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Marguerite Bourgeoys, Intrepid Missionary

In 1653, the time had come to leave Troyes. Marguerite Bourgeoys undertook her first long voyage across the Atlantic on a sailing vessel under the navigation conditions of that time. Her journey began in Troyes in early January; in March, she left Paris for Nantes; on June 15 or 16, she embarked from Nantes to New France; she finally arrived in Quebec on September 22 of that year. The trans-Atlantic voyage alone took two entire months, not counting the time spent navigating along rivers – one week on the Loire and “a good week” on the Saint Lawrence.

It is worth mentioning how much time Marguerite Bourgeoys spent sailing back and forth from one continent to the other. In addition to her crossing to Canada in 1653, she travelled three other times to France. In all, she crossed the Atlantic seven times. She described the shortest voyage by saying that “(it) only took us 31 days.” This intrepid traveler spent one entire year of her life at sea and close to four months navigating rivers.

The 1653 Crossing

Shortly after the Saint-Nicolas set sail, the ship began to take on water. Returning to port, it was found that the damages were irreparable. Another ship was boarded, one which, most likely, had been contaminated by infectious diseases during previous voyages. (At that time, disinfecting was, of course, unheard of.) An epidemic broke out on board. Marguerite acted as nurse to all who were sick. Eight died at sea. Dom Jamet, her biographer, wrote, “Her vigils were incessant, her kindness unwearied. Marguerite’s voice was the last sound they heard as she recited the prayers for the dying.”

Marguerite Bourgeoys tending to the sick aboard the Saint-Nicolas

The original frame can be found at Regina Assumpta School in Montreal

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Associate Relationship News - Visitation East

Warm Thanksgiving Greetings Everyone. Winnie and I had another meeting at the Motherhouse in Montreal this month with Sr. Nina Glinski and the other Coordinators of Visitation Province. As well, the Central Office Coordinators, Adèle Mercier and Ann Godfryd, and Monica Lambton from the Congregation of Notre Dame Visitation Province JPIC Committee (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), joined us for meetings. Networking and sharing of information with these individuals was very enriching. We also got to visit with many sisters who live at the mother house and some Sisters who live at the Infirmary.

Atlantic Religious Congregations Associate Network (ARCAN) Meeting – September 12-13 in Halifax

ARCAN was founded in 2002 through the wisdom and dedication of Sister Alma MacLellan, CND, and Mabou Associate Peg Madigan to “support the relationship between associates and sisters”. Through ARCAN, the congregations share experiences, learn about current trends and issues, and support one another. “For everything there is a Season” was a line used when Peg announced at the meeting that she would not be with us next season. It was humbling to hear her pride in the way ARCAN has grown over these past 12 years and she felt that our group was in good hands and assured us of her prayers for success in the future. ARCAN is represented by Sisters and Associates of several congregations in Atlantic Canada.

In the ARCAN photo: Front row – Sr Maureen O’Keefe, RSM, and Marjorie Allison-Ross, A-CND. Seated - Lorna Burbine, A-CSM, Sr Margie Gillis, SC, Sr Claudette Gallant, CSM, Peg Madigan, A-CND. Standing Sr Regina Shapter, RSM, Sr Phyllis Gallant, CND, Sr Frances Johnson, CSM, Peggy Gorman, A-RSCJ, Cora Shebib, A-SC, Winnie Odo, A-CND, Sr Lauretta White, CSM, Aline Reid, A-CSM. Back row: visiting Associate Janet Irvine-Ross, A-CND, Sr Norma Heffernan, RSCJ.

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The Pipeline Newsletter (Fall 2014)

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