The Centre Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin will continue to be a place of pilgrimage dedicated to the spirituality and memory of this Augustinian sister.
Born in France in 1632, Catherine de Longpré began her novitiate with the Hospitallers of Bayeux on October 24, 1646 and took the name Catherine de Saint-Augustin. She arrived in Quebec in 1648 and joined the community already at work since 1639. Completely devoted to her mission in New France, she was a nurse and oversaw one of the expansions of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. She devoted her life to serving the poor and the sick until her death in 1668.
Catherine de Saint-Augustin has always played a central role in the Augustinian sisters’ spirituality, and her heroic acts of charity continue to inspire them. Her work is also universally recognized. In 1989, she was beatified and proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II. She is also considered to be a co-founder of the Catholic Church in Canada.
The Centre Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin was inaugurated in 1985 at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery. In 2015, once the monastery had been completely restored, the centre was relocated in the historic church. Under the sisters’ responsibility, it continues to honour and build awareness about Catherine de Saint-Augustin. Visitors of all cultures and faiths can learn about and reflect on her life at the shrine containing her remains. They are invited to entrust their intentions to “she who makes the interior more beautiful”, as Aboriginal people affectionately called her.
Monument of Catherine de Saint-Augustin by Quebec sculptor, Jules La Salle (1991). This bronze statue can be found on the grounds of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery.
Photo Credit: Daniel Abel