SNJM Life

A “romantic keyboard” which captivated its audience

A delightful musical and cultural adventure with the theme "The Romantic Keyboard" took place at Maison Jésus-Marie, on January 21. Lorraine Prieur and Claudine Lapointe, pianists and Luc Saucier, bass and narrator presented a varied and enchanting concert with performances for Solo Piano, Piano 4-Hands and sung lieder*. 

These three renowned artists have combined their talents for this particular performance combining narration and music. On the program, Frédéric Chopin (Study Op. 35, No. 7 and Prelude Op. 28 No. 15), Robert Schumann (In der Fremde), Johannes Brahms (Waltzes Op. 39 Nos. 1, 2, 3.15 for Piano 4-Hands), Anton Dvorak (Slovanic Dances: Dumka Op. 72 No. 2 - Piano 4-Hands) and Franz Schubert (Der Wanderer Op. 4, Der Lindenbaum (Winterreise), Fantasy in F minor Op. 103 - Piano 4-Hands).

Those in attendance literally fell under the spell of these unforgettable works, performed by professional artists in complete mastery of their art. The idea of presenting short narratives to discover the life of these composers from the romantic era, combined with musical performances, pleased everyone.

Well known to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), Lorraine Prieur and Luc Saucier pursued their respective careers while directing the School of Music and Calligraphy "The Montée des Arts" in Mont Saint-Hilaire. Both are former SNJM students.
Claudine Lapointe, who has perfected her knowledge with Lorraine Prieur, is active in teaching, interpretation and composition.

*Source: Wikipedia - The lied, plural lieder is a setting of a German poem to classical music sung by one voice and accompanied by one piano or an instrumental ensemble.

Photos - Sister Gisèle Lalande

Understanding social action with the “Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal”

With humor and much enthusiasm, Sister Esther Champagne of the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal, led her audience on a journey through time during her presentation on Friday, January 19. Invited as part of the series of lectures on the Discovery of other Religious Congregations, presented at Maison Jésus-Marie, Sister Champagne provided a comprehensive overview of this congregation founded by Marie Gérin-Lajoie in 1923.

At 82 years old, Sister Esther has lost nothing of her wit and her memory! She maintained the interest of those who attended by integrating numerous anecdotes into her one-hour presentation. This was a feat to be emphasized especially given the fact that she imbued enthusiasm for their respective commitments, into all those present. 

Painting a vibrant portrait of her institute, Sister Esther first focused on presenting the charism of dedication to social action in all its forms: "Accompanying families, young people, immigrants in a constantly evolving Quebec and in a Church open to the world.”

Marie Gérin-Lajoie had the vision of creating a community of "women motivated by the desire to serve God and by a thirst for greater justice" and on the basis of this vision "through an intense spiritual life combined with a knowledge of the world and with action, would endeavor to bring Christian truths within the context of our contemporary way of thinking.”

The name Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil had special significance for its foundress. She therefore made a connection between the gifts of the Holy Spirit received by the Virgin Mary at Pentecost and the demands of an apostolic vocation. 

“Counsel is an aspect of practical wisdom which is indispensable in life. The gift of counsel brings an inner light that is fast and furious: The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart and leads us to choose what we must say and do”, she emphasized.

Today, the congregation continues to be involved in a variety of works with everyone working actively for a culture of peace through the organization Centre de formation sociale Marie-Gérin-Lajoie, established by the Institute in 1996. Its role is to promote the commitment of responsible citizens with the goal to work against injustice and violence in all its forms. 

To learn more about the history of this congregation and this organization    (in French only)

Photos - Sister Gisèle Lalande

 

Understanding social action with the Institute Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal

With humor and much enthusiasm, Sister Esther Champagne of the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal, led her audience on a journey through time during her presentation on Friday, January 19. Invited as part of the series of lectures on the Discovery of other Religious Congregations, presented at Maison Jésus-Marie, Sister Champagne provided a comprehensive overview of this congregation founded by Marie Gérin-Lajoie in 1923.

At 82 years old, Sister Esther has lost nothing of her wit and her memory! She maintained the interest of those who attended by integrating numerous anecdotes into her one-hour presentation. This was a feat to be emphasized especially given the fact that she imbued enthusiasm for their respective commitments, into all those present. 

Painting a vibrant portrait of her institute, Sister Esther first focused on presenting the charism of dedication to social action in all its forms: "Accompanying families, young people, immigrants in a constantly evolving Quebec and in a Church open to the world.”

Fighting against injustice and violence

Marie Gérin-Lajoie had the vision of creating a community of "women motivated by the desire to serve God and by a thirst for greater justice" and on the basis of this vision "through an intense spiritual life combined with a knowledge of the world and with action, would endeavor to bring Christian truths within the context of our contemporary way of thinking.”

The name Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil had special significance for its foundress. She therefore made a connection between the gifts of the Holy Spirit received by the Virgin Mary at Pentecost and the demands of an apostolic vocation.

“Counsel is an aspect of practical wisdom which is indispensable in life. The gift of counsel brings an inner light that is fast and furious: The Holy Spirit speaks to the heart and leads us to choose what we must say and do”, she emphasized.

Today, the congregation continues to be involved in a variety of works with everyone working actively for a culture of peace through the organization Centre de formation sociale Marie-Gérin-Lajoie, established by the Institute in 1996. Its role is to promote the commitment of responsible citizens with the goal to work against injustice and violence in all its forms.

To learn more about the history of this congregation and this organization  (in French only)

Photos - Sister Gisèle Lalande

 

Opening ourselves to others through prayers from Eastern Religions and Judaism

A day of recollection is a time for beneficial renewal which favors reflection, a returning to the sources which inspire us and bring us life. The most recent activity of this type, took place on December 2nd at Residence Marie-Rose Durocher.  The day was planned and carried out by the Spiritual Animation Committee of the Quebec SNJMs, and achieved its objectives in a wonderful way.
 
The testimony of one of the participants highlights the special atmosphere of this gathering.
"O You, beyond all ..."
 
"Dim lighting set the scene for an atmosphere of calm, contemplation, and prayer. The visual and the prayers taken from Eastern Religions and Judaism helped us to pray to God, the root of all humanity. This leap into the universal was preparation for the Eucharistic Celebration. After lunch the Our Father, which was compared to the ‘Kaddish’ (a hymn of praises to God found in Jewish prayer services) promoted reflection, discussion and served as an invitation to encounter God."
 
The day, co-facilitated by Sisters Jacqueline Boudreau and Lise Bluteau, took place in an atmosphere of silence and inspirational contemplation. “The environment was conducive to reflection, and the well-balanced schedule enabled the animators to present content that was intensive, unifying and revitalizing” added the same participant.
 
The initial goal was attained and each of the 45 participants came away enriched by the reflection, prayer and sharing in small groups.

A similar gathering at Maison Jésus-Marie

On December 7, the Sisters at Maison Jésus-Marie participated in a day of reflection. On this occasion the content, based on what was offered at the first gathering, was adapted to meet the needs of the Sisters living in both pavilions.

The challenge of facilitating this gathering was entrusted to Sisters Michèle Gouin and Jeanne Dagenais. The morning was reserved for prayer and reflection with texts chosen from Eastern Religions and Judaism. The reflection continued in the afternoon with contemplation on an event in Mary's life: the Annunciation.

This special time of prayer also served as a prelude to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which was celebrated the following day. This is an important feast for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) since it marks the anniversary of the first three Sisters of the Congregation making their first vows.

During the day each of the Sisters deepened their awareness and experience of God as well as that of Mary.

In closing, we point out that the Quebec Spiritual Animation Committee plans to organize another day of recollection during Lent.

Photos taken by Sister Yolande Dufresne

Rediscover the charm of sacred music with the "VOX" Choir

The VOX choir, during their concert on November 26 at Maison Jésus-Marie, took the audience on a wonderful journey back in time by immersing them into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With the theme "Around the Rite of the Dedication of Churches", this concert of sacred songs brought to life a magnificent musical and cultural experience.

Truly, the musical director Alain Vadeboncoeur, a history buff regarding this era, delighted his audience by presenting each piece of music with scholarliness. It is a great way for him to share his passion and discoveries, while contributing to having these pieces from another era better appreciated. 

The Vox Choir is characterized by its keen interest in sacred music, the Latin language and the ‘A Capella’ style, that is without accompaniment by a musical instrument.  During this concert, the vocal effect, backed by the acoustics of the chapel at Maison Jésus-Marie, was unequalled in its richness. 

Incidentally, this explains the recent full-day foray by this mixed choir in the chapel at Maison Jésus-Marie. The members of this choir were thus able to practice in a perfect place with good sound quality.

Research and dissemination of sacred music

This vocal ensemble has been directed by Alain Vadeboncoeur since 2001. It is entirely dedicated to research and to the dissemination of sacred music. His repertoire consists mainly of plainchant and of sacred polyphony from all eras.

The expertise acquired throughout the years has enabled the choral ensemble to discover unknown works, sometimes unpublished and this, through high-quality performances to audiences who are surprised and won over by these incomparable treasures.  

The choir is pleased to respond to invitations to present its repertoire in new venues with the goal of fully carrying out its mandate, that of disseminating sacred music in Montreal.

Photos – Report: 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

Other articles in the section SNJM Life
A “romantic keyboard” which captivated its audience
Understanding social action with the “Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal”
Understanding social action with the Institute Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal
Opening ourselves to others through prayers from Eastern Religions and Judaism
Rediscover the charm of sacred music with the "VOX" Choir
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”?