400th Anniversary Celebration in Woodstock
Submitted by Marjorie Allison-Ross
On June 1st, Woodstock Associates hosted a celebration to recognize the 400th Anniversary of the birth of the foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. The CND Sisters arrived in Woodstock in September 1983 to begin their mission and it finished 27 years later in the summer of 2010. The evening began with a Liturgical celebration to honour the nine CND Sisters who lived in Woodstock and the four deceased Woodstock Associates (Rachelle Hayward, Brenda Denny, Anna Culberson, Mary Keenan). Woodstock Associates participated in all the Ministries. A Prayer Centre with symbols of St Marguerite and CND was placed in front of the alter. Fr. John Beaumaster, Parish Priest, was the celebrant. Eleanor McCloskey, CND, joined us for this special gathering. Fr. Shawn Daley, who was a young monk attending NB Community College in Woodstock in 1989, also attended the Anniversary Mass.
Following the liturgy, a Reception was held in the Parish Hall to which all Parishioners were invited. For the occasion, bouquets of daisies and baby’s breath, statues of Marguerite or Visitation were on each table. Of course there were photos for people to view and a slide show ran throughout the evening sharing moments from the years that the Sisters lived in Woodstock. Associates read brief bios of each Sister outlining the ministries they worked in while in Woodstock. The Sisters who were in Woodstock were: Anne Gillis, Thérèse Arsenault, Sylvina Gaudet, Maureen Baldwin, Cécile Buote, Marguerite Mossey, Anne Marie MacDougall, Joan MacKenzie and Esther Clarkin. Many fond memories were shared during the evening. For the occasion, a prayer card was created for Sr. T (Thérèse Arsenault) who died on March 2, 2019. She lived in Woodstock for 26 years, leaving in 2009. She extended wonderful hospitality to everyone.
Throughout the evening, people expressed their gratitude to the CND Sisters and how they enriched the lives of people in the greater Woodstock area.