In July 2019, Le Monastère des Augustines launched its first Loto-répits (Respite Lottery) to raise funds for its respite care program benefitting caregivers. The prize for this first edition? 15 nights in an authentic room at Le Monastère—a $3,175 value! Profits will help provide caregivers with stays and renewal activities tailored to their needs. Turning to a lottery as a funding activity may seem surprising, but it’s a relatively old practice. The Augustinian Sisters have used it in the past, notably in 1871 to support the foundation of the Hôtel-Dieu du Sacré-Coeur in Québec. A more recent example is linked to Maison Catherine de Longpré, a private hospice co-founded by the Saint-Georges Augustinian Sisters. Here’s a look at the history of the organization, and how lotteries pertain to its foundation and running.
The Augustinian’s hospital work greatly impresses Le Monastère’s visitors, especially when they learn that in the past, most care was provided for free. According to the museum’s guides, the origin of healthcare funding raises important questions for visitors. How can a religious community provide care at no cost? It is important to qualify, because some patients paid pension, depending on their financial capacity. Here is some explanation about the costs related to the care provided at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec.
The bequest of a heritage, whether material or immaterial, rests on an important emotion, even an attitude or a state of mind: trust. The Augustinian Sisters donated the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery with tens of thousands of objects and documents with the assurance that their intangible intent would be respected and preserved for generations to come. The Fiducie du patrimoine culturel des Augustines was created for this reason. However, behind this legal structure (as a trust) are also human beings, including archivists, whose role is to protect, classify, but also interpret documents bequeathed to the trust. The sisters’ confidence in the archivists is remarkable. This text offers an overview of the importance of this enduring relationship to protect our heritage.
Hospital work is obviously serious in itself, but nothing comes in the way of a few moments favorable to a good mood or even humor. Le Monastère des Augustines’ archives are full of documents that testify that the life of the Augustinian Sisters is one of joy, pleasure and laughter. The pictures of the various monasteries illustrate that these women knew how to have fun with each other, but also with those whom they met, as much at the hospital as outside of the conventual setting. Here are some pictures that will probably make you smile.