Reflections on the Feast of Marguerite d’Youville and Celebration of Jubilees

Written on: November 2, 2023

By Sister Maureen Quigley, GNSH

We honor our foundress, St. Marguerite today. We know a great deal about what she did and a little bit about what she said, but do we really know her now? We have to look at those who followed her and see her and her mission reflected in them. Her living and dying are meaningful to the extent that we continue to repeat in our lives what she did in hers.

Here are some of the things we know she did in her lifetime and which we have seen reflected in the lives of many of our Grey Nun Sisters.

  • She planted trees at Chateauguay; Connie Welsh planted trees.
  • She respected and cared for the elderly; Kathleen Sholette.
  • She praised God even when she suffered, for example, when fire destroyed the hospital. So many Grey Nuns have had to close a mission or a community residence.
  • She made beer; Sister St. Mary Jones made wine.
  • She suffered public scorn; many who have been in authority have suffered scorn, sometimes among ourselves, Mother Mary Ita.
  • She welcomed everyone; saw the face of Jesus in everyone; Sister Mary Raphael.
  • She loved her husband; Anne Mattson.
  • She loved her sons and all children, especially those who were abandoned; I think of all the Grey Nuns who have taken care of children in the orphanage, in classrooms, in camps, in youth groups, and everywhere.
  • She mourned her husband, and loved him til the end, in spite of the scoundrel he was; many Grey Nuns have experienced difficult family circumstances, but they loved them in spite of those circumstances.
  • She spoke up to authority; Mary Sharon Walsh.
  • Marguerite showed universal charity – she cared for all – the English as well as the French, the children, the elderly, women who worked as prostitutes.But she was also like all of us – an imperfect person, striving always to be better, trusting in God’s Provident care.I invite you to pause a moment in silence and think about how our jubilarians – living and deceased – have reflected (and continue to reflect) Marguerite’s mission and spirit and her trust in God’s care.

Entered 1948 – 75 years
Mary O’Connell, Dolores Fitzpatrick, +Helen Martin, +Mary John Allard, +Teresa Donnelly, +Ann Cecilia McGuire, +Patricia McMenamin

Entered 1953 – 70 years
Maureen Quigley, +Donna Jean Tavernier, +Loretta Wundrok, +Kathleen Sholette, +Jean Vogel

Entered 1963 – 60 years
Anne Marie Beirne, Marita Campbell, Patricia Connolly, Barbara Ann Pollock

Marguerite certainly showed us the way to follow Jesus. We take to our heart today her prayerful admonition to her Sisters and to us: Let us be of one heart to love and serve each other.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on the Feast of Marguerite d’Youville and Celebration of Jubilees

  1. Celeste Caruso-Purpura says:

    Hi Sister Maureen,
    This is Celeste Caruso-Purpura
    That was an inspiring article you wrote. Like Deirdre I am grateful for Melrose Academy and the education and values you and the other sisters taught us. I am grateful for the sacrifices you made and I will always remember your smiling face in Latin class. I’m glad you are doing well.

  2. Deirdre Rogan says:

    Hello Sr Maureen.
    It’s good to see your tiny photo and to read your thoughts about the foundress who eventually made such a difference in my life. Imagine where we’d be without Melrose Academy. I’m well and hope you are. I live in Horsham, PA and Alicia and Sheila, after twists and turns, now live here too. You know it has to be fun! I won’t promise to come see you, because I forget, but I think of you and my experiences with the Grey Nuns. Consie was lucky too. I will write to you though, if you’ll write to me, and maybe I’ll
    Get over there soon. God bless you, Quigs.
    Stay well Quigs. Love, Deirdre

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