Congregation of Notre Dame Motherhouse
The Congregation of Notre Dame is a Catholic women’s religious community founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys in the 17th century. Today, our family is international and multicultural. We come from the countries of North and Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe where we live and work among the people.
Located at 2330 Sherbrooke Street West in Montreal, the Motherhouse is the nerve centre for the Congregation’s sisters and associate members; it is the historical and administrative hub coordinating the community’s mission in today’s world.
The congregational leadership team, the local community and the employees make up approximately seventy-five people who work at the Motherhouse. Sixteen sisters live in the building. The Motherhouse is a very active place as it welcomes sisters from various communities as well as mission groups such as the Canadian Religious Conference, the Action Committee against Internal and International Human Trafficking (CATHII) and others who regularly hold meetings and also reserve rooms for guests for short stays.
One of the main orientations of the Congregation’s 97th General Chapter held in the summer of 2016 was “to honour and respect our common home, to take concrete action, to counter the forces of destruction and to affirm life in all its forms”. The desire to see reality through the eyes of the poor is at the heart of the Congregation’s mission and compels us to action.
The success of the initiatives we take comes from taking responsibility as individuals and as a group. We recognize that because the Motherhouse is such a large building, it lays a heavy ecological footprint on the earth. We also recognize that each positive step taken contributes to the preservation of our common home.
Faced with these challenges, the sisters residing at the Motherhouse as well as the sisters and employees who work there welcomed the mandate accorded to the Social Justice Network by the congregational leadership team to formulate a plan of action. The non-governmental environmental organization, Equiterre, was enlisted to help create a plan for the “greening of the Motherhouse”. Twelve significant short-term and long-term objectives to diminish our ecological footprint were identified.
In May 2015, ten members of the staff and four sisters accepted the invitation to form a green committee for the Motherhouse.
The mandate of the Green Committee which meets once a month is to help raise the consciousness of the sisters and the employees of the Motherhouse to importance of changing our day-to-day practices. Together, we are working to lighten our ecological footprint.
Steps were also taken to have the Motherhouse registered in the Green Churches Network. In February, 2017, we celebrated our registration in the Network. Joining this group will help us move forward in consolidating our present initiatives and in planning future action.
– Green Committee Members, 14 February, 2017