Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (SASV) Nicolet, Quebec, Canada
“Go and teach all nations, Mt. 28:19 Look toward the Star, call upon Mary”
Our places of sacred memory
Welcome into our home to become acquainted with our sacred history.
The chapel of the Motherhouse (1955, David Deshaies, architect)
Within this chapel dedicated to the mystery of the Assumption every dimension of the architecture raises our spirit toward God: the vertical lines, the warmth of harmonious wood, the softness of undirected light, the brilliant stained glass in an ascending movement, the weightlessness of the statues and of the tabernacle containing « The One » toward whom all ascends.
The corpus of the crucified Jesus is sculpted in wood with green tinted shades.
The two open hands of Mary within the mystery of her Assumption draw one to a response of adoration. The artistic rendering of her feet suggests that they do not have a resting place. Hence a feeling of lightness pervades the work and symbolizes that she is ascending.
Saint Joseph's statue is similar to its counterpart and speaks of an attitude of adoration. The position of his right hand suggests the same upward movement.
Stained glass windows
The stained glass windows conceived by Jeanne Vanasse SASV are not figurative. They embody the theme of Mary's Assumption. They are embedded with colors of light inspired by nature: the deep blues of water and the skies, the rose colors or ochre of sand, the expansive green of trees and fields and the serene grays of ordinary days and times.
Paintings- Jeanne Vanasse- Artist
PaintingsJeanne Vanasse- Artist
The Virgin of the Assumption
The pathway of the maples
In the 1930's at the request of alumnae, the Congregation received from the Bishop of Nicolet the authorization to construct a replica of the shrine at Massabielle at Lourdes in France. Little by little the roadway was enhanced by the planting of maple trees on either side of the path. Would we ever be able to count the time- worn rosaries fingered and prayed through the years along this pathway by those who walked this avenue of trees while whispering Ave Maria?
Pathway of the maples
If you follow the pathway of the maples eventually you reach a dwelling called Notre-Dame-de-Liesse, Mary, Cause of our Joy, a cottage for rest or vacationing. It began as an employees' residence and later was converted into a maple sugar house, finally to become a center for Sisters in formation. Memories include apple tastings and maple sugar on the snow. This locale remains a welcoming home for family reunions as the sounds of laughter
continue to echo through the doors and windows.
Sainte-Marie Pavilion, Firm ACDP* inaugurated in 2009
The path leads onward to Sainte-Marie Pavilion. This long- term care facility of 75 rooms was build for aging and ill sisters according to the CHSLD model. Woodlands surround it. The chapel integrated into the architecture speaks of our spiritual vision and of our desire to relate beauty and simplicity in our worship spaces.
Let's enter the chapel. Our gaze is drawn to a transparent niche that holds the cremains of our founder, Jean Harper. He said: « I have given my heart to the Sisters of the Assumption ». For 140 years his heart was conserved at our house of foundation in St. Gregoire, Quebec, Canada according to the customs of the period. We wanted especially to keep alive
the fire of his passion. We honor and venerate the memory of our founder because of the largesse of his heart. Heartfelt charity is the hallmark he bequeathed to us.
Urn work of Celine Lahaye, ceramic artist
The urn represents the planet earth, symbol of the universal love of Jean Harper our founder with a heart of gold.
Le choix de l'argile comme materiau pour l'urne cineraire parle de la forme qui garde memoire des mains qui l'ont façonnee et du feu qui l'immortalise. Aussi faut-il petrir les signes du temps et de la vie pour qu'ils chantent et mûrissent au coeur du coeur.
La forme circulaire reprise, souvent en architecture symbolise la divinite, la forme parfaite ! Le dessin du coeur rehausse d'un lustre dore souligne la generosite du « coeur d'or » de notre fondateur.
Enfin, il est bon de se savoir argile fragile malleable entre les mains de l'artisan qui seul, connaît « le fond obscur maternel et terrestre de l'être ».
Cemeteries, a portal to eternity
(inspired by a text from Richard Cote)
Cemeteries are places of ambiguity... places where presence and absence live within the same landscape, places not rooted in the “here” and “there”.
The past, present and future coexist at the same moment. We experience therein shadow and light, the end and beginning, the material and the spiritual.
May the Virgin of the Assumption watch over our visitors and our beloved dead within this holy space. Nicolet, Quebec, Canada
Tombstones of our four founding mothers
Le logo du musee historique des Soeurs de l'Assomption emprunte sa forme aux verrieres de la chapelle de la maison mere.
Comme un arbre avec ses lignes montantes il nous parle de l'Assomption...
Cet arbre aux branches etendues temoigne du rayonnement de la mission educative jusqu'au lointain Japon.
Le tronc rattache à la lettre M renvoie à ses fruits...
Texte de Jeanne Vanasse (synthetise)
« Inanimate objects do you have a soul? »Lamartine
Through our archives and our museum we maintain a living relationship with our past. What does it say about us as SASV's, about our contemporary society? Our museum holds in trust memories of our spiritual life, our educational ministries, our multi-cultural realizations and the ebb and flow of our ordinary life during other times.
Our artifacts witness to our past history. We preserve them so that within the present we can welcome the future.
Inanimate objects take on a life of their own when they are examined, shared, and lent. In this way their meaning perpetuates their mission as historic living witnesses.
We have confided the legacy of our museum to « The Museum of Religions of the World » in Nicolet to assure greater accessibility and visibility.
This illustration invites us to discover the archival world of the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. It evokes a concern to preserve for future generations the lived experiences that have been memorable and awe-filled. According to how we perceive ourselves as a community, the lines of the logo are simple yet graceful and contain movements of dynamism and enthusiasm.
Central part of the logo
This part represents a religious, a member of the Congregation. The star, seen as the head, symbolizes divine inspiration. The curved lines remind us of a human silhouette and also the different garbs worn throughout the years. It is at once lively and welcoming; it seems intent on walking steadily into the future. This silhouette reminds us of our call to be educators and missionaries going toward unknown lands and cultures.
In this section of the logo we see a silver comet, a very important element in our community shield. It is the symbol of the Assumption of Mary. Finally, this part of the logo forms a capital A to indicate archives.
This part of the logo represents archival documents i.e. books, writings, and photos.
The superimposed bands illustrate classifications. The different curves represent equally the passing of time imaged by a river that follows its course. Archival documents are like a window unto the past; they tell a story and teach us in a calm and peaceful way.
The pen reminds us of the numerous documents written by hand but especially of the finesse and heartfelt dedication of those who produced the documents. Each document is in itself a small work of art.
The ensemble of the small letters forms a celestial arch. The large letters stand for a solid anchored base. These different parts of the logo suggest a link between heaven and earth. The openness at the right points us toward the future. In fact, the style of the logo leaves much place for the imagination to be engaged. The rounded forms can remind us of a clock with the pen in the guise of hands. The entirety of the logo stimulates the imagination and invites a rediscovery
of the numerous treasures housed within the Archives of the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
A dynamic team of three persons devote themselves to bridging the past and the present available on appointment.
Central Archives SASV
Nathalie Savard, documentary technician
Sr. Estelle Gervais, coordinator of services
Isabelle Perigny, archivist