Teacher Training: “Know more to give more.”

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“People are our Congregation’s primary resource. Helping them develop their full potential remains the best way of promoting our own interests as well as those of society and the Church.” 

This quote from the 1967 General Chapter aptly sums up the mission of education of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary from its inception. The sisters at the time realized it was not enough to merely offer girls a chance to attend school. It was imperative that their teachers possess the necessary knowledge and methods required to ensure quality education as stated in the Constitutions of 1892. 

Constitutions of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Hochelaga, 1892 


After the example of Sister Thérèse-de-Jésus and Sister Véronique-du-Crucifix, who in 1844 were initiated into the ways of teaching and managing a class by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, each teaching sister was encouraged to continue her education throughout the course of her lifetime so as to perfect her skills and thus be able to provide her students with quality education. Each was expected to keep abreast of new programs or to specialize in pedagogy, music, chemistry or culinary arts by taking courses on Saturday, in the evenings or during the summer. By taking advantage of bursaries, some even completed their education at universities in Europe or elsewhere in America. 

First graduating class of the Valleyfield Normal School, 1908  / Sister Armande Marien, SNJM, with the students of the Teachers College in Papaye, Haiti, 1985


Teacher Training Colleges 

Conscious of the fact that younfemale lay teachers needed similar trainingthe Congregation decided, beginning in 1908, to open ten Normal Schools in America and Lesotho. The student teachers were able to practise their newly learned skills and do their student teaching in schools directed by the Sisters. certain number of these women then chose to enter the SNJM Congregation. 

Beginning in the mid-twentieth century teacher education was taken over by universities in Canada and the United States. 

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary has always encouraged and developed teacher training programs for both religious and lay educators in order to respond to the educational needs of girls. The Congregation thus appropriated the motto inscribed on the mosaic of the 1947 graduating class of Maplewood Boarding School in Waterloo, Quebec: “Know more to give more! 

The archival exhibition entitled Education for Young WomenCentral to the SNJM Mission presents teacher training as being at the heart of the SNJM educational mission. 

The exhibition is being held at the Congregational House in Longueuil 

Free admission. 

Visit by appointment.