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News from VIsitation Province

Mass for Shut-Ins

To honour the Feast Day of the Visitation, Mass for Shut-Ins was taped at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church, Sydney, N.S. on May 11, 2024 with celebrant Father Bill Burke. Deacon David Lewis, the Producer of Mass for Shut-Ins was present for this mass. This is a special time when Sisters and Associates celebrate the Visitation of our Blessed Mother with her cousin Elizabeth. Readers were CND Sister Gwen O’Neil, Associates Lorrette Andrews and Marilyn Clements. Music was provided by Steven MacNeil of St. Marguerite
Bourgeoys parish. Father Burke expressed appreciation for the service of the CND Sisters and Associates in keeping the mission of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys preserved for over 400 years. This mass will be televised on Sunday, May 19th, on CTV at 11:30 a.m. or through the Antigonish Diocese website.

Dianne MacAskill, Associate Coordinator

Ottawa Sisters and Associates Gather

Six Associates and two Sisters spent a joyful Saturday together, on May 11th. We took the time to prayerfully reflect on how the Ottawa group has evolved over the past few years and how we might build on that in the future. We explored connections to the life of Marguerite not only verbally, but by sharing a meal centered on homemade soup and homemade bread. At the close of the day, we left all the more committed to Associate Relationship and with new team leaders in place.

Bill Fehlner, Associate

Feast of Pentecost:

The Coming of the Windy, Fiery Breath of the Spirit

Pentecost is a feast of possibilities ignited by the fire of God’s love. It invites us to be transformed by the windy, fiery breath of the Spirit.

Pentecost is a story for our times. As nations, cities and even faith communities turn on each other out of suspicion, revenge and cynicism, God’s desire is to pour out the Spirit on us that we might learn new and life-giving ways of being Love for a frightened world.

Pentecost invites us to bravely cross borders of prejudices present in and around us, be they of race, ethnicity, gender, religion and culture that separate. It challenges our stereotyping of one another and others. We need the wind, fire and breath of the Spirit to ease our anxiousness and move us forward.

Questions for Reflection:

Take some time to reflect on how God’s fiery Spirit is calling you/us to let go of fears and readying you/us to be together for the life of the world?

How has the Spirit’s flow of energy visited and influenced your soul? Sit in the “Upper Room” of the place where you live and/or places of ministry and you will find it.

Can you/we hear anew Jesus’ words to you/us: “Peace be to you, my peace I give to you.” How can I model the divine energy of peace to others in my daily encounters?

Eileen McQuaid, CND, with members of the Wellness and Health Resource Team

Celebrating St. Marguerite Bourgeoys at a Math Tournament in Kingston

On Friday, May 3rd, Emily Doherty and I accepted an invitation to participate in a math tournament. We were honoured to be the presenters of medals and trophies to the winners. One of the trophies was a St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Trophy.

The tournament was first held in 2019. Because of COVID, this was the first year we were invited to be present once again. The number of interested participants – both girls and boys – had mushroomed! On Friday, there were 22 teams of 6, all from grades 5 and 6 from area Catholic schools. It was an amazing event. The energy and enthusiasm… for math!!… were palpable in a packed auditorium of eager competitors. Spontaneous cheers for team members erupted again and again. Numerous photos were taken, and the winners seemed eager to pose with ‘the sisters.’

I was also very moved by the number of women and men who recognized ‘Sr. Doherty.’ They were former staff members and former students from Emily’s time teaching at Regiopolis-Notre Dame some time ago. They remembered her well; they were overjoyed to see her… to her surprise and to my delight.

At the end of the session, a group of students from St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school gathered around us. One of them asked about our connection with St. Marguerite. I don’t think I did a very good job. In the process, I believe I did mention something about ‘400 years ago’ …. A little later, this lovely young student asked: “How old are you?”

Rosemary Brosseau, CND

The Roncalli International Foundation Carries on the OK Clean Water Project in Cameroon

Many of us are familiar with the “OK Clean Water Project “initiated in 2003 by Sisters Norma McCoy (Ottawa) and Cathy Molloy (Kumbo) hence OK. This partnership continued for many years. Ottawa mainly fundraised and the local people did the labour. They piped water from higher ground, using gravity to the villages. Everyone, including women and children dug the trenches. Members of the team visited Kumbo and Edwin (the local engineer hired part-time by the project) came to Ottawa.

Falie Minkoue, CND, shared the good news that thanks to the Roncalli International Foundation the project continues as a stream of hope in Djottin, Cameroon. As noted on the Roncalli website “…this project goes far beyond mere provision of clean water. It is a catalyst for lasting change. By working hand in hand with the local population, OK Clean Water aims to strengthen the community’s capacity in water management and environmental preservation. Water management committees will be formed, placing women at the heart of the decision-making process. Furthermore, the planting of 2,000 trees around the watershed will contribute to preserving this precious resource for future generations.” You can view more about the OK Clean Water background and its connection to the current project status here.

Bernadette O’Neill, CND