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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.

The Bathurst RHSJ's relocation.
Several months ago, we wrote about the Montreal RHSJ’s relocation.

Today, it is the Bathurst Community’s turn to experience a big change. Yes, 40 Sisters will leave their dear Vallée-Lourdes where they lived for more than 70 years, to go to the Le Royal Residence, in down town Bathurst.

A new form of presence in the population, a new Mission. With all our heart, let us wish each of them a fruitful adaptation.
Happy anniversary Jeanne Mance!
Jeanne Mance, co-founder of Montreal, was born on November 12, 1606 in Langres, France, and arrived in Montreal in 1642 where she lived until her death on June 18, 1673.
November 6 with the RHSJ
La Flèche, is the place of our Foundation and also where the spiritual family is present through the Sisters and the Associates. Each year on November 6, the anniversary of Jérôme’s death we to remember our Founder and be grateful for this servant of God.
It is also the time chosen by certain groups of Associates to pronounce or renew their commitment.
Yes, in this time of great changes and preoccupations about the future, let us remember the word of God to Jérôme concerning the future of his project.
«My grace is sufficient for you»
150th anniversaire of the foundation of Miramichi
Invitation from Catholic Health International to remember the 150th anniversary of foundation in Miramichi by the Religious Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph.

Mention will be made of the birth of a new group of associate persons in Miramichi.

The family is always growing. Let us rejoice!
En route in Montreal for the 3rd transfer of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph

On April 22nd, before proceeding to the Sisters’ move, the Community experienced a farewell celebration at the Hôtel Dieu chapel where, since 1861, the great moments of the community and also of Christian life were experienced and celebrated; intense interior and emotional moments.
Dare to build a new world
«Dare to build a new world», a documentary that enabled the Sisters Hospitallers of Saint Joseph of Montreal to present the progress made since the arrival of the first French sisters, who came to join Jeanne Mance. Let us call this route "the first crossing to the shores of the St. Lawrence".  Then it was the transfer to Mont Sainte-Famille, the second crossing... And now the Sisters are preparing for a third crossing. If you are interested, see what they tell you about this new adventure by clicking on the following link:
Dare a new world
At the occasion of the 360th anniversary of their arrival in Canada, the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph, in collaboration with the Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, present the film of the filmmaker Daniel Bertolino, with the participation of C. Viau of the studio Via le Monde. A great opportunity to remember.

Sr. Louisette Lelièvre

February 2nd - Feast of Mary
On this feast of Mary, we Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph renew our consecration to the Lord.

It is in communion with our sisters in France, Canada, USA, Peru, Dominican Republic and Mexico that we ask the Virgin Mary to make her words ours: « Here is the servant of the Lord, may everything be done according to your word».
Honorary recognition
On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Sister Lorraine Soucy, Hospitaller of Saint Joseph in Saint Basile, New-Brunswick, received an honorary certificate from the hands of the liberal deputy Jean-Claude D’Amours. Furthermore, Sister Lorraine Soucy's name was mentioned in the Legislative assembly of New Brunswick, during the presentation of extraordinary people of the province. She was cited for her tireless dedication, exemplary community involvement, her greatness of spirit and her sense of service. Sister Lorraine Soucy, Hospitaller Sister, a woman of faith, an exceptional person.
New buds with the Associates
Yes, let us rejoice and be in communion on this September 8, 2018 when, in the new group of Associates of Beaupreau, in France, Jean, Jacqueline, Marie Renee and Marie Paule will celebrate their first commitment as associate lay persons in the RHSJ spiritual family.
Tracadie event in September
If you have the chance to be near Tracadie, don’t hesitate to participate in the event of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the RHSJ in Tracadie, which takes place during the month of September and especially from the 28 to the 30th.
Let us remember and pay tribute to our predecessors.
The 50th anniversary of the statue of Jeanne Mance in Langres
On May 5, 2018, 80 persons were present to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the statue of Jeanne Mance in Langres, France. Five persons of Montreal accompanied Mrs. Monique Lanouette-Beaucage, new person in charge of the Jeanne Mance Centre of Montreal and Mrs. Huguette Pagé-Deschamps, representative of the Montreal Hotel Dieu Nurse Association. It was a beautiful celebration…
Pilgrimage to our roots
Dear Sisters and Associates,
Throughout this pilgrimage to our roots, you were all present… Each Region will certainly receive news through those who made the trip, but I wanted today to give you some echoes of this week in the footsteps of our Founders.

Words or expressions surfaced during special moments, but also in the group experience. They were of Thanksgiving for these moments of spiritual and historical renewal. An opportunity for relational, cultural and different discoveries, but connected with the same source. There was a deepening of our faith and hope, in the Mission to which the Lord calls us through our belonging to the RHSJ Spiritual Family.

Lieutenant-Governor's Medal Presented to the RHSJ
The Honorable Michel Doyon, Lieutenant-Governor, presented the gold medal to Sister Marie-Thérèse Laliberté, for the RHSJ Congregation, on April 15, 2018.

Here is the complete text which was read at the medal presentation:

«The Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph of Montreal Recipients of Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for exceptional merit – 2018

The citation is as follows:

Doris Custeau Living Memory
Tribute to Sister Marie-Blanche Leblanc from
«Regroupement interprofessionnel des intervenants retraités des services de santé»
(Inter professional group of retired contributors to healthcare services).

Let us be proud and rejoice for this tribute to Sister Marie-Blanche for these years as a nurse in Quebec, but also in Africa.
Sister Nicole Allard 50th anniversary of religious profession
It is with joy that we congratulate Sister Nicole Allard on the 50th anniversary of her religious profession. This celebration  took place in Montreal, on May 12, 2018.

We give praise for these many years of service to the Congregation. In finance, on various boards of directors and General and Provincial Administrations.

All our best wishes on the new paths in the Lord’s company.
When the people of Laval were cared for at Saint-Julien
The old Saint-Julien Hospital. It is still how the people of Laval speak of the islet which was sold by the City to a private promotor in September 2017.
This “rebirth” was clarified by the diocese, which devoted an exposition on the «founder of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint-Joseph: Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière. This Congregation he founded cared for generations of the people of Mayenne. They were present in Laval and Ernée for more than three centuries, from 1678 to 2010.
The Exposition ends Friday April 27, at the Cardinal-Billé House. Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 PM: a guided visit and testimony of Marie-Thérèse Rivière, consecrated lay person of the congregation, one of the last nurses of Saint-Julien.

April 20, 2018

V. Larat
Finally, the web capsules are here!
I am happy to announce the launching of the series «Extraordinary stories of Hospitallers», twelve dramatic capsules captured by Made in Media and broadcast on the website

Several RHSJ generously collaborated in the compilation of pastoral experiences, memories, testimonies and diverse documents to enrich these stories on the nature of their Hospitallers’ work since the first day in Montreal.

You called me... here I am!
On January 25, 2018, in the San Carlos Chapel, San Anita parish, in Lima, Elizabeth Pujols Diaz pronounced her first vows in our religious family of the Hospitallers of Saint Joseph.

A lot of joyful excitement enlivened this parish and community center, serving the poor of the sector. A place well-known by the Hospitallers, who have been present there since 1998.

Elizabeth had the joy of being surrounded by her parents, who came from Dominican Republic, her native country. All the Sisters of Latin America and those of the General Council were present, along with young sisters from CONFER, Associates and many friends of the community. All participated in the celebration of Eucharist with Father Rourque, priest of the parish, as presider and a priest from Huaraz.

Good News
You often heard us talking about this famous Foundation in which the Establishments of the Sainte-Famille Association of Beaupreau were to enter.
On December 8, on the feast of Immaculate Conception, we received the decree of the Ministry recognising this FASSIC foundation.
Good news we want to share with you and along with you, thank the Lord. But it is only one stage, now we must pass to the concrete realization which will see seven establishments merge under a sole governance. Let us keep up hope, our Founders have seen others similar to it! Let us continue to entrust them with the realization of this foundation which aims to perpetuating human and Christian values in the service of the person.

Sr. Gisele Jaguelin, R.H.S.J.
Sr. Louisette Lelièvre, R.H.S.J
Hotel Dieu Hospital is moving - the Mission continues
On November 5th, the eve of the anniversary of Jerome Le Royer’s death, Hotel Dieu Hospital closed its doors to inpatients. It is at the CHUM (the new hospital of the University of Montreal), that the last Hospitaller at Hotel Dieu will continue her mission.

(To read an extract of the interview, click on In Mission/Apostolate/A RHSJ at the new CHUM.)
Let's remember Jerome Le Royer - True disciple of Jesus
Jerome, in June 1659, accompanied three Daughters Hospitallers to La Rochelle for the great departure to New France. When he came back to La Fleche, his health deteriorated definitively until his death on November 6, 1659. Throughout this week, our spiritual family, RHSJ and Associates, we are asking him to intercede for us with the Lord so that wherever we are we may be faithful disciples of Jesus.
ARHSJ Regional Congress in Bathurst
«Come and see Acadia» it was the right moment… the sun, the flamboyant colours, the warm reception of the RHSJs; everything was there to welcome the forty RHSJ Associates to this gathering from October 13 to 15, 2017, which had for theme:

             The joy of commitment

Meeting during which Mgr. Champagne intervened around the theme of the joy of the Gospel and the new Evangelization. Father Wesley Wade led us to the deep sense of our spirituality of communion and Sister Louisette Lelièvre concluded the meeting by inviting each group to reflect on the orientations to take in order to assure the continuity of our charism for today’s world.

Venerable Marie de la Ferre
On July 28, the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph and Associates remember their founder Marie de la Ferre, who died in Moulins in 1652 when an epidemic was raging at the community’s hospital.

Our Superior General invited us, on this anniversary day, to remember this woman of whom the Bishop of Angers said: «She is of those who truly love God and she did everything with great love… she is by her very being a daughter of charity and daughter of humility». (positio p. 293)
Montreal remembers… Jeanne Mance
Yes, let us remember the arrival of Jeanne Mance in New France on May 17, 1642.
The Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph wish to celebrate the event on May 19th at the Jeanne Mance auditorium of the Hotel Dieu of Montreal, under the presidency of Mrs. France Chrétien Desmarais, President of the Society of the 375th Anniversary of Montreal and the General Consul of France, Mrs. Catherine Feuillet.
May 17, 2017 - Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal
The Hospitallers of Saint Joseph in large numbers participated in the Mass of the 375th Anniversary of the City of Montreal. His Grace Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, was the main celebrant.
RHSJ Family meeting
The RHSJ General Council being in France, the Sisters, lay and consecrated Associates gathered in Beaupréau for a renewal day. The speaker, Father Marcel Aubrée, is a consecrated life delegate in the diocese of Rennes.
The RHSJ Spiritual Family of Quebec gathers in Montreal.
On November 18, 2016, from all over Quebec, Associates came together to experience a renewal day with the theme: «Mercy». The speaker, Mrs. Christianne Cloutier, already known to many, was able to bring the Word of God to life and adapt it to people today. Huguette Pagé and Gaston Provencher, the new Regional Coordinators, can be proud of their initiative. Twenty-five Associates and around forty RHSJ enjoyed this day filled with sharing and communion.

Sister Louisette Lelièvre
General Coordinator
A festive RHSJ family
Each year, RHSJ, Associates and Consecrated lay persons, we have at heart to celebrate the anniversary day of Jerome Le Royer’s entry in heaven.

This year was no exception to the tradition. A day of thanksgiving in every place in the world where RHSJs are present. We also had the joy to welcome the first commitment of many Associate Persons, as well as participate to the consecration of Gisèle Besson, who became the second consecrated lay person, with Marie-Thérèse Rivière, in link with the RHSJs.
The World Social Forum 2016 - A first in North America
The World Social Forum 2016 has been in existence since 2001 in the countries of the South, but for the first time, Montreal welcomed the largest international gathering for a more united and equitable world, from August 9 to 14, 2016.

120 countries participated to the event. 1 300 workshops and 22 major conferences were offered from 13 chosen themes from social and united economic alternatives in the face of the capitalist crises to the culture of peace and the fight against racism, the disparities and all the questions concerned with international solidarity.
Entrance of Daphly Maurice to the postulate
On the feast of our Founder Marie de la Ferre, we joyfully praised the Lord for the entrance of Daphly as a postulant. Daphly is Haitian and she will join Elizabeth, a Dominican in formation in Lima, Peru. Let us pray that the Lord accompany her on her path.
World Youth Days - Krakow 2016
From all over the world, thousands of young people will go the the WYD (World Youth Days) in Krakow from July 26 to 30, 2016. Let us united with them through prayer.

We share with you the official prayer of the WYD:

«God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus-Christ, you have revealed your loveand poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
we entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman.

We entrust to you in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation: guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
General Assembly of the CRC (Canadian Religious Conference)
From May 26 to 29, 300 religious gathered around the theme of the mission of the Congregation leaders, as appearing on the logo.

During the opening night, a native person of the Mohawk nation made us experience a purification ritual to free our spirit of all the negative and bring each participant to peace.

The theme was developed by Father Simon Pierre Arnold, osb. Having placed the religious life in the hollows of the tensions of the Kingdom, he invited us to walk toward a recreated religious life and a Mission Ad Gentes.

Strong moment of sharing and hope in the hollow of the challenges of our time.
The future of the Mother House
Montreal, May 16, 2016 – The Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Denis Coderre, in the presence of Sister Marie-Thérèse Laliberté, announced the intention of the city to acquire the vast property belonging to the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph.

This will allow the preservation of the building and natural heritage of this exceptional site and the enhancement of it, in coherence with its rich historical past, for the benefit of Montrealers.
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.