Eulalie Durocher was born on October 6, 1811, in San Antoine sur Richelieu near Montreal. Her life can be summarized very briefly. She was the tenth of eleven children and one of her older brothers was a priest. When she was 18, her mother passed away and Eulalie and her father went to live with her brother, Theophile, at his parish in Boleil. The young Eulalie took charge of the priest’s home as housekeeper, hostess, and parish assistant. Although she was reputed to be lively and something of a tomboy, her health was never really robust.
At the request of Bishop Ignace Bourget, Eulalie, at 32, in 1842 became the reluctant co-founder, with the bishop, of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. (Bishop Bourget also founded 3 other religious orders to help meet the needs of his diocese, which was the vastness of Canada.) At her profession of vows, she took the name Sr. Marie-Rose. Two of her friends joined her in this new work, focusing on the religious education of children, especially girls. Blessed Marie Rose led her group for 6 difficult years until she died on her birthday October 6, 1849.
We know that her spiritual formation under Fr. Telmon was strict and that she set a very high standard for the members of her community. However, her service to the poor and her efforts to deal with the social ills of her time set the order on a trajectory of education, nursing, social work, and spiritual direction.
The Sisters of the Holy Names have been leaders in the education of women and pastoral care and service of the most disadvantaged. Kathy and I are both indebted to the Sisters of the Holy Names. Kathy was educated by Holy Names Sisters for 10 years, first in her parish grammar school and later at Holy Names Academy in Spokane, WA. My first full time teaching position was in the Education Department of Holy Names University in Oakland, CA some 30 years ago. We send our greetings, thanks and prayers to the Sisters of the Holy Names on this the feast of their foundress.Read More