20 de febrero de 2017

Harold D'Souza's visit to CJM - Vadodara

We, at Convent of Jesus and Mary Girls' High School, Vadodara organised a felicitation programme in honour of Mr. Harold D'Souza an ex-student of the 1980 batch on the 9th February 2016.

Mr. Harold D'Souza is an Indian American activist who was appointed by the then President of U.S.A., Mr. Barack Obama, to the Advisory Council against Slavery. 
It was a moment of pride and honour when Mr. Harold D'Souza shared his long, torturous and painful struggle about his experience with slavery and attributed his sense of courage and strength to fight during this journey, to the values gifted to him by the school and his teachers.

All his former teachers, Mrs. Anna Lobo, Mrs. E. Francis, Ms. Amy Fernandes, Mrs. V. Mathew, Mrs. Nilima Varghese, the P.T.A. members, Sisters of the Community and his classmate, Cheryl Francis were present for the function.

Fr. Dr. Lancy Lobo and Fr. Jeetu D'Monte were also present. Fr. Dr. Lancy Lobo shared his views about slavery and congratulated Mr. Harold D'Souza for his heroic fight against bonded labour.

Ms. Cheryl shared her school experiences with Mr. Harold D'Souza as her classmate and Mrs. Francis spoke of him being a shy student.
Our Provicial Superior Sr. Magdalene presented a shawl, Manager, Sr. Tara presented a Memento and our Principal Sr. Nirmala gifted him with a sapling.

It was a memorable event which promoted inspiratlional thoughts to the students on the real life, gruesome experiences shared by Mr. Harold D'Souza. 

14 de febrero de 2017

"Kindness Day"

WSG concludes Catholic Schools week with "Kindness Day"

During the first week of February, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week.
Our Catholic identity is the core of our community. We celebrate being a Catholic school all year long through special masses and daily prayer; but this week in particular, we celebrated our school community. One of the many important aspects of being a Catholic school is maintaining the fun, safe, and respectful learning environ­ment that our girls know and love.
The students had an exciting week full of themed dress-up days, and ended with "Kindness Day" on Friday.
The girls started the day of kindness with a prayer service followed by various activities in small groups demonstrating the positive ways in which they can respond to mistreatment.
To further grasp the effects that an individual's words or actions can have on another, the girls learned about the "ripple effect".
Each group was given a bucket of water; and each student was given a handful of sprinkles that represented their actions. As they sprinkled their items into the bucket, they could see and really understand how far their actions can go.
I was moved by the simplicity of the exercise and the thoughtful responses it elicited from our students.
The day ended with each student taking a pledge to always ask, "What Would Jesus Do?" before responding to a difficult situation.

Sister Mary Bourdon, RJM 
RJM Head of School
USA Province

13 de febrero de 2017

Looking with the eyes of Claudine...

and responding... by serving "the needs of refugees"
(USA Provincial Chapter)

In November, Sr. Mary and Sr. Jackie began volunteering at RIRAL (Rhode Island Regional Adult Literacy) located in Woonsocket, RI. The mission of this agency is to assist adults in the process of reaching their academic, occupational, or personal goals through edu¬cation, counseling, and training. RIRAL provides instruction in English language, reading, writing, math and technology, as well as college readiness.
Sister Mary meets with Karolin, a registered pharmacist from Egypt. She needs to pass the TOFEL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language). So far, Karolin has attempted the test six times ($190 a try) and has not attained the required score.
Mary also tutors Isabel from Portugal who despite a fourth grade education in her country has managed to become a manager at Dunkin Donuts. Isabel is trying to pass the National External Diploma Test which will allow her to pursue her education.
Sr. Jackie’s client is Anu, a lovely Indian woman, who taught computer technology in her own country. She is beginning the Transition to College Program connected to CCRI.
Her other student is a Vietnamese gentleman, Hao, who owns his own business and also has to pass the National External Diploma Test.
As you can imagine, these students are extremely motivated.
In addition, to academic instruction Sr. Mary and Sr. Jackie provide guidance and help in exploring resources available to immigrants.
Sr. Mary Crepeau, RJM
Sr. Jacqueline Crepeau, RJM

7 de febrero de 2017

The children at Thevenet Montessori School...

... experience social change and justice in the Peace Flower. 

Maria Montessori once wrote, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education.” As such, the Peace Flower – an integral part of an elementary student’s experience at Thevenet Montessori School – shines bright within our Upper Elementary classroom. On each brilliant yel­low petal is a heading that guides students in understanding the connectedness of all life and ap­preciating each person’s and community’s influential call to care for humanity and wildlife. 

The first petal that students encounter is labeled Self-Awareness. Montessori lessons and materials are designed to build a child’s confidence as he or she embraces academic and practical life practi­cal life challenges as well as social changes. The Montessori teacher acts as a guide in furthering the child’s self-discovery through introspection, socialization, and academic endeavors. Reflection upon the consequences of individual actions brings us to our second petal, Community Aware­ness. Through food donations and clothing drives, students realize their potential to change the lives of people in their community. Upper Elementary students led a schoolwide Thanksgiving Do­nation drive, collecting food donations from classrooms and packaging the items for delivery. An unmistakable spirit shines forth from a child who understands his or her power to not only act independently but also to follow the teacher’s keen example of stewardship.

Subsequently, our third petal reminds us of the importance of Environmental Awareness. The students experience the earth on the bountiful property of Thevenet. Students learn to identi­fy the varying woodland creatures and plant life that share our school grounds. The Upper Ele­mentary students took great pleasure in participating in a winter long bird watch and raising pheasants during the 2015-2016 school year. This year, students are furthering their knowledge of sustainability, ecosystems, pollution, agriculture, and geography as they study STEAM concepts and social studies lessons. The study of the environment and cultures of ancient times creates an inspirational foundation for experiencing our final petal, Cultural Awareness. The students are guided in their understanding of the intricate dynamic between environment and culture. Children studying ancient times connect the diverse ways of life in BCE to modern day customs. An appreci­ation of humankind’s global passage through time is fostered through lessons and sharing in cul­tural celebrations regardless of ancestry. The unique ability to culminate a child’s student-directed schooling experience as the experiment of self-awareness, community awareness, environmental awareness and cultural awareness is a crucial academic element in times when peacemakers are central. Maria Montessori still speaks to the important journey today’s children face when she wrote, “Within the child lies the fate of the future.”
Susan Avenengo, Teacher
Upper Elementary, 9 – 11 years 
old Thevenet Montessori School

6 de febrero de 2017

Une vague de solidarité incroyable !

Le monde pleure. Que pouvons-nous faire ?


Le dimanche 29 janvier 2017, un attentat est survenu à la mosquée de Québec.  Âgé de 27 ans, un étudiant québécois en sciences politiques, à l’Université Laval, a fait six victimes et cinq blessés musulmans.  Cette tragédie humaine a causé tout un émoi dans la ville de Québec et dans tout le pays.  Le Québec et le Canada rejettent en bloc cet acte terroriste :   « UN ACTE DE VIOLENCE QUE NOUS REJETONS TOUS ».  Un mouvement de SOLIDARITÉ et de COMPASSION a surgi à la suite d’une telle violence.  On demeure une terre d’accueil, un pays pacifique et un lieu où l’on respecte les droits humains.
Pendant toute une semaine, les medias ont couvert plusieurs événements : marche dans la ville de Québec avec nos dirigeants politiques du Québec et du Canada, célébration eucharistique à l’église Notre-Dame-de-Foy, funérailles à l’Aréna Maurice-Richard de Montréal (pour trois victimes) et funérailles au Centre des Congrès de Québec (pour trois victimes), etc.

« Cet après-midi, c’est tout un pays qui se joint aux familles des victimes pour célébrer la vie de ceux qui étaient des époux, des papas, des amis, des collèges. » (M. Justin Trudeau, Premier ministre du Canada)
« Sachez que vous êtes ici chez vous. » (M. Philippe Couillard, Premier ministre du Québec)
En ce 31 janvier, six religieuses de trois communautés de Québec ont participé à une célébration eucharistique très significative à l’église Notre-Dame-de-Foy, à quelques pas de la mosquée.  Monsieur le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix présidait la célébration en présence de plusieurs dignitaires du gouvernement du Québec et d’une église remplie de fidèles.  Sur cette photo, nous apercevons notre archevêque qui réconforte le cofondateur du CENTRE CULTUREL ISLAMIQUE DE QUÉBEC, Monsieur Boufeldja Benabdallah.  Ce dernier parle avec dignité, sans rancune et avec amour du Québec, de sa terre adoptive, au nom de tous ses frères musulmans du Québec.

Après une semaine intensive de questionnement sur le VIVRE ENSEMBLE dans la diversité, nous nous sentons de plus en plus solidaires avec notre monde blessé et souffrant.  Notre Québec, notre Canada, a sûrement fait une bonne prise de conscience face aux droits humains, à l’intimidation, à la tolérance, à la paix et à la justice.

8 de febrero: Jornada Mundial de Oración contra la Trata

2017: "¡Son niños! 
¡No esclavos!"

Journée Mondiale de Prière contre la Traite
2017: "Ce sont des enfants! 
Non pas des esclaves!"

International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking
2017: "Kids they are! 
Not slaves!"

Giornata Internazionale di Preghiera contro la Tratta
2017: "Sono bambini!
Non schiavi!"

2 de febrero de 2017

Febrero 2017: Intenciones del Papa

  • Febrero 2017. El Video del Papa. El Papa nos recuerda que en nuestro mundo hay muchas personas que viven agobiadas, en situación de pobreza, son refugiados o están marginados por la sociedad. Pidamos por ellos con Francisco para que encuentren en nuestras comunidades la acogida y el apoyo que necesitan. Por la Red Mundial de Oración del Papa (Apostolado de la Oración - http://www.oraciondelpapa.net).
  • Febbraio 2017. Il Video del Papa. Papa Francesco ci ricorda che nel nostro mondo ci sono molte persone che si sentono angosciate, in povertà: sono rifugiati o emarginati dalla società. Preghiamo per loro con Francesco perché trovino nelle nostre comunità accoglienza e sostegno. 
  • Février 2017. La vidéo du Pape. Le pape François veut nous rappeller que dans notre monde, il y a beaucoup de gens qui vivent submergés par la pauvreté. Ils sont réfugiés ou en marge de notre société. Avec le Pape, nous prions pour eux afin qu'ils rencontrent dans nos communautés l'accueil et le soutien dont ils ont besoin.
  • February 2017. The Pope Video. The Pope reminds us that in our world, there are a lot of people who live weighed down, in situations of poverty. They are refugees or are at the margins of society. With Pope Francis, we pray for them so they encounter in our communities the welcome and support they need.

1 de febrero de 2017

JPIC Initiatives in USA Province

Sisters in the Washington, DC/Maryland area have focused on the 2nd Chapter Priority, Looking on our World Through the Eyes of Claudine, and Responding to its Miseries. Our Provincial Chapter saw that one of the needs in our midst was the plight of refugees, and called us to reach out to them.  Our region, which includes the nation’s capital, has received many immigrants fleeing poverty or persecution.

RJM are connected with three groups:

The Interfaith Round Table was established by a non-profit organization, Human Rights First, which works with asylum seekers, i.e., persons fleeing persecution.  Through this organization, we have helped a family of four from El Salvador with housing, “adopted” another family at Christmastime by providing gifts, and contributed to a winter clothing drive. The latest initiative of the Human Rights First group is sponsoring workshops that inform underrepresented families of their rights and connects them to legal services. In the present political climate, this is a vital need.

A Coalition of Participants from Pax Christi, Temple Beth Ami, and the Islamic Center of Maryland has welcomed RJM into their circle of supporters for two Syrian families.  Communities have budgeted for a monthly contribution to one family to help meet their needs, and have registered the families for assistance at a parish food pantry.  As important as material help is the communication of welcome and acceptance.

St. Camillus Catholic Parish coordinates some services to immigrant families, including transportation to required court appearances, as they seek documentation that assures legal status in the country.  One RJM, a member of the parish council, has taken part in this service.