Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Marguerite Bourgeoys-WebOn January 12, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of what today could be considered the equivalent of a secular institute which later became a religious community of women, the Congregation of Notre Dame. The principal text outlining her life and spirituality which has been posted on the CCCB Website is a translation from the liturgical fascicules issued by the French Sector Commission for Liturgy and the Sacraments for each Canadian Saint and Blessed. Printed copies of the complete fascicules in French are on sale from CCCB Publications.

The following outline of her life and spirituality is part of an initiative by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. Starting at the end of November 2014 and continuing to the beginning of February 2016, the Year of Consecrated Life invites the Church to celebrate the gifts and charisms of the consecrated life – religious institutes, societies of apostolic life, and secular institutes, together with consecrated virgins. Most Canadian Saints and Blesseds were members of religious communities, and some (like Saint Kateri Tekakwitha), although not a member of a religious community, consecrated her life as a virgin. Their lives are a wonderful testimony to how those in the consecrated life have generously and heroically served the Church in Canada and all society. They are witnesses in our midst of how the example and teachings of Jesus continue to challenge each of us today. Moreover, they inspire us to evangelize our contemporary world, since we too as the baptized share in Our Lord’s mission to announce in word and deed that “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1.15).

The CCCB English Sector Office for Evangelization and Catechesis has developed catechetical resources on the life and spirituality of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.

Link to the biography of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys (PDF)
Link to CCCB catechetical resources in English
Link to the Website of the Congregation of Notre Dame
Link to a video marking Marguerite Bourgeoys’s 395th birthday (April 17)