Celebrations and Conferences

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To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the founding of Varennes and 350 years of religious life, the Saint Marguerite d’Youville pastoral unit has prepared special celebrations.

On 19 June, a Corpus Christi Mass is planned at 10:00 a.m. at the Saint Anne Basilica. It will be followed by a procession with a repository in Old Varennes.

On 24 June, a “Quebec Mass” will be held in the Sanctuary Gardens if the weather permits. Otherwise, it will be celebrated in the Basilica.

The Novena of Saint Anne, from July 17 to 26, will be well celebrated. On Saturday, 24 July, in collaboration with the parish and the historical society, the city of Varennes is organizing a Heritage Day on the theme of the St. Anne’s procession. There will be a conference at 3:00 p.m. in the Basilica of Sainte-Anne and various activities will take place at the Maison Saint-Louis, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On 26 July, the Feast of Saint Anne will be celebrated at 8:00 pm in the Basilica. It will be followed by a candlelight procession.

The liturgical feast of Saint Marguerite d’Youville, on 16 October, will begin with a solemn Mass in the Basilica. In the afternoon, a conference on Marguerite d’Youville, presented by Gilles Proulx, will take place in the Basilica.

The Basilica in Music

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As part of the festivities for the 350th anniversary of the founding of Varennes, the parish of Saint Anne, in collaboration with the City of Varennes, is organizing organ concerts. These concerts are free of charge, but spectators are invited to make a donation for the upkeep of the Basilica.

The first organ concert will be held on Sunday, 12 June, at 2:00 p.m. in the Basilica of Saint Anne, with musician Jean-Willy Kunz and tenor Thomas Leslie. Jean-Willy Kunz is professor of organ at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and artistic director of the Canadian International Organ Competition. He is also the first organist-in-residence of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Pierre Gadbois, titular organist of Saint Anne’s Basilica, will perform on 24 July at 2:00 pm. A conference on the Saint Anne procession will be held following this concert.

On Sunday,14 August at 2:00 p.m., the titular organist of Saint-Famille Church, Denis Alain Dion, will give a concert with the violinist Julie Lapierre.

Finally, an organ and harp duo, with Gisèle Guibord and Robin Grenon, will charm the audience on 18 September, at 2:00 pm.


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A newness for this year, beginning on Sunday 27 June, you will be able to buy the booklet Marguerite d’Youville Prayers and Spirituality.  It is a collection of prayers recited by Marguerite and her companions, such as the ever relevant Invocations to the Eternal Father and it also contains new prayers composed by Sr Rose-Alma Lemire, SGM.

Beautifully illustrated by Fabiola Roy, it was accomplished by the Committee of the Friends of Saint Marguerite d’Youville, in close collaboration with the community of the Grey Nuns of Montreal.  You can purchase a copy in the Sanctuary for a cost of 5 $.

«This is an important event for the Sanctuary.  An opportunity for us to show how much the work of Marguerite d’Youville is alive and well.  We invite you pray at her Tomb and to visit the Sanctuary to learn more about this woman with a heart of gold.  She welcomed the homeless, the abandoned, the orphans and she cared for the sick regardless of race», affirms the Rector of the Basilica, Father Mario Desrosiers.


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Sanctuary of Saint Marguerite d'Youville

Longueuil, May 18, 2016 – Five religious heritage sites have come together to develop the Saint Lawrence River Shrines tour and present the public with a new tourist destination on Montreal’s South Shore.

The official launching took place at the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary with the support of a number of noted guests and local actors.

Members of the partnership include:

The Saint Francis Xavier Mission and Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Kahnawà:ke
The Cocathedral of Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue, Longueuil
The Marie-Rose Centre, Longueuil
The Sainte-Famille Church, Boucherville
The Sanctuary of Saint Marguerite d’Youville,Varennes


  1. “The development of this unique experience is the result of a team work enabling us to combine our efforts with other spiritual centres by building on our offering”. Catherine Ferguson, General Superior, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
  1. “Tourisme Montérégie is proud to have collaborated in the development of this new venture that presents the religious heritage of the Monteregie and contributes to promoting tourism in our fabulous region.” Josée Julien, General Director, Tourisme Montérégie
  1. “This is the opportunity for small shrines like our own to be seen and heard. I invite all those that love history to discover and take pride in their heritage.” Nicole Fournier, a representative of the Gray Nuns of Montreal
  1. “Religious tourism is growing throughout the world and our initiative is part of that trend. A group like ours contributes to promoting our heritage and ensuring its sustainability.” Kimberly Cross, Tourism Development Agent, Kahnawà:ke Tourism
  1. “Each of the Saint Lawrence River Shrines is a place of welcome, of listening, of humility and friendship. With their individual personalities each blessed person or Saint, witnesses to Christ, invites us to life, to peace and to joy. Come and discover this unique experience!” Christian Rodembourg, pastor, Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue parish
  1. “The staff and volunteers are already mobilized and committed to provide a welcoming atmosphere. They will do everything they can to satisfy the visitors every need, ensuring an unforgettable experience for the tourist.” Daniel Boivin, pastor, Saint Famille Parish, Boucherville, Quebec.

The Saint Lawrence River Shrines

The Saint Lawrence River Shrines brings together five sites to bear witness to the religious devotion of the times and the great talent of their creators. From the Mohawk community in Kahnawà:ke to Varennes, to Longueuil and to Boucherville, tourists and pilgrims are welcomed to visit the shrines, all of which are located less than an hour from Montreal.