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Life of the communities

Friends in Vegreville and area gather to give thanks to the Sisters of Charity Notre-Dame dÉvron for 95 years of presence and service in their midst………

4- in Canada - Date of publication 06-01-2005
During the evening of Thursday May 26th several sisters of the Canadian province arrived at St. Martin of Tours Parish Church and were greeted by parishioners, friends, present and former colleagues in the health care ministry.

    It was delightful to visit and reconnect with so many treasured friends sometimes after many years! The décor was festive, lively and very welcoming. The evening began as together we celebrated Eucharist in a spirit of gratitude recalling God’s goodness and blessings towards us all. The readings, the music as well as the entire overall tone of “this great family gathering” express praise and gratitude to God for 95 years of faith-filled collaborative ministry involving sisters, parishioners and many members of the town of Vegreville and surrounding area.   
Following the Eucharist everyone moved down to the parish hall for the social part of our evening together. Many a story evoked the happy memory of one or the other of the sisters and their quality of service while on mission among the people of this rural farming community.

    Sister Mary Ellen O’Neill responded on behalf of the Sisters of Charity of N-D d’Évron. “On behalf of all of the Sisters here tonight and of those who would have enjoyed being here in your midst I say a very humble and heartfelt thank-you! Thank-you Father Gani for presiding tonight’s Eucharist, the greatest thanksgiving prayer of all. Thank-you to all of you who participated in this very touching celebration and our deepest thanks, too, to all those who planned and orchestrated this memorable evening. Ninety-five years ago this October when those brave and courageous French Sisters came to Vegreville, just one year after the initial eight Sisters arrived in Trochu Valley, little did they realize what a wonderful mission they were embarking upon. Although the obstacles and difficulties were plentiful these faith-filled women and all those who followed in their footsteps always received from the people in Vegreville much support and assistance in all their undertakings. They believed that in serving humankind in God’s name they were following Christ’s example and were being faithful to the inspiration of their foundress, Perrine Thulard. St. Martin’s Parish was an integral part of their lives and this Christian community has always been present for the Sisters’ apostolate of compassionate, competent care for the most vulnerable ones in our society. Although the operation of St. Joseph’s General Hospital and School of Nursing has occupied most of our time many of the Sisters served as well in a variety of ways in the Parish. Last June when we held the transfer ceremony to pass the sponsorship of the hospital to the Catholic Health Corporation we surely didn’t imagine that in a few short months the Sisters would be closing their home. Sister Ruth’s illness and untimely death left us all grief-filled. Decisions had to be made and although we regret this rather hasty departure from among you we know that you understand and support us as we move on. Over the past last while we have especially reflected on all of the wonderful blessings we have received in this community and it is with very grateful hearts that we say our farewells. There have been many struggles through the years in our health care ministry but there has also been much joy and satisfaction. We have many friends and colleagues in this community so it is highly probable that you may see us from time to time. Thanks to each and every one of you!! We know that the ministry we began 95 years ago is in very capable hands and we leave with a prayer of gratitude in our hearts. God journeys with us in the events of our everyday lives. God bless each of you and St. Martin’s Parish and the community of Vegreville and surrounding area!"
Then all of the Sisters and most of those gathered with them shed tears of profound joy and sincere gratitude as the Vegreville community offered the Sisters a farewell gift of $5,000 to be used in the congregation’s mission lands…..May God bless your generosity and love because we know that those among us working in our missions will do just that very often indeed---again our heartfelt thanks!!

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School of spirituality
Young People and Adults share with the sisters, the charism of the Foundress Perrine Thulard...
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The "Society of Daughters of Charity" is founded in 1682 and dedicated to teaching and care of the sick...
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The founding intuition
"Conserve Charity, Simplicity, Union an Humility" still directs our way of life
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We are of roman rite, divided into Provinces or Delegations...
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