July 6, 2016

The Catherine Centre officially inaugurated

On April 28, a hundred guests came together in the Centre Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin to attend its official inauguration. Presided by the Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix and held in the historic church, this vibrant event celebrated the life of the Blessed Catherine de Saint-Augustin. This was also an opportunity for many to visit this Augustinian pilgrimage site.

Imbued with pride and devotion, the ceremony was held simply with songs, readings and Liturgy of the Word. It showed the importance of dedicating this place to the Blessed Catherine de Saint-Augustin while remembering the work of this woman who, in 1648, at the age of 15, left the Monastère de Bayeux for Canada.

A colourful tribute of songs and words

For this occasion, two choirs—the Chœur de la Paix and its Relève musicale along with the choir of the brothers of Les Pauvres de Saint-François, from Trois-Rivières—harmonized their voices to the guests’ enjoyment.

Catherine Centre director Sister Carmelle Bisson and her assistant Sister Sarah McDonald led the ceremony. The Superior General of the Fédération des monastères des Augustines, Sister Lise Tanguay, paid a vivid tribute to the Blessed Catherine de Saint-Augustin. Cardinal Lacroix delivered a touching homily before blessing the space, starting with the shrine of Catherine de Saint-Augustin and the historic church, then around the guided visit itinerary through the Catherine Centre to end in the Nuns’ Choir.

A divinely performed Te Deum

To bring this ceremony to a close, Sister Sarah McDonald read an excerpt of the last moments of Catherine de Saint-Augustin on May 8, 1668, at which time she asked her fellow sisters to sing Te Deum. The choirs sung this piece to music composed by Jean-François Mailloux, the evening’s organist. The remarkable sonority of the Nuns’ Choir had an enveloping effect and led audience members to fully take in this musical performance. The guests then had a moment to talk among themselves over a light meal in a Monastère des Augustines room.

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