Vicariate of Canada
This month of July 2016 marks, already, the third anniversary of the arrival of the “Dominicans of Valleyfield” at Carrefour Providence. Hard to believe, but it’s true ! Three of our sisters have passed away since (Sr. Estelle Grenon, Sr. Marielle Daoust and Sr. Germaine Courteau). Surrounded by sisters of other communities, we were able to experience an evening of prayer by their mortal remains and a funeral instilled with the Dominican spirit.
Life is pleasant at Carrefour Providence. Each morning, a beautiful spacious chapel brings together more than a hundred religious women for mass. From their room in Providence Pavillon, the ill sisters also participate in the celebration by watching it on television and receive communion thanks to the sisters of the “Tarcisius” Team. Spiritual Animation offers us two daily Eucharists. In between the two Eucharists, the priest is usually available for the sisters who wish to meet with him, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or the Sacrament of the Sick. Three retreats are also preached in the house each year. Spiritual conferences and very beautiful penitential celebrations are offered during the feast times of the liturgical year.
With the Health Service we are guaranteed the presence of three doctors on business days, as well as a nurse whom we can call on 24 hours of every day, if we need it. We also have access to a podiatry service. Our medication is delivered to us at the house and we have a pharmacist available to us on business days. Moreover, a long tunnel connects us directly to the Sacré-Coeur Hospital. Come summer or winter, 15 minutes is all it takes us to get to the emergency or to a medical appointment ! An inside pool, a physiotherapy space as well as a large park offer anyone interested the possibility to remain in shape. Meals are varied ; the food is simple but very good.
And what about the “Beauty Service” ! We simply need to go down to the basement to reach the hairdressing salon. On our floor, various clothes shops are invited several times per year to bring us their seasonal wares. And let’s not forget the “hand me down” boutique where we can acquire clothes of deceased sisters “for free” !
On the 7th floor, a walkway, equipped with swings and garden chairs, allows us to gather in the open air and enjoy a splendid landscape while having a glimpse of the greater Montreal. From the western point of the island, our gaze even perceives the tower of the Olympic stadium. From the façade, one can see the dome of the St. Joseph Oratory and the tower of the Montreal University. Three of our sisters are housed in the infirmary, on 3 different floors. Whereas, we, the four autonomous sisters, are housed on the 2nd floor and are really very well situated as we can easily reach to the chapel, the library, the Health service bureau, the cafeteria, or get groceries or reach the outside parking or the bus stop.
There are plenty of opportunities to find a place to minister at Carrefour. Sister Marie-Angèle has been hired, on a full time basis, to schedule medical appointments in the infirmary, for some 185 sisters of the infirmary, regardless of which congregation they belong to. She also has the task of finding persons to accompany the sisters, and negotiating with the “travel bureau” to reserve a driver and car. In addition, every six weeks, she distributes the communion on two floors, in the rooms of the sick. During the week, Sister Lise visits some of the sick. She facilitates the community mass once a week and also participates in the choir at the funeral of the sisters of Providence. One week per month, Sister Lise and Sister Lucille are responsible of reciting the Vespers at the microphone, which are broadcast to each of the sick. We are immersed in an atmosphere of religious and fraternal life which gives meaning to each of our days.
It is really the hundredfold promised by the Lord to those who have left everything behind to follow him… Leaving Valleyfield was a hard blow, but now all the sisters are happy that it’s done.
Sister Suzanne lives on her own in an apartment very close to the Dominicans. Thus she lives very close to her workplace, since she is responsible for the Dominican Missions in Japan and Rwanda-Burundi. Each day, she participates in the Eucharist and the choral office of our brethren. She comes to join us at Carrefour whenever a special visit is announced, so that she can live the community gatherings and feast days with us.
Sr. Lucille Desponts, O.P.
5655 de Salaberry, Montreal H4J 1J5
Tel. : (514) 564-1911
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