Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700), one of the founders of Montreal, was canonized in 1982. Patricia Simpson goes beyond myth and hagiography to explore Bourgeoys's dream of establishing a radical new kind of religious community dedicated to the education of women, recounting her thirty-year struggle to obtain official recognition for the Congregation of Notre Dame. In a nuanced analysis, Simpson shows that the order faced great resistance from the male church hierarchy despite the fact that the pioneer society depended on the work of the Congregation. The order was particularly important in assuming the guardianship of many filles du roi - young women sent to New France under royal auspices to be married to the men of the colony. Simpson also examines the many difficulties the Congregation faced, which included natural disasters and the dangers schoolmistresses faced in trying to reach women and children in settlements throughout New France and as far away as Acadia.
Biographies-Memoirs, Leaders-Notable-People, Religious,