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6 March 2018

Launch of the SNJM Congregation’s 175th anniversary celebrations in Quebec

Inauguration of the SNJM exhibition, “educate to liberate”

The inauguration of the archival exhibition EDUCATE TO LIBERATE, on February 28, officially launched in Quebec the 175th anniversary year of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), the first teaching congregation of women religious founded by a Canadian woman. Many guests from all over the greater metropolitan area were present for this special event. As of now, the exhibition is open to the public of all ages, by appointment, at the Congregational House until January 25, 2019.

The evocative theme chosen for this archival exhibition, EDUCATE TO LIBERATE, is reflective of the spirit that inspired the foundress, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, and the more than 10,000 sisters who have followed in her footsteps throughout these 175 years. In her presentation, Sister Denise Riel, Provincial Animator of SNJMs in Québec, recalled that “Mother Marie-Rose was deeply committed to helping young people develop their full potential. She firmly believed in education as a driver of social change, – a commitment that remains important to this day.”

The exhibition displays documents from the archives that trace the presence of SNJMs in the places across the world where they have lived and worked over the course of 175 years. The documents are grouped according to region. It is noteworthy that the exhibition highlights aspects of their commitments in domains that go well beyond teaching.

Briefly stated, this exhibition of archival materials is an invitation to discover the diverse works, on three continents, of this congregation that has always sought, and still seeks today, to meet the needs of local communities in education, spirituality, respect for human rights and justice.

A year focused on sharing and renewing ties

Recalling the courage and determination of the foundresses of the congregation, General Councillor Lorna Cooney emphasized their vision as well as their spirit of openness and cooperation with others in the milieu, qualities that remain operative to this day. A pioneer in several spheres of activity, as the exhibition EDUCATE TO LIBERATE demonstrates, the congregation remains active, both in the fields and through its public corporate stands, notably on issues facing migrants and refugees.

Sister Cooney extended an invitation to the public, including former students, partners, employees and teaching colleagues, to take advantage of the anniversary year to participate in various activities that have been planned. “These events will be opportunities for sharing and discovering various facets of our congregation, as well as times for happy reunions.”

In addition to enjoying the exhibition on the 175th SNJM anniversary, lovers of history, culture, and religious and architectural heritage may also visit Marie-Rose Centre, a museum dedicated to the foundresses. It includes the Foundation House, the chapel and the historic rooms where Mother Marie-Rose lived. Tours focused on specific themes will also offered to those who would like to explore certain areas in more depth. To tour the exhibition and, if you wish, to complement your visit by including the other elements of Marie-Rose Centre, please call 450-651-8104, extension 0, or send an email to reception@snjm.org to make an appointment.

Website of the congregation: www.snjm.org/en/