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News from Visitation Province

International Women’s Day in Kingston, March 8, 2024

International Women’s Day was celebrated in a special way this year at Providence Motherhouse in Kingston. Sisters and staff were treated to presentations by four staff members who work in various services.

Nancy Stevens, Director of Activities, is the founder of a charitable organization called Kenya Help Canada. Since 2005, Nancy and a team of volunteers have been going to Kenya each year to assist the people in improving their living conditions, educational facilities, and developing health care possibilities. In recognition of her work, on March 21, she will receive the Governor General’s medal.

Laurie French, CEO of Providence Village Inc., shared her journey of helping others through health care, education, and administration. She encourages women to take every opportunity to contribute to the lives of others, to draw on the support of others, and to enhance women’s leadership.

Regan Lavoie, RN, gave a very moving presentation on how she came to be a nurse. At the age of four, she suffered a very serious illness that hospitalized her for 7 to 8 months. When she saw how she was cared for and the efforts that the health care staff took to heal her, she knew even then that she was being called to be a nurse. Her whole nursing career has been an answer to that call.

Tenille Wren, RN, Director of Care, knew that she wanted to help people. She became a nurse and gradually went into management to be a part of inspiring nurses to be the best they could be and to lead by example.

All our speakers invited all the sisters to look back and see that they too have inspired and influenced others to be better people. They also demonstrated that each one’s journey is not just what we do but who we become.

Eleanor Monahan, CND

Once upon a time… JPIC Visitation Province began to ponder the relevance and reality of a Blue Community among us, as initiated by The Council of Canadians. We wished to become a part of the local and global movement for water security and justice by joining the Blue Communities Project. We want to help protect our precious water resources in the face of increasing pressure to put water up for sale and privatize water services. We want to remember that water is sacred, and access to clean drinking water and sanitation are human rights.

And so… This coming weekend, at our JPIC meeting in Montreal, we will formally sign in and sign on as a Blue Community. A recording will be posted to be shared with everyone on Friday, March 22, World Water Day.

We have prepared the way… This will be the day!

Eleanor McCloskey, CND, for JPIC Core Committee

Book Recommendation

Walking Together by Elder Albert D. Marshall and Louise Zimanyi. Illustrated by Emily Kewageshig. Annick Press: 2023.

Many of us watched Sister Elizabeth Davis share her experience of being in Rome last October for the first session of the Synod. She told us she gave a copy of this delightful “story” book to Pope Francis.

It’s a picture book, a children’s book, based on the Mi’kmaw concept of two-eyed seeing: the gift of bringing together the strengths of indigenous and non-indigenous ways of knowing. Also, we see the Mi’kmaw understanding of protecting Mother Earth. Walking Together encourages respectful relationships with the Land and Water and all life forms. The illustrated pages (not many words), the colour, the

children, the seasonal references, the repetition of the “walking together “theme, give us adults much to ponder. “When we walk together in a good way on Turtle Island, we learn we are all connected.”

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Movie Recommendation

Recently I happened to see My Father’s Violin, a 2022 movie now available on Netflix. It’s a story of a little girl, being raised by her widowed Dad. Violin music is an integral part of their lives. Her Dad is ill, and after his death, she is introduced to her uncle, whom she never knew. Subtitles on the screen make it easier to follow the dialogue as these two interact, learn about each other, and build a relationship that brings awesome changes in their lives. Besides music, forgiveness and the importance of family are obvious values to be treasured.

Eleanor McCloskey, CND