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Unveiling of a Commemorative Plaque: Tribute to the Priests of Saint-Sulpice

Stéphanie Manseau

“The Congrégation de Notre-Dame salutes the Priests of Saint-Sulpice of

Montreal, who provided their unflagging support over the centuries

before ceding the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel

to the Congregation in 2014.

This historic chapel is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site that the

Congregation’s sainted founder, Marguerite Bourgeoys, dedicated to

the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the mid-17th century.

 

This plaque was unveiled on September 20, 2017, the anniversary of the birth of

Jean-Jacques Olier, founder of the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice.

It marks the 360th anniversary of the arrival of the first Sulpician missionaries in Montreal

and the 375th anniversary of the founding of the Society, in Paris.”

Actually, the ceremony of the official unveiling of the commemorative plaque that the Sisters of the Congrégation of Notre-Dame had installed at the entrance to the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel was held on October 19.

Stéphan Martel, interim director of the chapel and Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum

Stéphan Martel, interim director of the chapel and Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum, pointed out that the mission Marguerite Bourgeoys began in 1678 of going out to the people and of welcoming them continues today at the chapel.

Sister Agnes Campbell, leader of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Sister Agnes Campbell, leader of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame, recalled that the Sulpician priests who arrived in 1667 had the intention of transforming Montreal from a mission to a parish. The whole settlement was involved in the construction of the chapel. It brought the settlers together and gave them a place to pray in community. This, according to Sister Agnes, is one of the greatest gifts Marguerite Bourgeoys gave to Montreal. In the partnership between the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame and the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice for more than 360 years, there has existed a mutual desire to bring together and support this nascent society and to give it a true sense of community.

Father Jacques d’Arcy, Provincial Superior of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice

Father Jacques d’Arcy, Provincial Superior of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice, began by thanking the sisters for their tribute to the Society for the care the priests gave to the chapel, a place of pilgrimage of their foundress. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the Congregation. The Sulpician priests worked tirelessly and provided the financial assistance needed to protect the chapel and to ensure the continuation of its mission when, for example, it needed to be rebuilt after a fire, or, when it was threatened by the urbanization and development of the Port of Montreal.

The commemorative plaque certifies and bears witness to the collaboration of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame and the Priests of Saint-Sulpice that will continue into the future. Father d’Arcy spoke of the chapel as a centre of spiritual radiation, an Areopagus of evangelization, a living place still connected to the movement of the School of French Spirituality.

Sister Danielle Dubois

Moreover, it was with the words of Jean-Jacques Olier, founder of the Society of Priests, that those assembled continued the celebration in prayer. As the master of ceremonies, Sister Danielle Dubois noted that this ceremony of gratitude would not be complete without the expression of our gratitude to God who made possible this work and this collaboration.

The plaque was unveiled by Sister Agnes Campbell and Father Jacques d’Arcy and the ceremony ended to the strains of Laudate Dominum coming from the organ. In an atmosphere of conviviality and gratitude, the gathering concluded with a reception held in the crypt.

 

Father Jacques d’Arcy, pss, and Father Jaime Mora, pss, with Sister Arlita Matte, CND   

Sister Ercilia Janeth Ferrera Erazo, CND,  Sister Ona Bessette, CND, Sister Sophie Mbougoum, CND

Photos : Marie-Claire Dugas

 

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