The SNJM Education Program

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Established in Longueuil in 1843 to educate girls, especially the poor, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Marie (SNJM) has always focused on developing students’ full potential.

In order to do this, in 1844 two Sisters were sent to learn pedagogy from the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Subsequently, one of them, Mother Véronique-du-Crucifix, General Directress of Studies, began to write an education program.

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, filled with the spirit of their revered Mother Foundress and deeply committed to the education of young people, understood that to be permanent and consistent, instruction must be standardized. Thus they adopted common methods and drew up an Education Program intended to serve as their guide in the very complex art of teaching. There would be only one way of teaching used in all the houses of the Congregation. Because the Education Program covered methodologies for various branches of instruction, the Sisters found it easy to apply the adopted practices. (G01.02/F.1,05 Mother Véronique-du-Crucifix/Plan d’études/Introduction, 1881, translation)

This SNJM Education Program, written between 1850 and 1880, covers a wide range of subjects, from religious instruction to bookkeeping, embroidery, sacred and secular history, botany and zoology.

Throughout her long career, Mother Véronique-du-Crucifix continued her reading, visits and research in order to adjust and improve her Education Program, for which she herself drew all the illustrations. A copy of this handwritten notebook was available in each SNJM mission in Québec, Ontario, Manitoba and the United States. All agreed that the Education Plan was the foundation on which SNJM teaching rested.

The archival exhibition, Education for Young Women: Central to the SNJM Mission offers an authentic look at the SNJM Education Program, which lies at the heart of the teaching provided by SNJM’s.

The exhibition is being held at the Congregational House in Longueuil until February 7, 2020.
Free admission.
Visit by appointment.