august, 2023

27aug10:00 am11:30 amFeaturedSunday Service, August 27 @ 10 am10:00 am - 11:30 am


Event Details

All are invited to join us for Service on Sunday at 10 am.  Coffee is served after the service.

This week notes:

Marlene’s Rev. Notes:

“She was a true saint—a woman that Time magazine called the Mother Theresa of her time.” (From the book 100 Canadian Heroines)

Widowed at twenty-eight, Marie Marguerite d’Youville discovered after her marriage that her husband, François d’Youville, was a gambler, bootlegger, and womanizer. When he died in 1730, she learned that she had inherited his large debt and bad reputation. Despite these drawbacks, she managed to open a small shop to support herself and her two small children.

Following the death of her husband, Marguerite devoted herself to religion, helping the poor and raising two sons, who both became priests. She gave alms to the poor, despite her own poverty; she also mended clothing and begged for money to bury criminals. In 1737, she joined with three friends to create a lay association to serve the poor and needy. This date marks the founding of the order that would become the Sisters of Charity, commonly known as the Grey Nuns, who began their ministry in a large house in Montreal.

The General Hospital of Montreal (Archives of the Grey Nuns)

Her reputation, still tarnished by her husband’s brandy trafficking, Marguerite and the other sisters were shunned in the streets and falsely accused of continuing his illegal liquor sales. Some people even pelted the women with rocks and called them “les soeurs grises” meaning tipsy women or grey sisters; Marguerite would later adopt this name for the order as an act of humility. Wearing their grey habits, the group struggled for ten years to build their outreach to the poor, at times even being denied communion, and facing hardships and harassment. Until 1747, when Marguerite was appointed the director of a dilapidated hospital, the Hôpital Général, which cared for the poor, epileptics, lepers, the insane, the aged, “fallen women,” soldiers and abandoned children. From these humble beginnings was to spring the amazing story of the Grey Nuns.


(Sunday) 10:00 am - 11:30 am


Sherwood Park United Church

20 Fir Street Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A 1Z6

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