Historical personage

The minister Luc Fortin name Mother Marie-Leonie an historical personage

Quebec, December 19, 2016. - The deputy of Sherbrooke, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsable for the Protection and the Promotion of the French language, and Minister responsible for the Eastern township, Mr. Luc Fortin was happy to designate Élodie Paradis, known as Mother Marie-Leonie, the title of an historical personage. This symbolic gesture following the laws of cultural heritage is to preserve her memory for future generations.

“This designation of Mother Marie-Léonie brings to minds the historic role as regards to health, education and social services of the Religious communities In the Quebec society. I am proud to make this signifiant gesture towards this great person closely bound to the community of Sherbrooke. Plus, her work will stay engraved in our collective memory”, underlined the Minister Fortin.

Élodie Paradis entered in the Sisters of Holy Cross in 1854, pronounced her vows in 1857 and received the name Sister Marie-de-Sainte-Léonie. She worked in the Montreal region, in the United States and later in New Brunswick where she founded the Little Sisters of the Holy-Family in 1880. She became the first Superior of the community and was called Mother Marie-Leonie. This new Institute was devoted to domestic services in Colleges, Seminaries, Bishop's residences and houses of formation for priests.

In 1895, Mother Marie-Leonie moved the Mother House of the community to Sherbrooke. The Institute quickly grew and Mother Marie-Leonie sent her sisters to do domestic work in 42 Religious houses in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and the United States. At the time of her death, in 1912, the community had more than 600 Religious.

“Mother Marie-Leonie consecrated her life to prayer. She was an example for her Community showing great Christian values: unity, charity, spirit of welcome and humility. She remains an eloquent model with regard in her spiritual progress and devotion to her mission to serve the priests”, declared Mgr Luc Cyr, archbishop of Sherbrooke.

Sister Marie Paule Carrier, Secretary General of the Community of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family added. “With the member of my community, I say we are honoured to have this acknowledgment as regards our beloved foundress. Because of what she accomplished, Sister Marie-Leonie remains a source of inexhaustible inspiration for us. Also, I would like to humbly add that this distinction of our Mother foundress shows these many years of devoted service of our Community in Colleges, beside the scholastics and students.”