From Our Leadership Team:
I am because we are!
During the four days of the August 8-11 Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Assembly each participant was asked to express on an oddly shaped piece of paper something of what she or he was experiencing and then to place it in a space of the same shape laid out on the floor of the lobby. Some did more than one! The result was stunning— illustrating perfectly what we had lived and sung those days, “Ubuntu (I am because we are)”, as African wisdom traditions have it. More assembly information is available at https://www.lcwr.org/calendar/lcwr-assembly-2023
During our August 21-23 Leadership Team meeting we were happy to be able to live a kind of “ubuntu” through visits with the sisters living at Executive House and a session with Associate Relationship Co-Coordinators. We are now at the mid-point of our 4-year term and began a process of taking stock of the current state of our province. We will be asking for input from the province and will continue the process at our next meeting.
Sr. Patricia Ells and Eileen King, who have been vetting carefully many aspects of the six organizations to which we hope to provide legacy funding, brought us up to date on their progress. Those who attended the LCWR in Dallas were invited to make a donation to all sisters working with the marginalized in that area, and we happily agreed to do so.
Since 1977 the CND has had been present at the UN in New York City with Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status; in 2005 we became part of UNANIMA INTERNATIONAL, a coalition of congregations of women religious committed to work for peace and human dignity through collaboration, education and advocacy in affiliation with the UN.
Sr. Patricia Flattery has served as the main representative of the CND to the UN and a member of the Board of Directors of UNANIMA from 2019 to the end of September. The General Leadership Team has appointed Sr. Melba Rosa Vasquez Rodriguez as the new representative to the UN and UNANIMA, beginning on October 1st. Melba will continue part-time parish ministry in Brooklyn.
We are so very grateful to both Pat and Melba for enabling all of us in the CND to participate through them in the work of the United Nations.
Since 1991 I have been a participant in a prayer vigil in the desert at the site of the first atomic bomb test explosion. Many of you have joined in prayer. Some of you journeyed to the desert with me. The film at this link has just been produced (a two year process). It is just over an hour in length, in English. I recommend it as a more true picture than the film “Oppenheimer.”
Pat McCarthy, CND
A BLESSED QUONNIE MEMORY by Anne Seeley, CND 8/13/23
I arrived here yesterday afternoon and found out that we would be having a large crew of workers coming today from West Haven, where Sr. Bea Baker has been working with the Immigrant community. The sisters have given their 2-car garage store for storage of donated household goods and clothing, and new comers to the area are welcomed to take what they need as they adjust to a new life here.
So today, a crew of 14 men & women came with a large UHaul truck to take ALL our third-floor furnishings, since we can no longer stay on that floor. The women packed the quilts and other bed coverings and pillows into large garbage bags, while the men disassembled the beds, and lugged bed parts, mattresses, dressers, night tables, chairs, lamps, and ANYTHING ELSE that was there. And it all fit into the truck to go back to a larger storage facility in West Haven. They were AMAZING!!!
The morning began with a big, tasty hot breakfast, followed by Mass on the TV in Spanish. I followed the readings in English on my I-Pad. After the Gospel, they shared insights on the readings. They were spontaneous and heartfelt. It was a truly sacred moment for all of us. Then, after Mass, the work was done in less than an hour! They were so organized and happy with each other. Then there was time to walk in the water or sit chatting, enjoying the surf from the lawn and porch. They enjoyed a nice lunch on the porch and lawn, chatting and enjoying just being here.
They left us happy and grateful to us – but it is THEY who we need to be grateful to for getting all these bedroom furnishings to the newly arriving Sisters and Brothers from the south. This crew hailed originally from: Guatemala, Mexico, Salvador, and Ecuador, ten and more years ago. And they are now reaching out to the newcomers looking for a safer and more productive life.
I am so blessed to have been here, met them, chatted somewhat with them, and thank them for being our “Advocate- Angels” in West Haven.
ASSOCIATE RELATIONSHIP–Donna Wuhrer & Maria Cabello
The Associate Central Committee met in Montreal in early August, our first in-person meeting since 2019. It was a wonderful visitation, with the theme, “Embrace the Possibilities.” We certainly embraced the possibilities at this gathering.
- A wonderful art therapy workshop given by Associate Jacqueline Fehlner. The topic was SPONTANEOUS ART AND THE PROPHETIC IMAGINATION: AN APPROACH TO HEALING GRIEF, LOSS AND CHANGE, the workshop helped us understand another method to use when dealing with grief, loss, and change. It opened our eyes to the way art could be used to promote healing and wellness within ourselves.
- Lorraine Caza, our guest speaker on the topic, “WHAT ARE MY SECRETS TO GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY”. Everyone enjoyed listening to her share her wisdom and her secrets on growing older. The topic certainly gave everyone something to ponder, as we are all growing older.
- Meeting the new Head of the CND Social Justice and Action Network, Jessica, and Stephanie, Director of Communications Services of the CND General Administration, as well as Sr. Patricia Flattery, CND representative to the United Nations and to UNANIMA International. We all wished we had more time to ask questions but were glad of the opportunity to hear about her work with the two organizations.
Of course, not everything was about work; we took the time to visit Maison Saint-Gabriel. It was great to hear about the history of this place and to imagine what it must have been like so many years ago. After the tour we were invited for refreshments, which we gladly welcomed. The young tour guides gave us an excellent history lesson.
Of course, this gathering would not have been possible without the coordination of the Central Office, which includes Anna, Coordinator and Christine, Administrative Assistant. It certainly is a challenge to gather Associate Coordinators from Canada, Cameroon, Central America, France, Japan, and the United States. We had translators during our meetings. The language barrier is always a challenge, but it doesn’t deter the coordinators from figuring out ways to communicate with each other when there are no human translators. Some of us had translating apps on our phones and were able to have a dialogue even though at times the translations were hilarious.
The Associates that gathered certainly embraced the possibilities with each other as we prayed, listened, gave thanks, danced, and embraced each other. Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys was with us every day!