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Posts Tagged ‘Vocation’

JusticePilgrimage

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This Saturday, November 23, the Sisters of Notre Dame will host a retreat titled “Mary in our Life” from 9am to 3pm at Notre Dame Center in Thousand Oaks. 

If you’d like to join us for a day of reflection, prayer, discussion and fellowship, please contact Sister Val Roxburgh at sistervalsnd@gmail.com and see the flyer below:

retreatflyer

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Congratulations to Sr. Valerie Marie Roxburgh on the profession of her Perpetual Vows. Here are her thoughts on the day:

My Life is a Dance of Joy

This theme describes the feeling in my heart, as well as my response to God’s call to religious life. Dance (ballet in particular), has always been an important part of my life. I am so grateful that I have been able to share my gift of dance in my ministry, since I entered the Sisters of Notre Dame.

God’s goodness and divine providence led me to the Sisters of Notre Dame. The past nine years have truly been a journey of grace and joy. I thank God for the gift of my family, my friends and the Sisters of Notre Dame who have always been there for me.

I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude and prayers to all of you who are celebrating with me today. I also want to thank the many people who have given their time, gifts, and talents, to make this day so beautiful and one that I will remember forever.

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Sr. Kathleen shared with us her latest reflection series on the Good Shepherd. We hope you enjoy the talk as much as we have!

Good Shepherd Track 1

Good Shepherd Track 2

Good Shepherd Track 3

Good Shepherd Track 4

Good Shepherd Track 5

Good Shepherd Track 6

Good Shepherd Track 7

Good Shepherd Track 8

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photo by Zoe Pollock

“A little girl sat on her grandmother’s lap to listen to the creation account from the book of Genesis.  As the creation story unfolded, the kind woman, noticing that the child was unusually attentive, asked, ‘What do you think of it, dear?’  ‘Oh, I think it’s great,’ replied the child, ‘You never know what God is going to do next!’”  Like the child in the story, we can never imagine what God might do next, but we know that, when we live in a spirit of faith and confidence in our God who loves us so much, God will always take care of us!  If we look at life with the wonder of a child, we see so much that is wonder-ful:  God creates anew each day—are we seeing and appreciating his wonders?

– Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

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African sisters celebrate after taking their vows

The missions of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Africa have attracted many young African women to deepen their faith and to answer the call to religious life. During their religious formation, novices and postulants from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda receive initial instruction together at the international formation house in Njiro, Tanzania. This formation experience goes far beyond quiet prayer, contemplation, and study, to include active ministry and outreach to the surrounding communities.

The Holy Childhood Association engages Catholic youth in mission to neighboring youth in dire need. The program is very popular in Africa and can be found in nearly every parish in Tanzania. The Njiro parish has over 70 children participants. The women in formation help strengthen the program by teaching prayers and catechism, assisting the children with works of mercy, encouraging contribution to the poor, and attending the Sunday children’s Mass. Their ministry to children goes beyond the Holy Childhood Association, however. The novices and postulants have also been asked to teach religion classes once a week in the government school.

SND novices and postulants also meet weekly with villagers in small Christian communities. A community can have as many as 18 families, who take turns hosting the gathering. The community shares Scripture and reflections, and prays the rosary. If a family is in special need, the group offers financial assistance. Special classes are given to the children, who are taught prayers, songs and bible stories. The Novices and Postulants do not all speak the local language fluently, and while that is a challenge for them, they find that they are always able to communicate God’s love to the families they serve.

Once a week women in formation visit neighboring families in the village, where they minister to women, children and the sick. The families find relief in sharing their pain and struggles with the novices and postulants. Those in formation share faith experiences, comforting words, and answer questions about the way they live their life. The visit ends with praying together. Although the villagers don’t always understand what it means to be a sister, they are always grateful for the visits.

The ministry and outreach that the SND postulants and novices perform are a foundational part of their spiritual development, and their outreach experiences are opportunities for growth even in challenges. Ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of their neighbors helps prepare these young women for lives lived for Jesus and his mission.

– Sr. Mary Bernadette Pendola, SND

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On this feast of Corpus Christi, we reflect on how grateful we are (or should be!) for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Jesus’ presence in our life does make a difference.  His promise to be with us always helps us deal with the many challenges that come our way….

A story to make us think….

A lecturer was giving a talk to his students on stress management.  He raised a glass of water and asked the audience, “How heavy do you think this glass of water is?”  The students’ answers ranged from 20g to 500g.

The teacher responded, “It does not matter on the absolute weight.  It depends on how long you hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, it is ok.

If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my arm.

If I hold it for a day, you will have to call an ambulance.

It is exactly the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, we will not be able to carry on, the burden becoming increasingly heavier.  What we have to do is put the glass down, rest for a while before hold it up again.  We have to put down the burden periodically, so that we can be refreshed and are able to carry on.”

Whatever burdens you are having now, let them down for a moment.  Ask Jesus to help you carry the load when you pick it up again.  It is not intended that we do it alone…Jesus has promised:  “I am with you always….”

– Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND

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