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Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

Délia Tétreault, a descendant of Louis Tétreau, ancestor of the Tetreau of America, was declared Venerable by Pope John-Paul II on December 18, 1997. At that time, the news was received with joy by the Tétreault who were informed of the event. Fourteen years later, at what stage is now the Canonization Process of our candidate? First of all, let us recall the achievements and the most important events of the life of Délia Tétreault.

Delia Tetreault, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate-ConceptionShe founded in Montreal a religious community of women missionaries - the first in America - that is now implanted in sixteen countries of the world and counts members from seventeen different nationalities. It was after a long period of discernment of God’s will on her life that Délia rented a small house at Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal, on June 3rd, 1902, to begin an “apostolic school” as she named it. Her purpose was to train young women who wanted to enter missionary orders, all from European foundations at the time. Two years later, when the Archbishop of Montreal Paul Bruchési, went to Rome and met Pope Pius X, he mentioned the existence in his diocese of this small group of women. To his surprise, the Pope reacted immediately and told him: “Found, found it, Excellency! And the blessing of God will come upon the new foundation. You will name it the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception!” It was in this way that the “small work” of Délia received its approval and developed rapidly under the leadership of the Foundress. In 1909, a first group of six M.I.C. Sisters left for Canton, China, thus opening the road to the foreign missions

Mother Marie-du-St-Esprit (her religious name), is also credited as being the initiator of multiple apostolic works in Canada: revitalization of the Propagation of the Faith and of the Holy Childhood, opening closed retreat houses for women, schools and shelters for Chinese immigrants in Montreal and in Vancouver. In 1920, she launched a missionary magazine, Le Précurseur, now in its 90th year of publication, and in 1923, the English version now known as MIC MISSION NEWS. Departures of M.I.C. Sisters for Asia, the Caribbean countries, Africa and South America became a yearly event, except in time of war.

In 1933, the Foundress suffered a stroke and became paralysed. She died on October 1st, 1941. She was credited with a very large part of the missionary impetus of the Canadian Church at the beginning of the 20th century. Her discreet action was acknowledged in the foundation of the Societé des Missions Étrangères. She found the inspiration of her apostolate in her spirituality of thanksgiving: “God has given us everything, even His own Son. What better way of making returns -- insofar as a weak creature is able to do so in this world -- thanto give Him children, chosen ones, who will sing His goodness throughout the centuries!” These words appear on the stained-glass window at the Tomb of the Venerable Délia Tétreault at 100 Place Juge-Desnoyers, Pont-Viau, Laval, H7G 1A4. Tel.: 450-663-6460. Visitors are welcome. Persons who want information or to report favours obtained through the intercession of Délia Tétreault are invited to contact Sr Suzanne Labelle, M.I.C. in charge of the Office of the Cause, at the same address or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Visitors are also welcome at the Délia Tétreault Center, at the Mother House of the Institute, 314, St. Catherine Road, Outremont, H2V 2B4, for a visit of the rooms where Délia lived during her lifetime. The exhibition “Sunshine in their Baggage”, presented at the Musée de la Civilisation, Quebec, in 2002, is also displayed there as well as an art gallery. Visitors are invited to call Sr Jeanne Gauvin, M.I.C. Tel.: 514, 405 1551 for an appointment. Printed material in several languages is available at these addresses as well as the History of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate-Conception “Women without Frontiers” by Chantal Gauthier, edited by Carte Blanche in 2008.

Finally, information on the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and on the Cause of Délia Tétreault is available in French, English, and Spanish on the MIC web site:



Huguette Turcotte, M.I.C.

July 2011.

Pont-Viau, Laval, 100 Place Juge-Desnoyers,