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Blessed Sacrament Province

From Our Leadership Team

We are very happy to welcome Sister Motoko Takahashi from Maria Province. She will arrive in New York on April 4 and begin a year of English study soon after, while living at St. Jean’s. Yoku irasshaimase, Motoko –san!

ASSOCIATE NEWS – Sr. Joan Mahoney & Donna Wuhrer

CORE Committee Meeting March 2-4, Wilton, CT:

The Associate CORE Committee met to continue the work of the Strategic Plan that was approved at the October 20-22, 2017 Assembly. Because it snowed, videoconferencing enabled us all to meet. Sr. Ann Perrin listened to our discussions and gave us valuable feedback. Sr. Mary Anne Foley, Associate to the Provincial Leader and Liaison to Associate Relationship, joined us on Sunday.

Saturday’s discussion of the article Leadership in the Age of Complexity: From Hero to Host, by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, reminded us that involving all in the community is always the answer for the best work and outcomes.

The leaders of each of the Four Pillars: Sharon Norton – Associate Life; Christine McMichael and Mary Jo Hoag – Invitation to Associate Life; Carol Lombardo – Sustainability; Jennifer Hollis and Maria Vazquez – Connectivity, gave their reports of contacting those who had signed up for the various pillars at the Assembly. All worked on their goals for 2018-2019 and beyond.

We were nourished by our communal prayer, liturgy, and a sumptuous dinner prepared by Donna. Now, the leaders of the Pillars are reaching out to those who have committed to a Pillar to concretely develop their goals and action steps. The Visitation Van is revving up!

NC Reflection on Climate Change – Our Call to Conversion Four-Part Series – Lent 2018

The Congregation de Notre-Dame Associates of NC sponsored a Lenten Program addressing the CND focus of Caring for Our Common Home: a follow up to our Laudato Si presentation. We collaborated with Catholic Climate Covenant (formerly Green Faith), our Education Commission, and the Jesuits via their Eco Examen. For four weeks we began with the prayer which opened each session of Vatican II, we had two different facilitators at each meeting to keep it fresh, we went through the booklet and provided a supplement connecting the information in the booklet to Laudato Si with reflection questions for home. After the program each week we went to Mass, had Stations of the Cross and a soup dinner. These were our “Wonderful Wednesdays” of Lent.

The discussions were very meaningful and informative and respectful. We had people from our parish, our sister parish, the Episcopal church and in one case a man who does not attend church now. Each week new folks showed up. We handed out a Personal Ecological Footprint for people to complete at home. Ideas were garnered for what we can do in our area – our parish and our local community – to care for the earth. One idea for our parish is to take a five foot cardboard statue of Pope Francis and move him to each entrance weekly holding an item that can be recycled for greater awareness.

At the end of our series we will receive information based upon Fr. Thomas Berry’s work, handed out by Sr. Kathleen Deignan at a Quonnie retreat. This will be for personal reflection and to bring to parishes or other spheres of influence for ecological transformation. In a follow up meeting we will determine where we go from here. There were positive feelings expressed as we seek justice for Our Common Home. Justice after all is the political form of compassion and the social form of love and we are called to both. Barbara McGrattan

PEACE & JUSTICE NEWS – Sr. Rose Mary Sullivan

Go to the Peripheries…

On February 24, Srs. Joan Mahoney, Suzanne Poulin and Maryann Calabrese joined young people at St. Philip’s Church in Norwalk for the CRS FoodFast—Be the Change. Be the Change explores the realities of global hunger through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Participants are encouraged to reflect on Jesus’ call to discipleship as an invitation to effect meaningful change in their own lives and in our world.

Youth prepare a prayer circle for South Sudan after hearing of the challenges to provide aid in this war-torn country.

Reaching out here at home, middle schoolers prepare a prayer blanket for a 90+ year old parishioner whose wife of 63 years died recently. Praying as they did so, one student observed ‘how beautiful it must be to be married so long and how difficult to have life change now.’

VOCATION NEWS – Sr. AnnMarie Strileckis

I have asked the sisters of Andrus, known for their beautifully composed prayers, to write a Marguerite Bourgeoys inspired prayer for vocations that all of us can use.

We all saw how effective Marguerite Bourgeoys was personally (Mary Anne Foley) with the Villa Maria students. Marilyn Hammill’s witness of how inspiring her presentation was to students as she chose to tell her own story follows. Enjoy! Please tell your story!

To My Surprise . . . Talking About Vocations: This year when Sr. Nancy Strillacci, ASCJ, Diocese of Bridgeport Program Director for Religious, sought people to speak about religious vocations to fifth graders in Catholic schools, to my surprise, I heard myself say, “I can do that!”, without hesitation! Maybe my spontaneity had to do with the fact that I felt my preparation was already half done.

As a part of Catholic Schools Week two years ago Maureen Belford, then a fifth grade teacher at St. Cecilia Elementary School, Stamford, CT asked me to share my work and experiences as a religious sister with her students. At that point, I prepared a file on a flash drive with scanned copies of photos. I needed the children to know I was from an ordinary family and not dropped from space as a “nun.”

Since I have never been very good with a camera, I did not have pictures from most of my ministry experiences; however, a photo of the computer room at St. Michael’s Indian School served as an additional lesson in the history of technology to the amusement of the children. For me, this IBM network system was a great improvement over the original ten single computers in eight different models. This year’s fifth grades at The Catholic Academy of Stamford, as well as the group from two years ago, proved to be attentive audiences with their own questions regarding living in community and prayer. Of course, I left each child with a copy of St. Marguerite’s prayer for families. Sr. Marilyn Hammill, CND

150 YEARS OF CNDS IN WATERBURY, 1869 -2019: Two dates you can save!

  • Saturday, September 8, 2018:    4:15 pm Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury
  • Sunday, September 8, 2019:      12:30 pm Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Archbishop Blair is committed to the opening of the year Mass this year, Saturday September 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm. Stephanie Manseau and Marie-Claire Dugas have been editing a movie that will probably be 45 minutes. We are inquiring if we can use the lower church or parish hall after the Liturgy, have catered light refreshments, view the movie and use this gathering as a great opportunity to obtain vital information from our former students of both NDA and WCH. If you know emails or contact info from any graduating class that has had various reunions we would welcome that info! Please send to

The actual 150th is Sunday, September 8, 2019. Only the Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is booked! We are beginning to make inquiries for a reception afterwards that we would like to have within the Waterbury city limits! Any ideas, please contact me 860-678-0884. Also on Facebook, there is a 150 years of CNDs in Waterbury site you can join!




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