“Take courage, God will not abandon you!”
Name: Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher
Feast day: October 6
She was a young girl of means in French Canada, near Montreal, a competent horseback rider. But she was too ill for the Sisters of Notre Dame; in fact she at one point was even too ill to continue her education. Her illness is described merely a “wasting illness.” We sometimes forget how much more we know of medicine since the 20th century.
She found work in a parish rectory, and earned a reputation for goodness. But there was tremendous pastoral need far from the cities. People were establishing settlements and villages, and their children were not being well-educated. Her bishop and spiritual director, Bishop Bourget, persuaded her to found a new religious community dedicated to education, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
The need for their schools was immediately obvious, forcing them into a larger building soon after they started. Then into more schools, first for women, then, by demand, for young men, too. Responding to the need in the places, they established schools, and taught both in French and in English. Today the congregation has schools in Ontario, Manitoba, a number in the United States, Lesotho and South America. Her sisters’ motto? “Freeing life through education and the promotion of justice,” two endeavors worthy of any missioner.
Blessed Marie-Rose, you overcame ill health to follow the Lord’s call. Pray for us, that we would keep our troubles in perspective and know that within God’s will, there is always a way.