Quebec: The Carmel of Belle-Croix in Danville Closed Down

Source: FSSPX News

“It is regretfully and reluctantly that we must consider closing down since the daily reality forces us do so,” wrote Sr. Denise Guenette, prioress of the Carmel, in the last issue of the parish bulletin of the Church of St. Ann in Danville. Our attachment to the community of Danville and its neighborhood is great, and we are grateful to each and everyone for the support and help you have given us since the opening of the Carmel in 1957.
Archbishop André Gaumont, of Sherbrooke, was present on Saturday, November 14, to signify officially the decree of the closing down of the Carmel of Belle-Croix. All the population was invited, on Sunday, November 15, to attend the last Mass before the departure of the Sisters who lived in this little monastery of Estrie, founded in 1957. In this green area, more of less equally distant from the cities of Sherbrooke, Victoriaville and Drummondville, the Carmel of Belle-Croix had been fulfilling its mission of prayer, praise and intercession at the heart of the diocese of Sherbrooke. It was home to Sisters from Quebec and from Vietnam who benefited from the support of the population of Danville, Asbestos, and of all the area. Quebec numbers four other Carmels: in Dolbeau, Trois-Rivieres, Tewksbury, and Montreal, where the Carmelites of Danville will settle.
The prioress of the Carmelites of Danville explained that their community was not escaping the Quebec and Western context of lack of new religious vocations. From the twenty some Sisters at their arrival in Danville, in 1957, only eight Carmelites are left, and among them five belong to the Carmel of Montreal. -  The closing down of the Carmel of Danville is preceding the closing of the central house of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Last March, the religious community, which had been present in Sherbrooke since 1948, confirmed that the central house on the Rue du Conseil in the arrondissement of Fleurimont in Sherbrooke would close down in 2012. In less than 3 years, 75 Sisters on retirement will move to the Mother House in Saint-Hyacinthe.
At the origin of the Carmel of Belle-Croix was Rose-Alba Brien, from Danville, who entered the Carmel of Montreal, and left her country to enter the Carmel of Hanoi. Having become Sr. Mary of the Savior, she founded the Carmel of Bui-Chu in North Vietnam with her companions in 1921. But in 1954, the Geneva Agreements gave North Vietnam to the communists and provoked a massive exodus towards the south and foreign countries. The Canadian Sisters must leave the country. The Vietnamese Sisters chose to follow their foundress. After a three-year stay in the Carmel of Montreal, the community was invited by Archbishop Georges Cabana, then Archbishop of Sherbrooke and by Canon Lorezo Ferland, parish priest of St. Ann, to come and settle in Danville. (DICI n° 206 - 12/17/2009 – Sources: apic/lecarmel/sherbooke)