ORIGIN OF THE CANADIAN FOUNDATION
At the turning point of the 20th century, the French religious persecution forced the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to look for other horizons. At the request of the Canadian Missionnary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, five Sisters arrive in Ottawa in 1902. They courageously accept to start out in housework to find soon after the works which reflect their identity and charism. They adapt themselves to the customs of the country and become initiated into the methods and teaching syllabus. They are appreciated for their simplicity, discretion and courage.
PLACES OF IMPLANTATIONS
Quickly, with the numerous vocations, we find the Sisters mostly, in the parishes along the Gatineau and Outaouais Rivers, the Franco-Ontarian of Eastern Ontario, the South of Ontario, the region of Montreal and the Laurentides. Like Angélique, they are very close to the people. They also open four boarding schools for young girls. Their missionary spirit leads them to Northern Canada, Cameroon-Tchad, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Hondura.
In 1961, becoming more numerous, the Sisters form two Provinces, according to geographical divisions: Ontario and Québec. In 2005, they come together again, as one province. The majority of the Sisters now live in the large region of Ottawa/Gatineau.
In the course of history, besides the service in institutions that they kept for several years and education which is the main element of their mission, the Sisters also devote themselves in health care, pastoral and social services. Today, we find them again helping the poor and newcomers as well as in psychological and spiritual accompaniment. Even when retired, they are always open to the needs of different environments.
I am there !
"I continue my mission with Africans... I help women, who follow courses for immigrants, to do their homework and for those who are confronted to daily problems that surpass them, I am there! I meet a lovely child from Mali in the context of reading at home, this allows me to get into contact with other Africans. I committed myself in a family workshop. Many interesting relationships with volunteers and also with people who come to the Centre. I rejoice to be able to work with people who give themselves 100%. I learn much from these lay people, among other things, their great availability and “joie de vivre”. I feel revitalized by all these people who come to the Centre. This commitment has given me the occasion to help one of these African women in need."
Anne-Marie Stringer, s.s.c.j
Live the mission to the full
"In our quiet little corner of Lancaster, every occasion urges us to manifest tenderness, welcome and compassion. We live His compassion towards elderly autonomous people from the Residential flat or semi autonomous in a Home, through pastoral care to persons home bound and to the sick in palliative care. It is a project that makes us live our mission to the full. An unconditional welcome is needed to live this project. People knock at our door without hesitation, call at any time during the day or simply stop us after mass. Do they sense an ear full of tenderness that encourages to ask a service? God shows Himself to us under multiple facets."
Georgette Thibault, s.s.c.j and Jeannine Bissonnette, s.s.c.j
An «angel» passes
"It is how two families, in close contact with me for five years now, see and call me. One of these families live daily with a child suffering from dysphasia, dysphagia and dyspraxia, while the other suffers from cystic fibrosis. I am a moral support, accompanist in hospitals, respite for parents having children at home. I do different household chores and welcome children at home for twenty-four hours or more. My presence, they tell me, brings peace, joy, well-being, security and comfort. For me, it is an enriching, gratifying experience. It is life giving…"
Nicole Alarie, s.s.c.j
Towards the autonomy of the illiterate
"The B.E.C.O. (Basic Education Centre of the Outaouais) is an organization close to my heart, because it is very much like the charism of Angélique. I have sown for several years and today I harvest a greater faith and a growing self-esteem in my learners. They often tell me "I am able ". It is true in reading but above all in their life. It is very comforting!"
Marie-Paule Clément, s.s.c.j
"At the contact of my Muslim brothers and sisters, I have learnt how great God’s love is and surpasses all human knowledge."
Colette Gauthier, s.s.c.j
Lucile Champagne, s.s.c.j has founded a Social Enterprise for immigrant women to help them find work which integrates them into society, within the context of an active ecology.