On this day, 200 years ago, Eulalie Durocher was born in this house in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
In 1831, after her mother died, Eulalie and her father went to live with Eulalie's brother, Theophile, a priest at Beloeil. Eulalie managed the "household and the parish rectory. For the next thirteen years she learned a great deal about the spiritual and social needs of a parish, especially the need for schools. In 1843 the new bishop suggested that Eulalie form a religious congregation dedicated to education. Her brother strongly objected to losing his trusted right hand, but Eulalie overcame his resistance and with two companions founded the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary."
--The Big Book of Women Saints, by Sarah Gallick, HarperOne, 2007, page 315.
In 1844, in the church at Longueuil, Eulalie Durocher professed vows and became Mother Marie-Rose. Melodie Dufresne became Mother Marie-Agnes, and Henriette Cere became Mother Marie-Madeleine. The new congregation attracted students and postulants, and by the time of Marie-Rose's death on this day in 1849, they had four convents with over fifty members and 448 pupils.
Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II.
For a detailed account of the life of Marie-Rose Durocher and of the early days of the congregation she founded, see Great American Foundresses, by Joseph B. Code, Macmillan, 1929. This book is free online.
Click here for a Wikepedia article which includes information about the difficulties Charles Chiniquy caused Mother Marie-Rose's congregation. (Click his name in the article for information about the difficulties he caused Abraham Lincoln and his continuing influence on anti-Catholics of today.)
Click here for the web site of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
Today, Blessed Marie-Rose's Sisters are concerned with many issues, including Water, and Human Trafficking, and First Nations People.
A very happy feast day to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and to all who have benefited from their service!
Jésus et Marie, Ma Force et Ma Gloire!