At a time when religious communities are facing a significant decrease in the number of members, important issues are being raised; the transmission of their mission, values and commitment is one of them. Desiring to leave valuable legacy to future generations, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) asked themselves this question: How can we concretely transmit and highlight our missionary work that has spanned decades, both locally and internationally? This led to a long period of reflection which resulted in the creation of the Virtual Center of the MIC Historical Missionary Memory with the collaboration of a team of professionals and lay persons.
The fruit of two years of preparation, the official launching took place on November 8, 2016 at the MIC Missionary Center in Laval. About 50 people were present at this event. The persons responsible for this project spoke on its context and on the stages of development. This was followed by a demonstration on a large screen of the Virtual Center. “Today, the question of whether or not we should have an online presence is irrelevant,” said Sister Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, director of the MIC Mission News. She emphasized the necessity to “rise to the challenge and adapt to our changing society and worldwide audience, for the good go missionary work.”
The objective is to ensure the protection and accessibility of all print magazines distributed by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Institute: MIC MIssion News (English version) and Le Précurseur (French version). From 1920 onwards, 976 issues were digitized and made available to the public through the Virtual Historical Center. The entire collection is an invaluable cultural archive for the Canadian society and a testament to the unwavering dedication and social contribution of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Fruit of a long process, pressemic.org is the result of the collaboration between many individuals who digitized each issue, adapted them to the site’s newly designed interface:
- Denis Pépin, General Director of Archives Lanaudière, and his team was responsible for digitizing the magazines and for creating the indexes;
- André Kahlé of Infoka – Engineer, Archilog software designer and search portal creation;
- Sophie Caron of Caron communications graphiques, was responsible for creating the Web’s interface;
- Sister Suzanne Labelle, Sister Suzanne Lachapelle, Sister Claudette Bouchard et Mrs. Megan Callahan contributed to the translation of the Web content;
- Mrs. Audrey Charland, Communication and development Officer of MIC Missionary Press, handled the project design and layout.
This project was made possible, in part, thanks to funding provided by the Canadian government.
The Virtual Center was thought of as an interactive “hybrid” making the magazine accessible to regular readers, as well as to researchers, students, and casual Internet browsers. The interface was designed to make the reader’s experience as pleasant as possible, bridging the practicality of PDF downloads (for those who want to keep and annotate the texts) and the fluidity of page-turning (for those who want a more natural experience).
Instead of shutting down, the MIC Sisters decided to revive the magazine relying on a young and diverse editorial team. The next big step will be the celebration of the magazine’s centennial in 2020.
Communication and Development Officer
450 663-6460 poste 5307