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Celebrating in Miramichi!

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Our Miramichi event to mark the 400th anniversary began as a proposal (last winter) from Frances Connell Enriquez. Frances, CND associate and artist, suggested an art show, centered around paintings from two Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters, Sr. Marie-Anna Gallant (Sr. St. Marie Ovide) and Sr. Marie Bordage (Sr. St. Margaret of Bavaria) teachers here long ago, and also the work of their students. 100 pieces of art were gathered and placed in exhibit at Carrefour Beausoleil, a local Community Center. The Center set-up the display, offered wine and snacks, and gave us the use of their beautiful auditorium (for free) for the Concert of the Cultures Saturday evening. The concert gave us Irish songs, Scottish songs, folk songs, French songs, a bit of Latin, religious songs and a rousing set from the Miramichi Fiddlers. On Sunday morning, parishioners from the five worship sites, which now comprise Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, gathered for Mass, celebrated by Bishop Robert Harris at St. Mary’s Church. The reception that followed had such an abundance of food that organizers gave out containers and urged people to take food home! (It looked like more than the scriptural 12 baskets of leftovers!)

In addition to Marguerite’s birthday, we were marking the 150th anniversary of the coming of the first Congregation de Notre-Dame Sisters to the Miramichi. Three sisters arrived, by boat, October 29, 1869 after 4 days travel. The story goes that “the parishioners welcomed the newcomers to a neat warm home with a wood fire crackling, lamps lighted, a table set and supper ready to be served.”

We had begun our weekend with time for some story-telling Friday evening when Associates, former students and invited guests gathered at a Meet and Greet. Senator /Author David Adams Richards attended and told us he fell in love with his Grade One teacher at St. Mary’s, Mother St. John Daniel.

Miramichi Associates, assisted by Susan Butler, experienced emcee and super organizer, deserve immense gratitude for the Thanksgiving event that was such a positive, energizing and happy time!

 

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