In section: SNJM Life

Two Exceptional Teams of Teachers

Since I belong to the Vincent-d’Indy School of Music, my first mandate is overseeing the music department at Pensionnat Saint-Nom-de-Marie.  Since 1981, I have gradually come to know nearly all the teachers.  So, I’d like to share an exceptional adventure with you.

As a volunteer, I played the organ each Sunday at Tanguay prison for eight years.  This had given me the opportunity of meeting many of the incarcerated women.  When I left the women’s prison, I began to volunteer with an organization that works with ex-prisoners who are in rehabilitation.  Meanwhile, I also continue to help two women who have limited freedom.  One of these women has a beautiful voice and a very good ear for music.  She sings whatever she wants and plays the recorder, especially the tenor recorder, by “ear”.  She can play whatever she hears being hummed. 

One day she expressed the desire to own her own instrument.  A dream!  Without knowing what was awaiting me, I promised that I would find one for her.  Since January, I dreamed along with her without her knowledge.


An email sent to approximately ninety teachers asking if anyone had a tenor recorder to give me, resulted in no positive responses.  An idea came to me after I tried a second time: “If each teacher gave me a dollar, I could buy a new recorder for about $100.”  Believe it or not, two days after I asked again, I received a total of $192.73.

In awe and in tears, I joyfully thanked all the teachers and the administration for their help with my initiative.  I then ordered the recorder.  The balance of the money will go to that woman, by means of the person who oversees her needs.

What an exceptional team that we have in our two private schools!  Generosity, love and concern for others, regardless of their colour, life situations and beliefs are values that we try to instill in our students, some perhaps materially wealthy…but who knows?

Violette Blais, s.n.j.m.

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