feast of Pentecost, Associates and Sisters of Blessed Sacrament and Visitation Provinces came together on Zoom to celebrate this special Feast Day during the 400th Anniversary year of St Marguerite Bourgeoys’s birth.

400th Anniversary Retreat

Woodstock, NB Hosted a “Silent No More” March

Mabou Associate Celebrates Marguerite’s 400th Anniversary

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Letter from a niece to her CND aunt…

In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the worldwide protest that followed, a CND Sister reached out to her niece, a mother of grown biracial children. She shares the response from her niece – a powerful testimony that will nourish our reflection and prayer. She writes:

So I’ve given your request a lot of thought because I don’t want to come off as a crazy person. But this is a subject that I feel very passionate about and it boils my blood. 

I can’t speak on how it feels to be a black person, but I can speak on being the parent of a black man (3 of them, as you know). I’ve experienced racism on a different level, than they have.

I’ve had to witness them be targeted by other people, police, and yes even at their jobs. And it hurts.

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News from Visitation Province!

FACQs ~ June 12, 2020

  • KINGSTON UPDATE

In 2012 our CND sisters in Kingston moved to Providence Motherhouse and other residences. At last, 8 years later, an affordable housing project has finally begun! 

  • WHAT SHALL WE GROW?
  • CANADIAN ENVIRONMENT WEEK 2020
  • Activity for this week
  • ​MARCH FOR BREAD AND ROSES
  • BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT ANDREWS OF CHARLOTTETOWN

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50 Years of Presence in Cameroon

DID YOU KNOW?

This year, as the Congregation de Notre-Dame celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of Marguerite Bourgeoys, the Congregation in Cameroon is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

On September 1, 1970 the missionary adventure in Cameroon began. Six valiant daughters of Marguerite Bourgeoys arrived in Makak...

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News from Visitation Province

Happy birthday!

Sisters Monica McKenna and Violet Belair were visiting the Mother House when the Covid-19 restrictions around travel came into effect. Consequently, their visit was extended ... for a few months! May 31st was not only the Feast of the Visitation and Pentecost, but it was also Sister Violet's 90th birthday...

 

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United Against Racism

Racism and discrimination in any form cannot be tolerated. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on society, we cannot forget that a more insidious evil has been eating away at us for too long.  Racism and all forms of exclusion cause irreparable harm to all of humanity.  Racism feeds on fear and ignorance, it divides instead of unites, it isolates when, in order to survive, humans need one another.

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Believe in peace and justice for all.

This article was first published in the Rhode Island Catholic

The priest was a former business man who had owned and operated a construction company with his brother. During the unrest following the murder of George Floyd last week, work was being done on the large inner city church of which the priest was pastor. His brother had to bring in a crane with a lift for the work. Since the equipment was already on site, both brothers, with hard hats and strapped in for safety, went up ninety feet to the top of the church. From that viewpoint they were immediately in front of the statue of Mary, to whom the church is dedicated. Their view of the city was all-encompassing. They began praying the rosary for the city suffering from the pandemic of the coronavirus in bodies and the pandemic of racism in souls. They filmed it life stream on Facebook. 2400 others joined them.  At the end of the Rosary, the priest blessed the city with Holy Water praying for peace and justice for all.

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News from Visitation Province

FACQs ~ May 29, 2020

  • UNPACKING THE YOUTH SYNOD AND CHRISTUS VIVIT 

Recently, the Canadian National Association of Vocation and Formation Directors (NAVFD) collaborated with the Toronto Archdiocese Vocation Directors Association (TAVDA) to present a webinar.

  • Gardening in Small Spaces was the title of a ZOOM presentation offered by Third Age Centre, St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Corinne Hersey, STU prof, was the presenter.
  • Under 75 Group 

In response to the recommendation of our 2019 Assembly to consider using technology to enhance communication, Sr. Becky invited sisters “under 75” to participate in a “zoom” gathering.

  •  ​Change 

In the past few months, through enforced change, we may have personally experienced isolation, social distancing, face covering directives, and a loss of some of the freedoms we took for granted. Change has been all around us, for individuals, groups, families, businesses, etc.

  • COVID BLESSINGS

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The Long Women’s March... Marked by Significant Milestones

The year 2020, chimed in the 400th anniversary of the birth of the woman known as the “Mother of the Colony”: Marguerite Bourgeoys, born in Troyes in Champagne on April 17, 1620.

From the early years of the colony named Ville-Marie, she set the tone and imprint of education adapted to the needs of the women and settlers who were already there. She welcomed the King’s Wards and passed on her knowledge and skills to them “because it was for the families.” When the children were ready to receive instruction, she opened Ville-Marie’s first school in a vacant stable. All children had unconditional access to the stable-school. History preserves traces of official documents signed by this multi-talented woman who responded to the needs of her time. She surrounded herself with women whom she called Filles séculières, secular women, and then Congréganistes, Congregationists. It is in this place that originated the first uncloistered religious community “without veil or wimple”: the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal. Still today, education in all its forms continues in Canada, the United States, Japan, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cameroun and France.

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Presence in the Periphery

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic is making our social-political crisis even more complex.

Since November 2016, we have been enduring the instability and uncertainty of our very future, especially that of our school-aged children. Indeed, since the first general strike in November 2016, our schools have remained closed. Families who have the means or who have relatives in the French regions of the country have enrolled their children in bilingual schools. For security measures, almost all public servants in our region have also moved – about 60% of our population.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

The Month of May at Mary of Peace Community

Carmie Rizzo and Lina Farinaro have been boosting the spirits of the sisters at Mary of Peace Community by preparing displays for the month of May (with emphasis on Mary), and spring scenery on the bulletin boards in the common spaces and in sisters' rooms. Lina was assisted by Srs. Clare O'Neill and Gladys Hayward.

Donna Kelly, CND

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News from Blessed Sacrament Province (USA)

From Our Leadership Team 

May 15-16 marked our third all-Zoom meeting. (Pat Ells zoomed in from her “office,” formerly the dining room.) Like many of you, we find it challenging at times and never as satisfying as in-person meetings. But we are getting better at it and are very grateful for the gift of being able to come together face-to-face, though virtually.

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Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys and Laudato Si’

As we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’, let us reflect on quotes from the Writings of saint Marguerite Bourgeoys in connexion with the encyclical.

p. 59 on remora (fish) – “I consider those person who are detached from everything and attached to God alone as that little fish, remora, which turns aside all that can harm a community... this little remora who obtains from God all she asks for His glory and for the good of her neighbour.”

MB tells us to be as reliant on God as the little remora fish that attached themselves to bigger fish for their survival.

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Living The Hope Of The People

In the context of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of our foundress during this world health crisis, what does it mean for the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame to live the hope of the people? Let the words and testimony of Marguerite Bourgeoys enlighten and transform our hopes and expectations.

Marguerite was born on April 17, 1620. On April 17, 2020, the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame were preparing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of her birth when the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the programs and activities carefully planned for this great celebration.

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News from Visitation Province (Canada)

On Tuesday May 5th, Sr. Mary Edna Levangie celebrated her 101st birthday in fine style with music, dance and song. Happy Birthday Sr. Mary Edna!

Arlene Rutledge, coordinator, CND Health Care Centre

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Quebec’s Wide Open Spaces

The first impressions tourists have when visiting Quebec is admiration for our wide-open spaces. The Saint Lawrence River is immense, forests are innumerable, the North and Far North are fascinating. Everything is vast, open and spacious. Our eyes are accustomed to seeing big! We can allow ourselves the comfort of “social distancing” since we do not step on each other’s toes. When we scan the horizon, we see further still, and when we look up, we see the highest star. Yes, in this our nation, we are accustomed to a full-sized life!

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Visitation East Associate Newsletter

This beautiful illustration of St Marguerite Bourgeoys was created by a 15 year old artist from Cameroon. His artist name is zac’art and he gave his permission for us to use it in this Newsletter. He is the son of Cameroonian Associate Mary Chimy. Zac’art drew Marguerite wearing a face mask during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 400th anniversary of her birth. On Marguerite’s first voyage to Canada in 1653, Marguerite cared for very ill people on the ship and a mask would have been helpful for her. Thank you zac’art for this beautiful painting of St Marguerite.

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Passing of Sister Louise Côté, CND (1929-2020)

It is with great sadness that the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame announce the passing of Sister Louise Côté (S. S.-Claire-des-Anges) at Résidence Bon-Secours in Montreal on May 1. At the age of 90 years and 10 months, Sister Louise Côté had more than 70 years of religious life. During this beautiful and long life for which we give thanks, Sister Louise held many positions in service of the Congregation – first as devoted teacher and later as Councillor and Bursar – before being elected Superior General from 1974 to 1984. She was also president of the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC), and Councillor and then Secretary General of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) in Rome.

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Actions summary

During this time of confinement, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Montréal in Central America have been involved in different activities. Their daily work is dedicated to education, accompaniment (psychological and spiritual), the formation of pastoral workers and catechists, accompaniment of families, alternative education projects, the teaching of preventive and alternative health strategies.

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Confinement Days

During this pandemic, the sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame are also living in confinement and adapting to this new reality in a spirit of service and solidarity. We asked some of them to describe their new everyday life.

Mother House

This time of confinement is particularly intense for me for several reasons. The disruptions we are experiencing bring me back to the things that are essential: being close to God and to others. Most of my current commitments are carried out thanks to various means of communications: online teaching, accompaniment via Skype® or by phone, writing biblical commentaries in an effort to rekindle our living flame, etc. While the Mother House, where I live, is usually a place where people from everywhere meet, we are now a handful (13 sisters) who together assume a good part of the domestic tasks.

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