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60th anniversary of presence in Latin America

Congrégation de Notre-Dame

In this year 2022, the Congrégation de Notre-Dame celebrates its 60th anniversary of presence in Latin America. This beautiful adventure began in 1960, when the Canadian Episcopate addressed a collective pastoral letter to Catholics, particularly to religious communities, on apostolic co-operation between Canada and Latin America. In response to this call, the General Council of the Congregation decided to form a mission in Latin America and informed the community through the circular of December 23, 1960. The Episcopate chose Honduras as the location for the Congregation’s first mission, and five sisters were assigned to this mission: Sister Noémie Desmarais, Sister Denise Blondin, Sister Cécilia McKernin, Sister Cécile Duplain and Sister Fleurette Daigneault. After months of various preparations for their departure on June 23, 1962, the five missionaries left for Mexico, to the Cuernavaca Formation Centre, to follow a formation that aimed to help the missionaries adapt to Latin American culture. Finally, on October 13th of the same year, our five sisters flew to Honduras. Their mission consisted of the school, education and ministry in other areas of Catholic life. The sisters were very well received by the local people, and other missions emerged a few years later, such as in Guatemala (1964), Chile (1965) and El Salvador (1988). The missions in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are still currently active. Today, the sisters responsible for the missions in these countries are mainly of Latin American origin, which is a great accomplishment for the Congregation. They work in parishes, dioceses, schools, and social and environmental organizations. There is no doubt that Marguerite the Traveller and Mary of the Visitation are beside them.

 

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