A Creative Way to Remember Recently Deceased Sisters

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The pandemic has given rise to beautiful and inspiring initiatives, as evidenced by the “Memory Bird” project at Maison Jésus-Marie (MJM). “It is a creative way to pay tribute to our Sisters who have died,” explains Sister Hélène Harvey.

Thus, to compensate for the absence of gatherings at funerals during the pandemic, another element has been added to the short memorial celebration already organized on each floor, within 48 hours of the death of a Sister.

After a brief moment of quiet prayer, a bird made out of silk fabrics from scarves or neckties, and identified by a label with the Sister’s name on it, is hung on a form made out of birch branches. As noted by Hélène, “This gives the impression of a bird flying away.”

A stimulating project

“The effect is magical for the Sisters. They feel that this ceremony, with its symbolism, helps to fill the void left by the death of their Sister and by the postponement of a real funeral during the pandemic,” adds Sr. Hélène.

This creative idea originated in Hélène’s family. Her sister-in-law, Sylvie Tremblay, accustomed to making items from silk neckties, developed the idea. The project quickly took off. It combines the practical with the artistic by reusing fabrics to give them a second life and a new look!

Thus, for the past few months, we have seen these memory birds appear in a few strategic places around Maison Jésus-Marie. While you are unable to see them in person at present, we invite you to view a short video paying tribute to all the SNJM Sisters who passed away in 2021.

Photo credit : Sr. Hélène Harvey