On December 30, 1852, Philomène Labrecque was born in Saint-Raphaël, Bellechasse, she was the daughter of Augustin Labrecque, and Sophie Gagnon. She is the eighth of the ten children of the couple.
His father, first a farmer, became progressively a day laborer from the end of the seigneurial regime in 1854 and devotes himself chiefly to the transport of passengers and post. The poor incomes of the family are increased by Sophie Gagnon, a former schoolteacher who, with her business acumen, set up a small shop in the house domestic located in the shadow of the parish church; another room will serve as a room for the first school in the village, opened in 1854.
At the age of 13, she completed her schooling to give full rein to the family already deprived of mother, at the age of three, and whose father is seriously ill.
At the death of her father, in 1865, she was first gathered by her godmother. She works with a to work. Then, at 16, she worked as a domestic in Québec for a decade.
At 26, courted by a young man who asks her to marry, she seems hesitant to answer. At the end of a retirement at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, she decided to marry. However, the next day, without any possible hesitation, she opts for religious life.
On June 8, 1878, she returned to the Couvent des Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur in Québec like Dominican tertiary
In 1881, the Bishop of Chicoutimi asked the Convent to take charge of the seminary services with other Dominican tertiary. Among others, Philomène is chosen to go to Chicoutimi. Philomene wished to become a Dominican and to found a community of Dominicans.
As the Couvent des Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur did not renew the contract on the date fixed on August 30, 1887, Cardinal Taschereau consents to the project of foundation of Sr Philomène in order to preserve the tertiaries at the seminary. Of the 28 tertiaries, 14 opt freely the new community.
September 16, 1887 is the official date of the creation of the foundation. On August 15, 1888, the 14 foundresses made their first vows. Philomene takes the religious name of Marie de la Charité. The Dominican life is organized around two major poles identified by the motto: "Oratio et labor", ie prayer and work. On the death of Sr. Catherine de Sienne, Prioress, Mother Marie de la Charité was elected Prioress.
In 1898, 11 years after the founding of the Dominicaines de l'Enfant-Jésus, the foundation counts 43 Dominicans.
Here are the places where the Dominicans in the time of Mother Marie de la Charité, in addition to the Seminary, will work:
After 25 years under the supervision of the Séminaire de Québec, the Congregation obtained its autonomy in 1914.
On August 29, 1914, the Congregation purchased the villa Bursthall, located on chemin Saint-Louis, at a cost of $ 35,000. As of September, 25 sisters will come to live in the Mother House. A new work is also created for the hospitalization for sick priests of the diocese.
The main incomes too restricted will come from the pension of three retired priests, the making of the hosts, the sewing work, The sale of images reproduced at the photography workshop, the sale of vegetables grown on part of the land and the sale Of milk from their single cow. If community life is hard work, it is also the school of joy, laughter and cheerfulness.
At 68, Mother Marie de la Charité, exhausted, is sick. She died on 1 July 1920.
The population of the community, which was about 75 in 1913, almost doubled on the death of Mother Marie de la Charity.
The Dominicaines de la Trinité are founded in 1967. They result from the regrouping of the Dominicaines de l'Enfant-Jésus and the Dominicaines du Rosaire.
Since then, the community has grown, flourished and spread: 70 foundations, the fields of hospitalization, teaching (at several levels) and in other services, in different countries and continents. In addition to Canada, it is found in Peru, the Philippines, Burundi and Rwanda, Africa. In 1992, it had about 350 members, and the bulk of new recruits came from the Philippines.
Various Bulletin des Labrecque
Chapter 14 of the book: « Les Labrecque en Amérique de l’Association des Labrecque »;
Genealogy : CD of genealogy - Les Labrecque tous réunis
Reading Suggestion: The book of Giselle Huot « Une femme au séminaire : Marie de la Charité (1852-1920), fondatrice de la première communauté dominicaine du Canada », Editions Bellarmin, 1987 (in French).