It’s a new beginning for the Daughters of Jesus of St-Émile d’Auclair, Rimouski, Canada. In September 2023, after 67 years of presence and service, they left this corner of the world for the main residence of the D. J.’s in Rimouski. Sr. Alice Beaudoin and Sr. Bibiane Mailloux give us an account of what it was like to say goodbye.
On this unique occasion, the whole of the Parish Sectors expressed their fraternal farewell. Over the years, the Daughters of Jesus have expanded their mission to all four parishes: as school teachers, as supporters of parish choirs, catechizing children, visiting the sick and offering them Holy Communion, as well as celebrating funerals and burials. The parish communities recognize the many services rendered by the Sisters who have been involved in their communities.
Here is what a lady shared:
“We thank you for all your services to the children, adults and population of the J.A.L. (Regroupement de paroisses du Témiscouata: St-Juste-du-Lac, Auclair, Lejeune, Lots Renversés).”
A few busy weeks
Here’s what our last few weeks in St-Émile d’Auclair have been like . From the very beginning of July, at the various Masses celebrated in all four J.A.L. parishes, people marked our departure with words of thanks and gifts of local produce. We were asked to set aside August 27 for the parish of St-Émile d’Auclair. On that day, a special party was organized in our honor. And what a celebration it was!
As we arrived at the church – decorated with balloons for the occasion – we were greeted by a peal of bells. Inside the building, a guard of honor invited us to take a seat for the remainder of the program: songs by the J.A.L. choirs, a special song by a group of children, tributes from various organizations, and a special poem composed for the occasion.
Here’s a stanza from that poem:
“Two endearing women
Valiant as well
We would like to resemble you
It is very important
To offer you our thanks.”
Here are some touching words spoken during the tributes:
“Thank you for your great generosity towards the parish community and for your sense of caring; your departure will leave a great void.”
“Thank you both for modeling authenticity and kindness; you are women we can hold up as examples to our children.”
“Through your daily lives, you have been true witnesses to Jesus in our community.”
All these tributes were accompanied with gifts: a photo album of the parish, a lamp and a wreath of flowers.
Moved by all these heartfelt tributes, it’s now our turn to speak and express our affection and sincere thanks.
The festivities continued with an honorary glass of wine accompanied with snacks. Fraternal exchanges continued well into the afternoon.
Everything has not been said
In the days following that celebration, people who had been unable to attend came to visit and say goodbye. They brought us canned vegetables, maple products and even some money. How generous these people are!
Looking towards the future
According to some folks the departure of the Daughters of Jesus will leave a great void in their community. In our opinion, the party that was organized proved once again that together, and even without us, they will be able to achieve great things. The younger generations will take over in their own way.
We leave with heavy hearts, but the legacy left by the Daughters of Jesus, who worked in St-Émile d’Auclair, will remain precious to this population. Together, we can say:
Sr Alice Beaudoin, Sr Bibiane Mailloux, fj
Rimouski, Québec, Canada