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Launch of the Congregation’s 175th anniversary celebrations in Québec


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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment. Regular visiting hours are from Tuesday to Friday; the summer schedule is from Wednesday to Sunday. The Congregational House is located at 80, rue Saint-Charles Est, Longueuil.

Acts of the 2016 General Chapter: Distribution of the booklet Open Wide Our Doors

Actes du 34e Chapitre general SNJM-2016

The distribution of the 2016 General Chapter Acts booklet began in January at the Lima meeting of the Peru and Brazil regions of the Missions Sector, followed by distribution in Montreal.

The distribution of this booklet, always eagerly awaited following a General Chapter, continued in January in Lesotho during the visit of three of the four members of the new Congregational Leadership Team (CLT): Sisters Linda Haydock, Mary Ellen Holohan and Kathleen Ross.

During the weeks of January and February, the booklet was distributed in the 16 Mission Centres of the U.S.-Ontario Province, while in the Manitoba Province it was handed out during the provincial meeting on January 21.

The process continued in Québec on February 18 at the birthday celebration at Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil. This celebration coincided with the visit of Sisters Linda Haydock and Lorna Cooney, members of the Congregational Leadership Team (CLT). With the three members of the Quebec Provincial Team, they presented the booklets to the sisters and associates who were present. Sister Linda and Sister Lorna were happy to have the opportunity to meet them and to get to know them better.

Distribution of this booklet was completed on March 11 during a day-long gathering of the Anglophone sisters and associates at the Congregational House in Longueuil.

The title of the Acts of Chapter, Open Wide Our Doors, evokes the overarching orientation of this general chapter in response to the urgent needs of our times. Integral to the vision is collaboration and partnership with others.

The Acts of the 34th General Chapter of the Congregation of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary are available in the five languages of the congregation: English, French, Portuguese, Sesotho and Spanish.


Expression of solidarity with migrants, refugees and the Grande Mosquée de Québec

Proposed SNJM  CorporateStand  Migrants

The four members of the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) sent a letter to the directors of the Great Mosque of Quebec following the tragic events that occurred in January in Québec City (Canada).

Lamenting the “loss of people who enriched Quebec society by the quality of their lives,” the letter affirmed that the sisters of this international congregation stand in solidarity with Muslims throughout the world. “With you, in prayer, we hope for a world of peace and justice.”

Process to adopt a corporate stand on migrants and refugees

At the same time as this tragic event in early January 2017, SNJMs launched a congregation-wide process in view of adopting a corporate stand on migrants and refugees.

In the context of the current international reality and building upon the Acts of the 2011 and 2016 Chapters, as well as on the experience of SNJM sisters and associates working with migrants and refugees, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary have embarked upon this extensive deliberation. The process will culminate in a vote in May 2107.

Meetings are being held in several different locations and in all the regions of this international religious congregation which works in North America, South America and Africa.

Supporting the work for justice with and for migrants and refugees

For SNJMs, this process of reflection and the eventual adoption of a corporate stand in May officially confirms their support for working for justice with and for migrants and refugees. It is a way of drawing more specific attention to this issue that has a catastrophic impact on the life of every individual affected by it. It is also a method of denouncing deplorable situations while acting in concrete ways to counteract the injustices.

It is important to note that the displacement of human beings has been steadily increasing for a number of years at a rate exceeding that of the growth in world population.  Some 65 million people have been forced to leave their homes, including more than 21 million refugees. 

New Congregational Leadership Team

NEWCLTSisters Kathleen Ross, Linda Haydock, Mary Ellen Holohan and Lorna Cooney


Longueuil, September 14, 2016 - The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary are happy to announce their new Congregational Leadership Team elected recently by the delegates of the 34th General Chapter. With a five-year mandate from 2017 to 2021, this new team will take office on January 1, 2017.

• Sister Linda Haydock, Congregational Leader
• Sister Lorna Cooney, Councilor
• Sister Mary Ellen Holohan, Councilor
• Sister Kathleen Ross, Councilor

The Chapter was held at NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, from July 8 to 29, 2016. Inspired by the theme, "An Adventure with the Spirit," this assembly of sisters and associates identified the core orientation of the Congregation for the next five years.

About the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) is an international community of Catholic women religious. In their mission, SNJMs act with the cooperation of associates, lay consecrated persons, volunteers, colleagues and friends. Founded in 1843 in Longueuil, QC, Canada, the Congregation carries out its mission of education on three continents. Visit

The Taillon MNA, Diane Lamarre, visits Marie-Rose Centre

DianeLamarreMNA Diane Lamarre with Catherine Ferguson, Superior General, and Denise Riel, Provincial Superior

Longueuil, September 12, 2016 — Last week, the Taillon Member of the National Assembly, Ms Diane Lamarre had a nostalgic return to Marie-Rose Centre, located at 80 Saint-Charles Est. Ms. Lamarre visited the chapel, the museum, the historic rooms and the foundation house, and then headed to the archives, where she found written evidence of her time at the old convent. "I have a deep appreciation for how carefully the nuns preserve everything here. What a joy it is to reconnect with my formative years, which had such a great impact on my future choices. Thank you to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, to whom I owe so much," said Ms. Lamarre.

First season open for tourism
The MNA took the opportunity to congratulate the nuns on Marie-Rose Centre's success over the summer. In July and August, the Centre welcomed close to 500 visitors. The increased traffic is the result of the centre's expanded hours, a new partnership with the City of Longueuil and the inclusion of Marie-Rose Centre in the Saint Lawrence River Shrines route. Also the Centre hosted a popular August 13 event, La Passion d'Augustine...selon les SNJM, which featured a talk, a mini concert and an exhibit about the now-gone Saint-Antoine brook.

Historic sites to know and preserve
The experience was so positive that other similar activities are planned for next year. This policy of openness on the part of the Sisters is a deliberate approach to protect heritage. "Although we continue to actively use these historic sites as offices and a residence, we would like to make them more well-known to others. We think this is the best way to ensure they are protected in the medium- and the long-term," explained Catherine Ferguson, Superior General of the Congregation.

About the SNJM
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) is an international community of Catholic religious women. In their mission, the SNJMs act with the assistance of associates, lay consecrated persons, volunteers, colleagues and friends. Founded in 1843 in Longueuil, Quebec, the congregation carries out its mission of education on three continents. To find out more, visit

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