Being of Breton origin, our founders were sensitive to the difficulties of their time in their country, France. In this context, Mr. Noury, pastor of Bignan, dreamed of establishing a « house of piety and good works » for the care of the sick and the education of the youth. Because of political reasons, he was forced into exile to Spain and Portugal. Some 30 years later, Mr. Coeffic took up his project and with Perrine Samson and four companions, founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus at Bignan, on November 25, 1834. Today, this small seed has taken root in 14 countries.
The celebrations began with a solemn mass. Mgr Luc Bouchard, bishop of the diocese of Three-Rivers, presided. He was accompanied by seven priests, implicated in one way or another in the life of Kermaria.
Sister Monique Brûlé, Vice-Provincial, extended a welcome and gave the meaning of this celebration: to commemorate, in thanksgiving, the gifts of God in us and in the Congregation.
At the Offertory, symbols illustrated the dreams of Mr. Noury. A fragile but tenacious root represented the birth and survival of our religious family. During 180 years, with the strength of its roots, the tree resisted different storms, one being the Combes law whose object was the laicisation of the religious world in France.
The sap that was circulating in this tree found its source in the Incarnation of the Son of God, a path of humanisation and a gift of closeness. After some years a new bud has emerged, our Associates. As a former Superior General has said, « It is they who are the ones who will carry the spirit of our charism wherever we have passed and where our resources are diminishing. »
Finally, with this celebration, we have wanted to send up a Magnificat of gratitude expressed by Sr. Pâquerette Dessureault, Provincial for:
• Yesterday’s life accepted in faith,
• Today’s life shared in love,
• Tomorrow’s life given to the end.
After a festive meal where we were able to fraternize and find new energy in friendship, each one left to resume his or her occupation with the words of the song With the joy of the Gospel:
«Go, I am sending you to the crossroads
To walk closely with the pilgrims…”
Madeleine Aylwin, d.j.