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Campus Saint Jean Celebrates Centenary 1908-2008

4- in Canada - Date of publication 11-25-2008
On October 7th 2008 we were invited to participate in an evening of “Homage honoring the Oblates” (book) and the inauguration of a special space in memory of the Oblates”.

Mr. François McMahon, former student, professor and finally director of the Campus throughout the many years that the Sisters of Evron worked there, expressed particular joy that two Sisters of Evron were able to respond to the invitation in person.

He then retraced the history of Campus Saint Jean. Father Leduc O.M.I. and former procurer of the Diocese of Saint Albert, in Alberta, left for France at the beginning of September 1910 having promised to return to Canada with at least five Sisters of Evron. These sisters would neither teach nor attend the sick; instead they would be at the service of the Oblate Fathers teaching at the College and their many boarding students of the Juniorat Saint-Jean to be established in Strathcona on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River.

Mère Cousin, the superior general at that time, sent four sisters to this mission: Alphonsine Hareau, as superior, Augustine Guesdon, Joséphine Vaillant and Agnès Foucher. July 3rd 1911 is the date of their arrival. ("Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Evron in Canada" page 79). On October 3rd two more sisters will join the original four: Marie-Thérèse Hélie and Cécile Veillard and on October 24th 1912 Marie-Victoire Bruhay will also join them.  Several of the seniors present shared their memories, their experiences while at College Saint Jean and everyone expressed their sincere gratitude towards the Sisters of Evron for the many delicious meals prepared with great care and affection.  

Father Thomas Bilodeau O.M.I. prepared the following prayer especially for this occasion and has given us permission to use it. "Dear Friends, I haven't found a more fitting source for this prayer than the Prologue of the Gospel of John. A replica of Saint Jean the evangelist stands at the west entrance of the complex. Nearby is the grotto of Lourdes where Mary appears standing in front of Bernadette. The same Mary that Jean presents  standing at foot of the cross of her beloved son, known today as Our Lady of the Rosary."  

The evening closed with a delicious lunch during which those present continued sharing their treasured memories and stories. All throughout these many years of service the Sisters of Evron have had a considerable impact on the lives of the former professors and students of College Saint Jean. 

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