As part of the celebrations of the 175th anniversary of the Saint-Hilaire Church and the extension of the centennial of the town of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.E., Bishop of the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe, presided at the dedication of the church, on February 23, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Sung by an enthusiastic assembly, the refrain “Discover with your God the future which He gives to you, create with your God a more beautiful world” set the tone for the ceremony consisting of the rite of blessing with holy water, the Liturgy of the Word, and the anointing and incensing of the altar and the walls of the church.
Sisters Marie-Paule Demarbre, Provincial Animator of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) of Quebec and Thérèse Laplante, representing the Congregational Leadership Team, then lit two of the four lamps mounted on the walls as a permanent reminder of the consecration of God’s house. This action served to emphasize that the SNJM’s * as well as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary impacted the faith life of the parish.
Referring to the invitation sent to the Leadership Teams of the Congregation, the pastor, Father Pierre Cordeau expressed the following words:
“In December 1841, the first community of Oblate Fathers settled in the presbytery-chapel of Saint-Hilaire. That morning, the main altar was prepared by Eulalie Durocher, of Beloeil, and Hermine Hertel, daughter of Lord de Rouville. Each year, a group of SNJM jubilarians take pleasure in coming to visit our church and venerate this altar which was decorated by she who was to become the foundress of your institute.”
At the end of the Eucharistic liturgy, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Bishop François Lapierre, Minister Pierre Duchesne and the mayor of the town, Mr. Michel Gilbert. At a time of the "deconsecrating" of churches, it is significant that we share wine as we celebrate with the Christian community.
* The first SNJM’s, Sisters Marie-Eulalie, 28 years old, and Marie-Angèle, 20 years old, arrived in Saint-Hilaire on September 30, 1850. On October 2nd, they moved into the Major Campbell’s schoolhouse. In 1856 the convent, built through the financial generosity of Lady Campbell, was inaugurated. Today, the convent has been converted into a Seniors’ Residence.
Sister Simone Perras, S.N.J.M.
Photos of the event
Courtesy of Ms. Claire Dumesnil