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.
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
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.
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
Historical Notes on the presence and ministry of the S.A.B.V.M.
in our Diocese
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,
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.