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Presse release - Chapter 2021
Religious Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph

OCTOBER 9 2021

We held our 2021 Chapter at the Cité des Hospitalières, 251 avenue des Pins O., in Montreal, from October 3 to 10, 2021, under the theme:

«In a world in search of meaning, let us move forward together, let us liberate Life»

We are pleased to announce the names of our Sisters who have agreed to serve in the General Administration for the next five years.

 Sister Nicole Gaudet, r.h.s.j., Superior General
 Sister Claudette Dionne, r.h.s.j., Assistant
 Sister Alexia Chávez Durand, r.h.s.j., Assistant
 Sister Juline Roberge, r.h.s.j., Assistant

Thanks to the people who have accompanied us with their prayers during these important days.

Religious Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph
General Administration
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
RHSJ General Chapter 2021
More than a year ago, we informed you that our General Chapter had been delayed due to the pandemic.

Today, the Congregation of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph is happy to announce that twenty-three RHSJs will meet at the Cité des Hospitalières in Montreal from October 3 to 10 for the holding of this general assembly which will have as its theme: "In a world in search of meaning, let us move forward together and let us promote Life".

We will talk about it very soon.

Sister Louisette Lelièvre, r.h.s.j.
Let us celebrate with one heart Marie de la Ferre
It has been more than a year since we gave a sign of life, but Marie de la Ferre invites us to come out of our silence. «To serve was her life, to love was her life». On this day of her feast, July 28, let us give thanks to God for her life given.

Let us continue to ask for her help, that in turn, wherever we are, we may know how to respond to the Lord's calls to make unity grow in our families, in our world still shaken by the covid, and which thirsts to find Peace.
In memory of Jeanne Mance
414 years ago, Catherine Émonnot, wife of Charles Mance, gave birth to their second daughter, Jeanne, on November 12, 1606, in Langres, a commune of France.

In memory of Jeanne Mance, here are some beautiful words to read, those of the song that Robert Lebel composed and performed on September 6, 2015, at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, during the Thanksgiving Mass in recognition of the venerability of Jeanne Mance.

Taking God as Spouse from her tender youth, to love him to the end and to keep her promise. Without any other affection than this unique Love, Jeanne makes a deep commitment because of her lay life.

«There is nothing in the world 
That I would not do for him!
My only desire is to love him.
And to fulfill his Will. »

We invite you to visit the temporary exhibition Victor Bourgeau. A bishop and his architect
Victor Bourgeau (1809-1888) was the principal architect of the Montreal diocese under the episcopate of Bishop Bourget. He built more than 200 buildings in Quebec, including the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal in 1861, where the RHSJ worked until 1997. Some of them continued as volunteers with the sick until the hospital closed.

The exhibition focuses on the profession of architecture in the 19th century and provides an understanding of the very specific way of building that Victor Bourgeau developed during his career.
Marie de la Ferre - July 28, 1652
Let us remember Marie de la Ferre, co-founder of the Congregation with Jérôme Le Royer. She was at the Community of Moulins. Now, in that year the City of Moulins was afflicted by a terrible plague.

Marie de la Ferre devoted herself without counting to the bedside of the sick. She was ill and died in the night of July 27-28, 1652. This is a great opportunity to thank the Lord for his life and to entrust to him our present world, especially the victims of the pandemic and their families.

Sister Louisette Lelièvre
We remember… in this time of pandemic
…those courageous Hospitallers of yesterday, who, following the fire in the hospital in 1734, lived (40) in a house with their patients. There they admitted a soldier suffering from a malignant fever (influenza). Within the first few days, Sisters Lepicard and Préville died, and seven other Sisters would succumb, victims of their charity. With no funeral service the Sulpicians buried them in the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours and their remains are still there today. “Our tears dampened our bread and our pillows night and day” wrote Sister Cuillerier.
What's new in May 2020?
This is a topic that could take many pages in this time of pandemic!

For us, Hospitallers of St Joseph, for months we were preparing for the Chapter that was to take place at the end of June 2020.

Of course, we had to postpone the event in March 2021. As our Superior General points out: « The human mind plans the way but the Lord directs the steps.…» Prov. 16,9.

Father Lemaire, parish priest of Roiffé, passed away
Father Lemaire passed away on Febraury 18. He has been parish priest since 1975 in Roiffé, a small village of 700 inhabitants, located in the Vienne region of Poitou-Charentes. Without wishing to deny the historical context of Roiffé, the village is dear to the heart of the Religious Hospitallers, since it is the birthplace of Marie de la Ferre, co-founder of our Congregation.

Father Lemaire and his late brother Michel were devoted guardians of the memory of Marie de la Ferre in this small village, where we like to go and meditate. We are grateful to them.

As our Founders, Father Lemaire was a faithful servant of our God, may he now live in Eternal Peace.
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, World Day of Consecrated Life
On February 2nd, the Church commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, highlighting the Consecration of Jesus to his Father.

Since 1977, the Church wanted to give thanks for consecrated life throughout the world, hence this commemoration Day.
Moreover, in our spiritual family we renew our consecration to the Lord with the spiritual event experienced by Jerome Le Royer, our founder, his vision of the Holy Family, and having the first chapter of our Constitutions dictated to him.

A time for the Congregation to give thanks and to live this day in deep communion with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière in the spotlight
In Montreal, the Sisters of Charity Sainte-Marie, better known as Marie Clarac, received a donation from our Congregation to help them renovate their excellent palliative care service.

Last week, wanting to thank us, they invited us to visit them and we responded to their invitation. It was with emotion that we discovered the delicate way to make their thanks to the RHSJ come true. At the entrance of the palliative care service a wall space is dedicated to Jérôme Le Royer as you can see in the photo.


Living Memory

Hospitallers, witnesses and actresses of the great epidemics in Montreal

Report by René Saint-Louis - Radio-Canada - June 17, 2020

The Musée des Religieuses Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, a bit of a Museum of epidemics. The sisters have not only witnessed the various waves of illness that have struck Montreal throughout its history, but they have also been important actors. Their testimony allows us to take a step back from the COVID-19 pandemic that the world is currently experiencing.

In the 19th century, it was not uncommon for an epidemic to cause thousands of deaths in Montreal. But the population on the island was much smaller than it is today. Considering the number of people living on the Island of Montreal, the deaths that occurred were disastrous, it was almost the end of a world, says Sister Denise Lafond.

The typhus epidemic of 1847 was particularly deadly. To such an extent that the Hospitallers were prevented from caring for the sick at the Hôtel-Dieu, because they feared contamination of the other patients. So, it was in hangars that the typhus patients were treated by the nuns and religious. All the religious communities have teamed up to try to help and they have all gone to look after the contaminated population in these hangars, says the Museum’s programming and education officer, Charlotte Moreau de la Fuente.

The different epidemics have caused many victims in religious communities, just as COVID-19 has reached a large part of the nursing staff. This is one of the observations that make the museum’s director general, Paul Labonne, say that epidemics follow each other and are similar. Over the course of its history, Montreal has experienced various health crises, many epidemics. There is always the same pattern that happens: the outbreak of epidemics, the mobilization of health care personnel with their share of deaths—these are people who sacrifice themselves—and the fear that this causes among Montrealer.