Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher: Forming the Next Generation

Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher (+1849) is commemorated today along with Saint Bruno, a Canadian sister, who, under the inspiration of Saint Eugene de Mazenod and Bishop Bourget, founded the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, to educate young girls. She was born on this day, October 6th, in 1811, and christened Eulalie, the tenth of eleven children in those days when such large – and happy – families were the norm in Quebec, Eulalie had a normal childhood, owning a horse named Caesar (!), and grew up steeped in the earthy and realistic piety of her ancestors, which sowed the seeds of her religious vocation.  She had originally hoped to join the Congregation of Notre Dame, but had to leave due to ill-health, after she returned home to help her mother, then acted as housekeeper for her brother’s rectory.

It was not until 1844, after much discussion, that she, with two companions, entered as the first novices of the new Order which Bishop Bourget had asked her to found, to help in the education of young girls, a great need at the time. When they eventually opened their first school, the need nearly overwhelmed them, so great was it. But the young women were up to the task, with the grace that God gives, building on natural zeal. Within a few years, they had four convents, teaching hundreds of students – boys as well, in accord with their missionary intention, and their work continues to this day.

Plagued by ill-health, Sister Marie Rose died on October 6, 1849, hailed as a saint, and was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II on May 23, 1982, before an enthusiastic crowd in Rome. Her name is still held in honour in Quebec, with various schools and places named after this home-grown Canadian saint, Marie Rose.

There are a few other Orders that I know of currently taking on that noble task to teach the next generation to see God in all things, the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate being one of the foremost in our own Dominion of Canada, and any number of other private schools taking up the torch. That is where the real victory will be won – in the classroom, which in turn shapes the culture. The ravenous wolves wandering the streets are products of our current ‘educational’ system, which when it’s not explicitly Marxist, is woefully deficient. If the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world, we may say the same in spades for those who form the minds and the souls of future generations – in the truth, which will set us free.