An Inspiring Visit!

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Antonella Picillo, the new director of the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (PSNM) and École de musique Vincent-d’Indy, and General Management Coordinator Josée Godin were charmed by the warm welcome they received from members of the Provincial Leadership Team of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) of Quebec during their visit on December 20.

Members of the Provincial Leadership Team, Sisters Claudette Bastien, Lisette Boulé (on the stairs) and Denise Riel, welcomed Josée Godin, General Management Coordinator and Antonella Picillo, Director of the Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (PSNM) and École de musique Vincent-d’Indy.

We “came away inspired. In fact, we were very touched to see the rich history of the SNJMs and our foundresses. Thank you so much for your time and generosity,” wrote Ms. Picillo in her message of thanks.

Already aware of the SNJM’s important heritage, a visit to the places where Mother Marie-Rose and her successors worked, added another dimension to this knowledge of historical facts. The visitors were quite moved by the visit to the chapel where the Congregation’s foundress prayed, as well as her office, bedroom and chapter.

Under the guidance of Sr. Lisette Boulé, the tour took them to the museum and the Foundation House. They also stopped off at the exhibition hall and the archives research center, where they were able to consult a number of documents prepared by Mrs. Geneviève Noël, Archives Manager.

Their curiosity was palpable as they perused the conditions register of 1905, which recorded enrolment, tuition and boarding fees for the students. They were equally impressed by the the Chronicles, documents rich in anecdotes and facts from the daily life of each era.

Sisters Claudette Bastien and Denise Riel brought the flowers offered by the PSNM representatives into their meeting room.

This awareness-raising visit for these visitors reinforced their understanding of the SNJM mission and their great gratitude to Blessed Marie-Rose and all SNJMs.

In a message addressed to teachers on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day in October, Antonella Picillo underlined the magnificent work of today’s teaching staff in helping to cultivate “the confidence of our students”. She recalled the SNJM’s pioneering role “in the battle to give young girls access to an education aimed at their full development…” while ensuring their place in Quebec society.

In short, this first contact with the SNJM heritage site in Longueuil was enriching in more ways than one.