Your browser is not Javascript enable or you have turn it off. We recommend you to activate for better security reasonPrayer Service for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Home > News > Story

Prayer Service for the Feast of Marguerite Bourgeoys

Joan Mahoney, CND and Donna Wuhrer

Leader: St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, was a woman of great love, faith, and courage. She trusted in God with all of her heart. As we gather in great joy to celebrate her Feast Day, let us draw inspiration from the life and example of our foundress.

Reader 1: One of Marguerite’s characteristics that most impressed her contemporaries was her boundless confidence in God. It was this that had given her courage to start out for the cold, lonely, and dangerous life of the New World carrying nothing but a few of the basic necessities of life in a small bundle in belief that if what she was undertaking was God’s will, God would provide. This was an opinion Marguerite shared and an important aspect of her insistence on the practice of poverty in the Congregation which she saw as a condition of trust in God and so absolutely necessary to the fruitfulness of the work of the community. (A CND Spirituality for our Years of Grace and Glory, “Marguerite Bourgeoys’ Final Gift”, by Patricia Simpson, CND, Nov. 2006)

All: Marguerite, be here with us. Pray for us so that, like you, we may love, serve, and trust God with all of our hearts!


Reader 2

We have a tendency to believe that we need to be in control of our lives and, oftentimes, of the lives of our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We build up burdens upon ourselves and when we are completely stressed, then we run to God.

But God says, “come to me,” “trust in me,” “have faith the size of a mustard seed,” before you are worried and weak. God wants it all. God can handle it and can give us the grace we need and the strength we need to follow God’s will. Trust in God and, above all, have faith. (

All: Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before God. God is a refuge for us. Psalm 27:5

(pause for silent reflection)

Reader 3

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then,…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

All: For the Word of God is right and true. God is faithful in all. (Psalm 33:4)

(pause for silent reflection)

Reader 4

Marguerite trusted in God when…

-she experienced stumbling blocks in her vocation when seeking acceptance with the Carmelites

-she formed a small community of three in the footsteps of Mary which disbanded

-she responded to the invitation to go to Montreal to teach children in the colony

All: Trust in God with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God, and God will make straight your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)

Reader 5

Marguerite trusted in God when…

-she crossed the Atlantic--caring for the sick and dying, comforting the fearful, and once, when facing the possibility of being seized, strengthening others…”If we are captured, we will go to England or Holland where we will find God as we find Him everywhere.”

-she and her Sisters faced bitter Montreal winters, dangers in Ville Marie because of native uprisings, and fires that destroyed the Mother House and took the lives of two young Sisters—one who was her niece

-she searched for companions to accompany her to Canada to begin her new Congregation in Montreal so that they could help and support the colonists, welcome the fille du roi, teach the children, encourage externs to meet and pray, and go out on mission

All: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; for I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Reader 6

Marguerite trusted in God in her later years when:

-she suffered depression for four years due to the accusations of mortal sin by Sr. Tardy and others, still “…never doubted the mercy of God. I will always hope in Him…”

-she prayed and shared meals in the infirmary with Sr. Catherine Crolo, her one surviving close friend

-she received the grace of complete abandonment as she approached her death with peace, joy, and song

All: May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13)

Reflection Question

Where in your life have you trusted God with all your heart?

While there may be many in your life, please choose one that you would like to share with the group after quiet reflection time.



Our response is: Graciously hear us.

You gifted Marguerite with a love for your Church and a desire that it be a faithful witness of Christ among your people; that we may respond with love and compassion to the special needs of the Church in our time, we pray:

You gifted her with a special love for those who are needy and poor; enable us to reflect her spirit in our simple presence and practical service to those we encounter in our world today, we pray:

You filled Marguerite with a desire to imitate the life that Mary led throughout her time on earth; may we be graced, like Mary, to live in openness to the Spirit and to respond with courage to your call each day; we pray:

Marguerite reminded us that charcoal that is fired all the way to its center is not extinguished, but is consumed. May our lives be consumed by love for God and for our neighbor, we pray:

Additional Intentions…

Closing Prayer

All: O God, you called Marguerite Bourgeoys to leave her homeland and all that was familiar to her, and to face the hardships of life in Ville Marie. You called her to be open to possibilities, courageous in taking risks, and always trusting in you. Grant that, inspired by her example, we respond to your call to us today to embrace Simplicity for Mission. We ask this grace in Jesus’ name. Amen.





Back to the news index All the news
© Tous droits réservés Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada