Presided by Archbishop Christian Lépine, the Eucharistic Celebration celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Nativité-de-la-Sainte-Vierge Paroisse, in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, focused on welcoming others.
In his homily, Archbishop Lépine insisted that each human being was created in the likeness and image of God. Emphasizing the importance of these moments of encounter in his own life, he urged those present to reach out to each other, to create opportunities for encounters that are sources of astonishing personal enrichment. The offerings (bread, fruit, flowers and wine) were brought up by an African family to demonstrate this genuine welcoming of immigrants in the area.
The entire parish pastoral team, one of whom was the Pastor Father Jorge Muniz, and the curates actively participated in this commemorative Mass, which was also attended by former pastors and curates as well as religious congregations who have worked or still work in the parish.
Father Muniz took this opportunity to emphasize the important contribution to pastoral work and education by these congregations, and mentioned first the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), who were very active in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, since 1860.
This speech was also echoed by the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, during the official ceremony for Place des Tisserandes. This public square is aimed at paying tribute to the women who played an important role in the district by their work in the many cotton mills that were established in the 19th century and continued into the next century.
Located in front of the church, just in front of the steps, there is a rose window that is a replica of that of the church, around which trees and flowers have been planted. There is a plan in place to install a fountain in the near future. The idea behind this design is to recreate a space for friendly get-togethers for all the parishioners while, at the same time, alluding to gatherings on the church steps...
The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) were represented by Claudette Bastien, Florence Vinet, Simone Perras and Monique Thériault, all of whom lived in the neighborhood at one point in their lives. For one, her first mission was to go and teach at École Stadacona.
The event also prompted reunions with a number of former students. Several of them were eager to express their gratitude for the education they had received from the Sisters who were present.
Photo credits – Photographer Maude Colin – Paroisse Nativité-de-la-Sainte-Vierge