Farewell to our beloved cottage

Acquired in 1964, our fj cottage, Moncton, Canada Entity, is situated in an enchanting area in Grande Digue, New Brunswick, Canada. We have enjoyed this place for over 50 years! The time has come to remind us of the words of Ecclesiastes in chapter 3: There is a time in life for everything – a time to buy and a time to sell. And this is where we are right now.

A Brief History

Construction work on the cottage continued from 1964 to 1968, largely with material from the demolition of the old convent in Rogersville (one of our first founding sites in Canada). It is heartwarming to see the connection between the past and the present.

Over the years, additions have been made to the first buildings: a small cottage near the first, a solarium in the large common room, a patio joining the two main buildings to facilitate comings and goings between the buildings and a wheelchair ramp. On the grounds, there is a large swing, benches, a feeder for small birds and over time, a vegetable garden.  All that constitutes our cottage!

A Place of Beauty

Our cottage is nestled in an enchanting environment, in Cap de Cocagne, surrounded partially by trees, facing a beautiful body of water – the Northumberland Strait. It is always impressive to admire the breathtaking sunsets over the sea! In addition, in this peaceful atmosphere, we can enjoy the joyful song of the birds. It is a truly wonderful place.

A Place of Relaxation

The cottage was open from May to October. In the old days, the novices came here for their holidays. At the end of a school year or after summer school, the sisters came either for a few weeks or a few days, in order to rest, regain their physical and spiritual strength, and of course to meet up with others for a chat. There was opportunity for those who love bathing or swimming or simply sitting on the warm sand to contemplate the sea. At times we welcomed a surprise visit of a family member, a friend  as well as Daughters of Jesus from elsewhere. Some liked to stroll in nature or pick strawberries or blueberries. In the fall, we all met at the cottage for a special meal – a boiled dinner.

A Place of Retreat and Relaxation

Being a conducive place for contemplation, we were able to follow directed retreats for several years. Some sisters have also benefited from annual private retreats. Sisters also had the opportunity to follow various sessions during the summer; to name a few: Retreat and Mission, Charismatic sessions, sessions on the writings of Father Richard Rohr, sessions given by Sr. Jacqueline Martel to our sisters of service; there was also a weekend retreat attended by lay people…

It is important to mention groups who have enjoyed our cottage for fraternal meetings: Moncton diocesan teams, choirs, MacGillivary Guest Home employees, international fj meetings for our young Haitian, Dominican and Canadian sisters, groups of fj sisters from  Europe, family gatherings…

A Place of Celebration

Every year since we have been in Riverview, we have celebrated our Jubilee Sisters at Grande Digue Parish. On the day of the celebration – Sunday – we had the joy of gathering with the parishioners for the Eucharist. After the celebration, we went to our cottage where everything had been planned and prepared: the large room was all decorated and tables set-up for a festive meal in a joyful atmosphere.

After this delicious meal, we took time to socialize before returning to Riverview.

Other meetings: Province or Vice-Province days, launching of the year…

Here are some expressions gathered from a few sisters expressing what the cottage meant to them:

  • A place of encounter with the Lord in nature
  • Tranquility
  • A place of rest and rejuvenation
  • Peace and relaxation
  • Fraternal sharing
  • A place conducive to contemplation

Yes, our cottage has been a real sanctuary where we spent peaceful and unforgettable moments, times of contemplation of nature while tasting the splendor and the goodness of the Lord. And today… From time to time, we need to close a chapter in our life; we need to say “goodbye”, and that moment has arrived for us FJ. of the Moncton Entity.

We need to let go of this beloved cottage. While feeling certain heart pangs, we are nevertheless filled with gratitude for all those graces that the Lord has given us to live in this blessed place. Precious memories will live on in our hearts. Right now, we feel like shouting:

“My God, you are great, you are wonderful,

Living God, Most High God

You are the God of love.

My God you are great, you are wonderful,

Living God, Most High God

God present in all creation. »

                                              Psalm of Creation

Sr. Joyce Brochet, fj, and Sr. Margaret Wincey, fj

Moncton, Canada

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