The year 2017 was full of twists and turns, unexpected events, enriching encounters and various activities for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). With such fertile ground, it is always difficult to embark on a journey back in time.
This time, to help us look back at this year, we have chosen to present 12 memorable moments that occurred in 2017. They are memorable for the gratitude and the outreach but also for their historic aspect in this year marked by major tributes for Montreal and many other organizations.
Here then is our look back at the year 2017:
It is difficult to ignore this adventure which showcased the SNJM Choir on a prime-time television show. It also served as a stirring reminder that the host Julie Snyder was a former SNJM student and a "fan" of Mother Marie-Rose in her early teens!
Sister Phyllis Douillard’s interview in the Catholic Register shed light on her commitment to restorative justice, a spiritual and social program designed to help prisoners, who are sexual predators, integrate into society after they have served their time. This teacher, who also campaigns against human trafficking, drew attention to certain problems experienced in the prison environment, including a lack of funding for support and accountability programs and the role of chaplains. This is another example of SNJM commitment.
The tribute paid to Dorothy Guha, a long-time SNJM Associate, by the Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese, highlighted the constant work and commitment by this citizen in her community. It was a great way of emphasizing the presence and contribution of associates who are continuing the SNJM Mission in their respective milieus, by seeking to respond to the needs.
As a representative of CATHII (Action Committee against Internal and International Trafficking) where she has been working since its founding in 2004, Sister Claudette Bastien, SNJM, participated in an international meeting Talitha Kum in Rome. There she made thought-provoking encounters and discovered the positive impact of this international solidarity in everyday actions. It was a reminder that demonstrated and reaffirmed the ongoing commitment of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) who adopted a corporate stand against human trafficking in 2004.
The reunion at Sainte-Émélie brought together participants from the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts and from elsewhere. They used this opportunity to reconnect with the Sisters and to share memories. This day of celebration also served as a reminder of the journey travelled by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) as soon as they arrived in the neighborhood in 1860 and especially at Sainte-Émélie Convent.
To date, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), along with partners from the milieus, have sponsored three families of Syrian refugees. The arrival of this third family brings the opportunity to build bridges between Christians and Muslims. A look back at the story of this new family and at their first steps on Quebec soil...
The commemoration of 150 years of the Paroisse de la Nativité in Montreal was an occasion to pay tribute to the religious congregations, including the SNJMs, who were very involved in education and pastoral work in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, since 1860. The organizers also recognized the contribution of women through their work in the many cotton mills in the area, by officially inaugurating Place des Tisserandes.
During a celebration commemorating the 175th anniversary of Saint-Bruno parish, the contribution of the SNJMs who began their commitment in this municipality in 1918, was highlighted. The representatives of the congregation had the opportunity to meet and converse with former students and their parents. It was another great opportunity to recall the diversity of the commitments of the Sisters who have taught and who have contributed to pastoral activities in many ways.
During the year 2017, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), were able to highlight their contribution in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve-Viauville districts. Also, within the context of a public reading of archival documents, presented during the festivities of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, the SNJM Central Archives Department selected excerpts from articles published in the local newspaper referring to history lessons, prepared by the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve History Workshop with the collaboration of professors, one of whom was Micheline Collin, SNJM.
The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), prepared an activity to officially launch their corporate stand by rallying community organizations to present a portrait of the situation experienced by refugees and immigrants on Montreal’s South Shore. The interventions of a variety of collaborators captivated the large audience. It was a great opportunity to raise the awareness that the SNJMs are actively involved in this matter which concerns the entire world community.
Among the numerous activities organized for the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal, an exhibition entitled “375 Years in the Heart of It All” was held at Maison Saint-Gabriel. This exhibition showed the many facets of the contribution of women's religious congregations to the City of Montreal. Among the dozen or so participating religious congregations, of course, were the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, the first congregation of women religious teachers founded by a Canadian.
At the opening of its new season last fall, the Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil (OSDL) presented its first symphony by a Russian composer, who created his musical work to pay tribute to two key figures from Longueuil, one of whom is Mother Marie-Rose. It was a wonderful sign of gratitude to the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM).