School Album

Couvent de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Couvent de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, institution founded in 1856, Kamouraska, Quebec, [between 1858 and 1918]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montreal.

Notre Dame Study Center

Notre Dame Study Center, Oita, Japon.

In June, 1969, to answer a request from Bishop Saburo Hirata, Bishop of the Diocese of Oita, it was decided to open a CND mission in Oita. Oita is a city where one of the first Catholic churches in Japan was built when St. Francis Xavier was evangelizing in Japan in the 16th century.

On March 31, 1970, the new convent built in Dan Noharu Heights, a new development in the suburbs of the city, became the home of four sisters: Sister Ruriko Abe, local leader, Sister Rose Cauchon, Sister Rita MacKinnon and Sister Ryo Yukawa. Their first mission was to the students and teachers and their families of the neighbouring University of Oita.

In what was called Notre Dame Study Center, in a small language laboratory in the building, English classes were provided for university students, elementary school students and adults Sister Rita MacKinnon and later Sister Madelyn Brennan taught English not only as a language, but also had Bible study classes in English. A seminar for English teachers held every summer in Oita Prefecture made a great contribution to raising the level of English education in the prefecture.

Sister Ryo Yukawa, in cooperation with priests of the Salesian Fathers of John Bosco, gathered university students for Bible studies as well as reading groups, volunteer activities and short retreats. In this way the Gospel message was promulgated.

The 20 sisters who were missioned to Oita worked in various areas to spread the Gospel message. In the area of pre-school education they gathered the small children twice a week in the hall on the first floor of the centre. At the same time, on the second floor, Sister Yukawa talked with the mothers about child-rearing and also conducted Bible studies.

In 1977 two CND sisters began to work at Kaisei Kindergarten, where they were involved in the education of the children and in religion classes for the parents. If the sisters were to travel to the kindergarten by bus, it would take about one hour, but the priest who came to the convent for morning Mass stayed for breakfast and kindly drove the sisters to the kindergarten.

Two sisters were also asked to teach Bible and Ethics at Oita Women’s Junior College and Tomei High School. Those students were also invited to the convent and as part of the program had a chance to pray in the chapel. For many of them it was their first experience and their joyful reaction was “Wow, I could pray”.

In 1995 because of the difficulty of finding CND personnel to send to Oita, the mission in Hinohara Heights was closed. The building and property were sold to the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco.

For two years after that Sister Ryo Yukawa and Sister Rumiko Matsumiya lived in a small residence and continued the mission in Oita.

École Tremblay

École Tremblay, institution founded in 1923, Beauport-est-Villeneuve (Québec), Québec, [after 1953?]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

Postcard of Sainte-Famille Convent

Postcard of Sainte-Famille Convent, Boucherville, Quebec, [1906]. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame - Montréal.

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