Sunday, November 1, 2009

Notre Dame awards Sisters of Charity of St. Louis

Before I left for the Canadian Bishops' Plenary meeting, I had the great pleasure to be a part of the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame's Humanitarian Award Dinner. The 2009 Honorees were the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Louis were founded in Vannes, France in 1803 during the aftermath of the French Revolution. In the beginning of the 20th century, the anticlerical laws of France forced many of the sisters to leave their homeland. In 1902 some sisters set sail for Canada and settled on the shores of the St Lawrence3 river where they established Catholic schools. Sisters came to the newly founded diocese of Regina. In 1913 Moose Jaw and Radville welcomed the Sisters and Wilcox in 1920. When Père Athol Murray asked the Sisters to accept "his boys" into their school, Notre Dame College of Canada was born.

There were a great number of alumni (ae) present and members of the faculty. Rob Kreuger is seen here third from the left.

There were also lots of students present too, which was very nice to see.

Here's some of the Sisters (wearing corsages). Sister Clem Liboiron who is at Wilcox is seen here, second from the right.

I got a very good seat between Sr. Yvette Plessis and Sister Patricia Derbyshire of the community's leadership in Calgary.

And on the far right is Sisber Vicki Hagel, also at Wilcox and greatly involved in the music ministry of the parish among other things.

Mr. Terry Cooney, member of the Board of Regents brought a letter of Congratulations from the Prime Minister of Canada.

And Mr. Mo Bunden, Chairman of the Board of Regents presented the Award to the Sisters. The award contains all the names of the Sisters who served over the years at Wilcox and who took Père Athol Murray's boys and later the girls under their wings to guide, cousel, direct and support over many years.

Sr Plessis and Sr Derbyshire spoke to the group and extended their thanks for this special recognition which everyone present thought was more than well deserved.

Sr Vicki then spoke on behalf of all the sisters present.

And then, in a very moving moment, the Sisters sang the Ave Maria. Their lovely clear voices and gentle harmony was a wonderful way to bring the evening to a close.

As you can see, there was a fine turn out to support the Sisters in the receiving of their award. During the evening it became very clear what dedication the sisters gave to the young people who came to Notre Dame for an academic education and to be schooled in life. They have clearly touched the lives of hundreds of young people over the years. I often wonder these days, with so much good that can be done for young people by these women who in dedicating their life to God have dedicated their life to young people such as those at Notre Dame, why it is that no one is willing to take up this work which has changed lives for the better.

So here they are, Sisters Vicki and Clem and their family of students of Our Lady's College of Notre Dame.