March 11, 2016

Come into the Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre

The new Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre offers up a light-filled visit. The life and work of this Augustinian, who arrived in Canada on August 19, 1648, at 16 years of age, are told through symbolic items from her time at the L’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. This interpretative centre is overseen by the Augustinians, who guide visitors through a thoughtful itinerary. The exhibit content is presented in French, English and Spanish.

The Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre can be accessed by a walkway on the second floor of the Monastère, near the Nuns’ Choir. There, visitors will meet the Centre’s director, Sister Carmelle Bisson, and Sister Sarah McDonald, who will lead your visit. Lasting between 45 minutes and an hour, your visit will be rich with historic information about the life of Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin, from her arrival in Québec to her death on May 8, 1668, at the young age of 36.

From the entryway, you will walk through the Augustinian church’s sacristy to the great hall where three pillars are lit from within. This space communicates with L’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, and patients and their loved ones can come here at any time. It is indeed a conducive place for prayer and reflection, where visitors may admire the interior of this historic church. During the guided visit, you may enter the church to admire its paintings, magnificent sculptures and the shrine that holds the remains of the Blessed Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin.

A visit to the Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre complements that to the Musée du Monastère des Augustines by casting new light on this Augustinian pioneer. She is indeed considered the co-founder of the Catholic Church of Canada and was beatified on April 23, 1989, by Pope John Paul II. To learn more about the opening hours and upcoming activities, please go to the Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre’s website.

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