You know or have known a member of the Sisters of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin? Did you know that in 1998, they number 850 religious?

Did you know that they work in various countries such as: Canada, Japan, Ecuador, Brazil, United States and Haïti? IN Canada they work in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario. And of course they are present in all regions of Québec.

Life springs forth from these committed women in the name of Jesus Christ.

They are proud to announce that they will meet from August 12 to the 15, in Nicolet, their Motherhouse. Their reunion, more a convention will focus on the theme: Women of a New Dawn. They will gather from all over the world. Together, they will celebrate the fact that they all belong to the sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The high note of the convention will be the Holy Eucharist on August 15, feast of the Assumption. All the sisters of the congregation ask for your prayers and invite you to unite in prayer, the prayer of the heart.

From August 12 to the 15, 1998, the 850 members of the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, will gather from 5 different cultures in Nicolet, QC, around their Patroness, the Virgin of the Assumption. that morning, determined and filled with joy, they will rise as women of a new dawn, with their faith focussed on the God of the impossible and the surprises.
One may think that for a congregation whose age average is 74, there is no future. But there is one, just as there was one for the Twelve, for Mary of the Incarnation, for Marguerite Bourgeois, for Marguerite d'Youville. It is also the same situation as the one in 1853, in Saint Grégoire, for Léocardie Bourgeois, Hedwidge Buisson, Julie Héon and Mathilde Leduc. They had no future and yet they had one, since it is when we have no where else to go that God intervenes.
The Sisters of the Assumption are preparing to celebrate the reunification of their congregation. On this occasion, they will consecrate themselves to enter the new Millenium in the footsteps of the risen Lord, master of History, and master of the their history.

Brief Historical Notes on the presence and ministry of the S.A.B.V.M. in our Diocese
This section
Prepared by Sister Agathe Brochu
and Translated by Sr. Jeannine Lemire (Hearst)
As first published in the INTER-PAR OF 02/11/1996.

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Assumption was founded in St. Gregoire, a parish near Nicolet, P.Q., on September 8, 1853, by Rev. Jean Harper and four young women: Léocadie Bourgeois, Julie Héon, Mathilde Leduc and Hedwidge Buisson. The motto of the congregation is: «With Mary, stake all on God, to reveal the Father's love, through education».

The congregation developed rapidly. It spread throughout Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and the United States; the Sisters worked in schools, in Indian missions, Teacher's College, Home Economic Institutes, music schools, classical colleges, catechetical projects, homes for girls and pastoral work. Missionaries went to foreign countries such as Japan, Brazil, Burundi, New Caledonia and Ecuador. Putting their faith in Providence, the Sisters responded to the needs of the Church, choosing preferably rural areas, thus giving special attention to minority groups, women, youth and the needy.

Thus, the S.A.S.V., (Soeurs de l'Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge) came to work in Cochrane. Bishop Joseph Larocque greeted the first Sisters who were assigned classes at St. Joseph's School. In 1922, a boarding school was opened for the elementary level so as to give the girls from rural areas an opportunity to continue their schooling. In 1938, it was closed for safety reasons. In 1942, a new boarding school was opened, for grades 9 & 10 who then were attending a public school thus depriving them of French and religion classes. In 1957, the School Board took over these grades, therefore the boarding school closed its doors. Presently four Sisters reside in Cochrane: Sr. Fernande Comeau, Sr. Rachel Désilets, Sr. Ruth Lajoie, Sr. Jacqueline Labelle. Some of these Sisters work in the pastoral field, and one gives music lessons.

In 1941, Bishop Joseph Charbonneau welcomed to Hearst 15 S.A.S.V. who took over the orphanage opened in 1921 by the Sisters of Perpetual Help. In June 1956, St. Joseph's Academy opened its doors although the buildings were in very poor condition. In March 1962, the new building was completed. In September 1968, it became a French public school. The classes were then rented to the School Board. During those years, some of the Sisters also taught in St. Pie X and in Hallébourg. In 1973, the Sisters moved to Kitchener Street in Hearst and the old convent was torn down. At present, three Sisters live and work in Hearst: Sr. Agathe Brochu, who is Pastoral Agent at St. Pie X parish. Sr. Denise Brochu, on sabbatical. Sr. Monique Lefebvre, teacher in Mattice. Sr. Thérèse Turcotte who is the Pastoral Coordinator at the High School.

In 1952, Father Joseph Proulx, was in charge of the parish in Mattice. Four Sisters went there to teach. First at St. François-Xavier School then at St. Joseph's School. In 1982, the convent closed. In the same year, the rectory in St. Pie X housed two S.A.S.V. who opened the Foyer Assomption, a rehabilitation home for alcoholic women. In 1985, lay people took over the administration and the Sisters withdrew from this work. In 1978, two S.A.S.V. went to Chapleau to support Father Réal Veilleux in his pastoral work. They also taught, coordinated the catechesis at the Separate School, did pastoral work and liturgy animation. The Sisters withdrew from Chapleau in 1993. In December 1995, our late Bishop Pierre Fisette, named Sr. Alice Laurin administrator of the parish in Hornepayne.

Nourished by the Word of God and attentive to God's presence in daily events, the Sisters of the Assumption take Mary, the Virgin of the Assumption, as their Model and Guide in their everyday journey of faith. Like her, they wish to face the trials and joys of life which lead to the Resurrection.

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