The Cause of Mother Elizabeth, a Dominican Tertiary

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The Cause of Mother Elizabeth, a Dominican Tertiary
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"I am very happy to come to Saint-Hyacinthe to learn more about your foundress, Mother Elizabeth Bergeron, her spirituality, where she lived and the sisters of her congregation. It is in these words that Father Llewellyn Muscat, o.p. addressed the Sisters of Les Jardins d’Aurélie at the beginning of his visit which took place from 7 to 18 April 2017.

Father Muscat is the Secretary of the office of Father Gianni Festa, o.p., postulator of the cause of Mother Elizabeth in Rome. This office deals with 80 causes affecting the Dominican Order. The Master General accepted that the file of Mother Elizabeth be retained because she had been a Dominican tertiary before founding the congregation.

Very impressed by his visit to the Mausoleum where the mortal remains of our Mother lie, he shared: "Looking at her photo with her smile and her laughing eyes, I felt all the goodness of her heart. And, surprisingly, a ray of sunshine came to illuminate her face, even if the weather was gray that day. The small museum surrounding her tomb gives a better insight into her life, her spirituality, her mission and her influence. The numerous requests placed on the tombstone show the great confidence of the population towards her.»

In the company of Mrs. Nellie Robin, Father Muscat walked through the corridors of "La Maison d'Élisabeth" and noticed the religious atmosphere still reigning in our former mother house.

Beneficial Meetings

Sister Louise Millette, vice-postulator of the Cause, met Father Muscat on several occasions to present a complete file on favors obtained through the intercession of Mother Elizabeth, especially those related to health well-being. The Dominican was impressed by the large number of requests sent and of the many acknowledgements of thanksgiving from persons whose request was granted.

He met with some witnesses including members of the Bergeron family and Sara Chapdelaine, 27 years old, who is very inspired by the spirituality of Mother Elizabeth.

Father Gilles Dumoulin, whom he met at the Seminary of Saint-Hyacinthe, also gave his testimony. "I got to know Mother St. Joseph when I was appointed chaplain to the sisters of the Mother house in 2000 and I was fascinated by her spirituality of humility and trust.

In agreement with the authorities of the congregation, I animated for four years, what was called 'the Wednesdays of Mother Elizabeth'. During the nine Wednesdays before the anniversary of her death on April 29, we invited people to come and pray with the nuns to ask God that the foundress should obtain the favors required to become Blessed in the sense of the Church. The great fervor of the Christians has thus been manifested on more than 36 occasions».

Visit at La Présentation

Father Muscat also greatly appreciated the visit of the Church of La Presentation where Mother Elizabeth received her Christian education and received the sacraments, especially the Eucharist at an early age. A reading of the parish registers indicates that Elizabeth was baptized on the very day of her birth and that her parents could not sign because they were not educated.

Canon Denis Lépine, pastor of the parish and chancellor of the diocese of St. Hyacinthe, was delighted to show him this heritage jewel. Father Muscat was impressed by the beauty of this church and the historical cachet it has kept. Similarly, the surroundings full of greenery of the native village of Elizabeth. On the right, the baptismal font on which was baptized Elizabeth, object of the heritage dating more than 200 years.

Goodbye Father Muscat

Sr. Claudette Robert, Superior General, warmheartedly thanked Father Muscat for walking in the footsteps of Elizabeth in all the places where she left her mark and for giving clear indications for the next steps to be taken .

He says that he has observed the great interest of the congregation for the Cause and hopes for a happy continuation ending in a special celebration, if it is the will of God. He greatly appreciated the collaboration of the Sisters-Interpreters (French-English) who allowed fruitful conversations. He entrusted himself to the prayers of the Sisters for his mission on the postulator's team of the Dominican Order.

For the general leadership team
Pauline Vertefeuille, sjsh

 

(29 April 2017)