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The Mysterious, Magical Ways of Marguerite

Rosemary Brosseau, CND

On December 10th and 11th, the Life of Marguerite Bourgeoys As Told in Story and Song was performed four times at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School here in Kingston to the sheer delight of all those in the audience. The play/musical unfolds with seven songs composed by Sr. Eleanor Monahan (some 20 years ago!) and a complementary narration created by Sr. Emily Doherty. Alison Bogle, teacher and CND Associate (in process), along with many talented and generous volunteers, was responsible for the production.

Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters and Associates were honoured guests, graciously welcomed at the school entrance, each presented with a beautiful daisy (a “marguerite”, in French!) and ushered to reserved seats in the auditorium. The students glowed with pride as they carried out their assigned roles. School Board Trustees and students of area schools (amazingly quiet and well behaved!) attended different performances. It was a joy to watch the ‘actors’ so intent, eager and proud to play their part.

Sisters Eleanor and Emily, as well as others who made special contributions, were presented with a beautiful bouquet. Alison was also presented with flowers at the final performance.

Were you wondering about my saying that Sr. Eleanor had composed the seven songs some 20 years ago? Sr. Eleanor explained the magic to us….

She was asked to arrange a book launch for “Have You Met Marguerite?” which she had translated from the French edition by Sister Denise Lamarche. She pleaded with Marguerite: “How do I launch a book with elementary school children? “With her prayer the inspiration came: Why not write them a song?

The launch had been arranged to be held at recently opened St. Marguerite Bourgeoys school in Kingston. That first song, “We Love you Marguerite”, has become the school song clearly loved by the students. Soon after, Sr. Eleanor had the idea to tell Marguerite’s story in song, during the next few weeks, she composed six other songs reflecting significant moments in Marguerite Bourgeoys’s life. 20 years passed and the very right moment came along: Marguerite’s 400th anniversary! Where were the songs all this time? Perhaps, cherished in Marguerite’s heart for just this special moment!

Added to that magic touch comes Sr. Emily’s courageous and creative offer to link the songs with narration of details of Marguerite’s life – a marriage made in heaven! No wonder the school echoed with joy everywhere. Marguerite was there!

Congratulations to Sr. Eleanor, Sr. Emily and Alison and the untold other heroes/heroines who made this miracle happen.


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