400TH Celebration – Parkland Cape Breton

September 6 2019

The unfolding of commemorative events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the birth of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys continues and on August 23rd, Parkland Cape Breton hosted a delightful, joyful gathering, featuring a delicious barbecue meal accompanied by music, song, lively discussion and dance.

It was with Jubilee in our hearts that we welcomed several groups of people including residents and staff of Parkland, various ethnic groups, employee immigrants and their families, CND sisters from the entire area, including Sisters from Halifax and Bedford. In short, we experienced a memorable, happy occasion as a celebratory group of individuals who experience the birthdate Festival of an amazing individual –Educational Pioneer, Saint and Beloved Foundress of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, St. Marguerite of Canada!

The front foyer of Parkland, theatre, corridors and dining areas were decked with pictures and memorabilia depicting Marguerite’s life and times during her humble beginnings at Ville Marie, (Montreal) where she introduced herself as the young French lady from Troyes, who was inspired to cross an ocean on several occasions to respond to a Marian vocation call: “Go, I will not Abandon You.”

Here in Eastern Nova Scotia, we attempt to continue to live that call. As Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, we consider ourselves part of the microcosm of the history of the CND in this entire area. When the CND’s came to Cape Breton, first to Louisbourg in 1727-1758, then Arichat in 1856 and remained for a remarkable 154 years to date, settling in various parts of this Island, they had no iPads, iPods, iPhones, or computers, but they were equipped with a trust, a promise and a determination to offer quality education to every girl and boy who entered their classrooms. These sisters joined the team of dedicated lay men and women educators who were also a dominant part of our amazing story.

Through more than a century of growth, change, trials and triumphs, we continue to flourish, proud of our heritage and confident of its future growth. The Vision and Spirit of our Foundress St. Marguerite Bourgeoys is still alive and like our Foundress, in a spirit of hope, faith and gratitude, we carry the torch for a new “Dawn”, as we wait for the birth of what is to come!

Connie MacIsaac, CND