Tasting probiotic yogurts

At the beginning of November, on Sister Jeanne Lebeau’s initiative, the Sisters at Résidence Marie-Rose-Durocher were invited to an informative activity together with the tasting of probiotic yogurts. 

Chef, Luc Tremblay, was entrusted witht the task of initiating the Sisters to the characteristics of probiotics.

Health benefits 

Briefly, probiotics are living microorganisms that are useful (if not necessary) for health, particularly for the intestinal flora.

Among the recognized benefits, remember that they improve digestion by relieving digestive disorders (stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and others). They strengthen the natural defenses and regenerate the intestinal flora by restraining the multiplication of viruses. They also help restore intestinal equilibrium during and after taking antibiotics, etc.

After a brief presentation, the Sisters tasted various probiotic yogurts. They had the pleasure of recognizing some well-known flavors (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry ...) while enjoying additional benefits for their health!

By mid-November, they were starting to integrate the probiotic yogurts into their regular diet.

Report - Sister Yolande Dufresne

Photos – Sister Pierrette Désilets

A magnificent four-handed piano recital by the HATO duet

The concert given by the HATO duo at Maison Jésus-Marie, on November 12, had everything to entertain the audience. The two pianists began their recital by presenting an all-Quebec suite of the repertoire of folk songs (arrangements for four-handed piano) by the Canadian composer, Violet Archer, with the piece "Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser”.

In keeping  with the rhythm and tone, another suite for piano four-hands followed, composed by Georges Bizet, entitled "Jeux d'enfants".
Then, the two pianists who are also excellent soloists, played each in turn, a high-caliber musical piece demonstrating their immense talent. Tomoko Inui performed Johann Sebastian Bach's "Prelude in do minor" while Haruyo Yoshino-Platt performed Frédéric Chopin's "Ballade no 4 Op".

They finished their performance with a masterful version (piano 4 hands) of the famous piece by George Gershwin, "Rhapsody in Blue".

Gifted pianists

The HATO duo is made up of Japanese pianists Tomoko Inui and Haruyo Yoshino-Platt. They have given numerous concerts in many places since 2009. The "Festival Borealis" concert was presented in various cultural centers and at Glebe Saint James United Church in Ottawa before being recorded on a CD in 2013. Several musical programs have been presented since then, including one on Clara Schumann and her contemporaries.

Tomoko Inui holds a Master's degree in interpretation from McGill University (under the direction of Kyoko Hashimoto). She received the Bruneau Award from the same university for an outstanding performance of a piano recital. She also has a doctorate and has worked as a researcher in physical oceanography in the United States.

For her part, Haruyo Yoshino-Platt studied at Tokyo's Toho Gakuen Music Conservatory and the Montreal Conservatory of Music (first prize). She has also studied under the direction of Natalie Pepin, SNJM, at the University of Montreal in the first and second cycle in music - piano interpretation. A finalist in the Canadian Music Competition, she was awarded a scholarship from the Canadian government in 1992 and 1993.

Photos – Sister Gisèle Lalande

Celebrating Halloween with music by La Mosaïque Choir

The Sisters on the first two floors of Saint-Charles Pavilion at Maison Jésus-Marie were treated to a very special Halloween party. Arriving in costumes, the singers and musicians of the La Mosaïque Choir came to sing a number of works from Quebec’s repertoire.

The Sisters were pleased with the proximity of the singers and musicians since they could see and hear the performances better. The familiar repertoire of old songs from Quebec‘s culture, including "La Manic" and "Le ciel marie avec la mer", prompted many of the Sisters to hum along.

It was a sight to see the smiles on the faces and the sparkling eyes to realize just how much this extraordinary presentation was appreciated by the audience. 

La Mosaïque Choir is directed by Paul-André Caron. For this occasion, he was accompanied on the electronic piano by Michel Laverdure. To make this Halloween magical, the members of the choir had agreed to "dress up".

Note that the choir is connected to the Centre d’action bénévole et communautaire La Mosaïque (La Mosaïque Volunteer and Community Center). This non-profit organization has as its goal to promote the independence and social integration of socially and financially disadvantaged people. The organization, founded in 1985, serves eight municipalities and offers a variety of services and activities.

See the photo album - Photo credit: Sister Gisèle Lalande

Reminiscing about Sainte-Émélie

During a presentation by Sister Pierrette Désilets, on October 6th, the Sisters at Maison Jésus-Marie had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary’s (SNJM) long journey in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve-Mercier neighborhood, and more particularly at Sainte-Émélie.

Recapturing the symbolism of the rose, that had been unveiled during the celebration of gratitude at Residence Sainte-Émélie, Sister Désilets travelled back in time to 1900, to talk about this seed that produced the Sainte-Émélie Convent.

As a result, she was able to recall the various missions carried out in the neighborhood by the Sisters, as well as the convent’s multiple vocations. Sequentially, it became a boarding school, Sainte-Marie-des-Anges Normal School, a primary school and then a residence for the elderly sisters. However, its mission did not end there if we consider the many apostolates that emerged from this house and the Sisters’ enthusiasm at meeting the needs of the milieu.

Accordingly, Sister Pierrette recalled the evolution of numerous projects including collective kitchens, the "Popotte roulotte" (Meals on Wheels), the Carrefour familial Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the Garden Center, the literacy groups to teach French to Laotian, Cambodian, and other refugees, not to mention the many contributions made by the Sisters, who used their talents for knitting, sewing and for the arts, and who also provided support for the missions in Africa and Haiti.

In short, it was a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of this institute in the history of the Congregation, especially on this the Feast Day of Mother Marie-Rose. 

In conclusion, we are reminded that the symbolism of the rose, the petals of which were used to introduce each stage of the life of Residence Sainte-Émélie, was a concept developed by Sister Pierrette Désilets, and her niece who helped her to assemble this beautiful rose.

Photo credit: Sister Gisèle Lalande

Do you know the “Filles de la Providence de Saint-Brieuc”?

Another rewarding activity at Maison Jésus-Marie 

As part of the series of lectures on the discovery of other Religious Congregations, Sisters Juliette Bonneau and Gisèle Raymond of the "Filles de la Providence of Saint-Brieuc" related the journey of this French Congregation, founded almost 200 years ago.

The presenters recalled the origins of this Congregation of Pontifical Right, founded by Jean-Marie de La Mennais with the goal of providing education for young girls, a mission which was later expanded to caring for the sick.

In 1897, the first Sisters of this Congregation arrived in Canada to open schools in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where they worked for a long time with the indigenous peoples.


Also present in Quebec, particularly in the diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, they worked primarily in the education of children. Recently, this Congregation has been supporting the efforts of private sponsorship groups for Syrian refugees.

Today, this Congregation, despite their very limited number (less than 80 members), is still active in France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Uganda.

The audience appreciated the presentation given by the two FDLP Sisters. The conference generated many questions and discussions. We are reminded that this activity, held on October 18th, was organized by the Recreation Committee of Maison Jésus-Marie, and is part of the series "Discovery of other Religious Congregations" in the diocese. 

Photo album – Photo credit: Sister Gisèle Lalande


Ensemble vocal Polymnie de Longueuil: An inspiring and magical performance at Maison Jésus-Marie

Presented as part of the Journées de la Culture, the concert by the Ensemble vocal Polymnie de Longueuil, organized by the Recreation Committee of Maison Jésus-Marie, was a magnificent opening to the concert season. The ensemble of 40 choir members, was led by Louis Lavigueur, both choirmaster and orchestra conductor, and who demonstrated his great mastery throughout the diversity of his repertoire.

This repertoire consists of sacred and secular choral works by composers of yesterday and today. The choir performed a dozen pieces, including those by Melchior Franck, Alain Langrée, Morten Lauridsen, W.A. Mozart and Lionel Daunais.

Throughout the performance by the Ensemble vocal Polymnie, Louis Lavigueur took the time to give information about each piece, which resulted in a better experience for the audience. Also noteworthy was the magnificent work of accomplished pianist-accompanist Anne-Marie Denoncourt, a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

A return to the roots

This first visit of the Ensemble vocal Polymnie de Longueuil to Maison Jésus-Marie coincides with the 40-year existence of this choir which was founded by Raymond Laforge, assisted by Sister Maryse Moisan, S.N.J.M.

Sister Maryse remembers the rehearsals in the Blue Room at Collège Durocher. "What beautiful memories," she stated when the current choirmaster, Louis Lavigueur, paid tribute to her at this concert. Of the 40 choir members making up the current vocal ensemble, there remains one person from the era when the choir was founded.

The members of the Ensemble vocal Polymnie de Longueuil were impressed by the acoustic quality of the chapel and by the warm welcome from the Sisters. The experience was so positive that they hope they will be welcomed back if the need for a place to rehearse arises in the future.

Photo album – Photo credits: Sister Gisèle Lalande



Thank you for the marvels harvested

Thanksgiving Day, celebrated at Résidence Marie-Rose-Durocher Residence, was the occasion to give thanks for many kindnesses including those of nature. "We thanked the Creator for all the marvels we harvested,” said Sister Pierrette Désilets, referring to the abundant harvest from the city garden.

Lettuce, radishes, cucumbers and an abundance of tomatoes satisfied all the Sisters who greatly appreciated eating fresh and un-refrigerated vegetables. There was a certain pride in seeing all these vegetables grown during the summer and a great satisfaction in consuming the fruit of the labor of a whole team of volunteers, led by Sister Jeanne Lebeau.


In addition to the large standing flower box, the residence’s city garden stretched along the wire fence to accommodate the vegetable plants and flowers and to also brighten up the backyard. You just had to see these various vegetable and flower plants growing blithely, ignoring the asphalt environment!

The visitors and the Sisters were able to enjoy the pleasant look and the aromas released through nature and which proved to be lavishly abundant, having profited from all the care given by the team of the city garden from Résidence Marie-Rose -Durocher.

See the photo album

Who is Jeanne Mance, co-founder of Montreal?

The lecture series “Portrait of a Woman” began its season at Maison Jésus-Marie with a presentation on the life of Jeanne Mance, co-founder of Montreal. Associate of the Congregation of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph (RHSJ) and co-director of the Centre Jeanne-Mance, Madame Monique Lanouette Beaucage, captivated her audience by recounting the key moments in the life of this extraordinary woman. 

Recognizing that she had a missionary vocation, Jeanne Mance became part of the first French group, led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, with the goal of setting up a colony in Montreal. Arriving in Montreal on May 17, 1642, she would provide care for the workers and aboriginal people who despite the hazardous equipment, were in charge of building the fort.

Commissioned to build a hospital, Jeanne Mance would oversee the construction of the first hospital which was inaugurated on October 8, 1645. The building soon became too small and was replaced by another in 1654. Five years later Jeanne Mance, while still maintaining her secular state, was assisted by the Religious Hospitallers. She continued to manage the hospital until her death in 1673.

Among some anecdotal facts, it was pointed out that Jeanne Mance was a Godmother 41 times for the girls of the colony. She made her last official appearance at the ceremony which brought civil and religious leaders together to lay the fifth cornerstone for Ville-Marie’s first church on 30 June 1672. She was declared Venerable in 2014.

Monique Lanouette Beaucage’s presentation drew the interest of the entire audience who did not hesitate to ask questions and to continue their discussion while light refreshments were served.

This activity, from the new program organized by the Recreation Committee of Maison Jésus-Marie, was an opportunity to highlight the 375 years of the City of Montreal. 

Photo album – Photo credits: Sister Gisèle Lalande


Music, lectures and light-hearted activities in the spotlight at Maison Jésus-Marie

2017-2018 Program

After starting the year with an enjoyable activity - a sand bag game - the residents of Maison Jésus-Marie were invited to attend the first conference in the "Portrait of a Woman" series which will take place on Wednesday, September 27.

As part of Montreal's 375th anniversary, Ms. Monique Beaucage, co-director of the Centre Jeanne Mance and associate of the Religieuses Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph (Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph), will give a lecture on the Venerable Jeanne Mance, known as the co-founder of Montreal. The event will be held in the community room of Saint-André Pavilion. Ms. Beaucage will use a Power Point presentation for her lecture, which promises to be very interesting and relevant in the current historical context.

Music to delight the heart and soul…

Activities will not be lacking during autumn with the presentations of several concerts. So, beginning on October 1st, we will have the Chœur Polymnie, directed by Louis Lavigueur. Accompanied on the piano by Anne-Marie Denoncourt, this choir established 40 years ago, began its rehearsals in the Salon Bleu at Collège Durocher under the direction of Raymond Laforge, assisted by Sister Maryse Moisan. This musical presentation is part of the Journées de la Culture (Cultural Days) and will undoubtedly help the audience to experience some wonderful moments.

After a two-year absence, the SNJM Seniors Choir will be back this fall. Some 32 people have registered to participate in the activities of this group, created for the pleasure of singing and sharing joyful moments together. The vocal ensemble will gather in the chapel on Wednesdays at 2:30 pm, under the direction of Sister Maryse Moisan, and their season will begin on October 4th.

  • For November, two other concerts are scheduled. The first, Piano four hands, will be presented on November 12 with the participation of two young Japanese women, Tomako Inui and Haruyo, former students of Sister Natalie Pépin at the Université de Montréal.
  • A choir of sacred music “Chorale Vox”, under the direction of Alain Vadeboncoeur, will present an acappella concert, on Sunday, November 26, in the chapel.
  • The month of December will be dedicated to music with Christmas concerts when the English-speaking Sisters and Associates will be welcomed. Under the direction of Sister Lorna Cooney, the singing of Christmas Carols takes on a festive atmosphere and promotes the sharing of traditional songs during the holiday season. Mark December 2, on your agenda!
  • The Arc-en-Ciel Choir, under the direction of François Julien, with be introducing its new show, on December 10. When this article was written, this event had yet to be confirmed.
  • The choir from the Maison des Enfants Marie-Rose from Beauharnois will be returning on December 16. With their customary spontaneity and their energy, the young people from this organization bring a breath of fresh air. Under the direction of Janine Lefebvre, an SNJM associate, the young people will provide moments to be treasured.
  • To end the season in style, the SNJM Seniors Choir will present their Christmas concert on December 22nd. This will be a great opportunity to discover the talent of our older Sisters.

Activities for learning … and for having fun

The program of the Recreational Committee of Maison Jésus-Marie consists of several activities, including the Lecture Series which makes it possible to learn about other Religious Congregations in the area. Sister Juliette Bonneau, accompanied by another Sister, will present the charism, history and works of the Filles de la Providence (Daughters of Providence). This event will be held in the community room of the Saint-André Pavilion at 2:30 pm on October 18th.

Other activities planned include Bingo on Friday, October 27th. This activity is always appreciated by the Sisters who are given the chance to win prizes while having fun. It is also an opportunity to meet the Sisters from the other floors of the house and to share in a little "gastronomic surprise".

Another activity is also planned for those on the floors at Saint-Charles Pavilion on October 31st. It goes without saying that there will be a Halloween theme on this particular day.
On November 17, the game "Who Are You? will be featured. This is a fun-filled quiz which brings enjoyment to all those who participate.

As can be seen, the Recreation Committee of Maison Jésus-Marie has put together a diversified program for this autumn season. In addition to this program, there are several other events and activities organized by other committees or groups including the knitting exhibition, on October 20, just before World Mission Sunday.

The program for the second half of the year will be announced later.

Other articles in the section SNJM Life
Tasting probiotic yogurts
A magnificent four-handed piano recital by the HATO duet
Celebrating Halloween with music by La Mosaïque Choir
Reminiscing about Sainte-Émélie
Do you know the “Filles de la Providence de Saint-Brieuc”?
Ensemble vocal Polymnie de Longueuil: An inspiring and magical performance at Maison Jésus-Marie
Thank you for the marvels harvested
Who is Jeanne Mance, co-founder of Montreal?
Music, lectures and light-hearted activities in the spotlight at Maison Jésus-Marie
Friday BBQ’s at Maison Jésus-Marie