Posted by: newenglandarchivist | March 18, 2014

Archivists’ Meeting in Namur

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View of the Missions of the Sisters of Notre Dame throughout the world
Click on image to enlarge

From March 1st to March 8th I was most fortunate to be included in a meeting of the archivists for the Sisters of Notre Dame throughout the world. It was thrilling for me to actually be in Namur, Belgium and to speak with sisters from the Congo, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Kenya and Belgium. I am one of four archivists for the SNDs in the U.S. but hearing the struggles of the other archivists to maintain their collections meant so much to me. As part of the meeting, I was able to visit the nearly completed Heritage Centre housed at the Motherhouse in Namur. This amazing museum focuses on the lives of St. Julie Billiart and Francoise Blin de Bourdon, the founders of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, as well as the history of the Congregation of Sisters. If anyone has the opportunity to visit Belgium, it is well worth the trip to see this newly constructed Heritage Centre. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the museum as well as all the stories conveyed through text, video and images.

While in Belgium for the meetings, I was also fortunate to visit Cuvilly, France, the birthplace of St. Julie. Below is a photo of the reconstructed home of St. Julie as well as the welcoming center for visitors.

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Site of St. Julie’s birth                            Visitor’s Center for Julie’s birthplace
Click on images to enlarge

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