Montreal, Canada, Oct 4, 2004 / 22:00 pm
A thousand voices echoed through the large Montreal cathedral for sung vespers Sept. 25 during the welcoming ceremony for a new religious community that is also new to the city and the continent.
Seven monks and 10 nuns of the Monastic Jerusalem Communities arrived in the archdiocese Sept. 17 to run the Sanctuary of the Blessed Sacrament (Saint-Sacrement). Following an invitation from Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, who presided at the vespers at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, the Paris-based religious community decided to open its first North American monastery here.
Thirty-five-year-old Sr. Cecile has been a member of the community for the last 12 years. She said she had prayed for her community to come to Montreal for the last 10.
It became possible when the Blessed Sacrament Fathers decided that they could no longer run their sanctuary, located in the heart of Montreal in a trendy, artsy section called the Plateau Mont-Royal, because they did not have enough new vocations.