The Sisters’ wish that the new owner’s mission might be consistent with the Community’s social mission will come true, as the purchaser is Maison Jean Lapointe, whose mission is the improvement of its clients’ quality of life through treatment, prevention, support and knowledge sharing concerning substances and addiction.
“This news comes as we are marking the 100th anniversary of the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil,“ says Superior General Gisèle Turcot, SBC. As pioneers in social action in Quebec, and in accordance with the inspiration of their foundress, Marie Gérin-Lajoie, the Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel have always carried out their mission in working-class areas, among the most disadvantaged individuals and families, welcoming immigrants and advocating for the recognition of women’s rights. “Transferring these premises to an organization inspired by such noble and humane values is truly heart-warming for us; we hope that their commitment will be met with great success,” adds Sister Turcot.
The Community will continue to live in the main building until the end of this year. As of September 2023, the majority of the 24 sisters will move to Les Pionnières, a residence in Saint-Laurent, which already houses women religious of seven other communities. Administrative offices will relocate at the end of the same year. The vast archive collection of the Institut will eventually be entrusted to the Fondation archives et patrimoine religieux du grand Montréal in Vieux-Longueuil.
The change of owner will not significantly alter the neighbourhood, as no new buildings or extensions are in the works. According to the agreement with Maison Jean Lapointe, one of the most well-known members of the Community, Sr. Angèle Rizzardo, will stay on in Maison Boucher, located on the same site as the main building, in order to continue her work promoting the food culture of Quebec, and the house that she has occupied since 2008 will continue to house her culinary workshop.
About the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal –
“Counselling is an essential part of practical wisdom in life. The gift of good counsel gives a living and vibrant inner light: the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart and helps us choose our words and our actions.”
Marie J. Gérin-Lajoie
Marie Gérin-Lajoie understood that, in order to make her vision a reality, she would need many hands for the work when, in 1923, she founded the Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal. With her driving force as foundress, the religious community grew to 250 sisters, all dedicated to one mission: working directly in the field to combat social inequities. In the course of its 100 years, the Institute founded 16 community centres in Quebec, one in Cuba and another in Jacmel in Haiti, two social action schools, three family institutes, several holiday camps and hostels and the Centre de formation sociale Marie- Gérin-Lajoie.
You can learn more through a series of videos and podcasts recounting the extraordinary history of this Community and its foundress released in commemoration of this centenary year.