It’s a simple word, but it carries a lot of weight. It was with great emotion that the parish community of Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada, said ‘Thank you’ to the Daughters of Jesus who are leaving after 118 years of presence.
Last Sunday, August the 29th, the parish community of Dalhousie and the surrounding area gathered to say ‘Thank You’ to Sisters Jeannine LeClerc and Thérèse Vautour and, through them, to all the Daughters of Jesus for their devoted presence in their community.
Mass of thanksgiving
During the Eucharistic celebration, the parish priest, Father David Ferguson, spoke from the heart as he expressed his gratitude to the Daughters of Jesus who have left and still leave the memory of a loving presence among the people. The population is grateful to the Sisters for their care of the sick, the education of the young, and their closeness to the elderly, and regrets to see them leave the area.
Presentations were made to the last two Sisters to work in Dalhousie with words of praise from the parish priest. A lady who is a member of the municipal council, also spoke with great emotion. A rose was presented to all the Daughters of Jesus present, as a symbol of the life lived by all those who worked in Dalhousie, Charlo, Dundee, Eel River, Lorne and Nash Creek.
Sr Sylvia Boudreau, who has worked herself in the region, took the opportunity to thank the people for the support that the Sisters have always received over the course of the years.
Sisters Jeannine and Thérèse leave Dalhousie with a heavy heart but happy with the links that they have forged with all these very endearing people. By their presence, they have fulfilled this passage from our Rule of Life (no 15) :
“Wherever we are sent
we associate ourselves closely
with the people of the locality
in all simplicity.
We collaborate with others,
Insofar as we are able,
For the betterment of all
and for the spreading of the Gospel,
so that together we may be able
to welcome Jesus Christ and live as his Church.”
Mr. Alexandre Méthot, who was a student and then a teacher with the Daughters of Jesus, gave this beautiful testimony.
Dear Daughters of Jesus
One hundred and eighteen years of presence
in the Dalhousie region,
is an event to be celebrated.
More than a century of service
to children and the sick,
this was your vocation,
one that you have lived
with love and great generosity.
You have given life
to the words of Christ :
“Whatever you did for the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.”
Many of these women,
workers of the first hour
have already received their reward,
but those who remain
must feel a legitimate pride in
having participated in this work
which deserves the greatest admiration
and the recognition of several generations.
Please accept my sincere congratulations
and the assurance of my sincere
and continued friendship.
Jeannine and Thérèse, we wish you a well-deserved rest and a healthy entry into retirement.
Sr Jacqueline Desroches, fj Moncton, Canada