Être religieuse et enseignante : le parcours d'adaptation des Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur à la Révolution tranquille et au concile Vatican II (1960-1981)

Authors: Bordeleau, Laurence
Advisor: Caulier, Brigitte
Abstract: This study explores the modalities of the experience of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec as they adapted to the Quiet Revolution and to the Second Vatican Council between 1960 and 1981. In addition to the wide social services they offered to women and to the poor in Quebec, Africa and Latin America, the sisters of the community have also been involved in education since the 1850s. While the Catholic Church was losing its legitimacy in society and its authority in the education field in the 1960s, the community initiated its renewal. Leaning on the Council's principles for the realization of the aggiornamento, and leveraging the legislative power of the general chapters, the community decentralized its government by increasing the autonomy of the sisters and empowering them. This investigation into the different versions of the constitutional documents of the community showed that those participative principles were the object of multiple tensions and debates within the community during the decades of 1960 and 1970. The decisions of the general chapters on these matters finally led to a more individual way of living the spiritual and community life. When the education system authority passed from the Catholic Church to the Quebec government in the 1960s, with the secularization of the society, the Good Shepherd Sisters needed to review their apostolic work in education. In response to the marginalization of the sisters in schools and to the decline of the community, the authorities relied on the individual initiatives and ensured the sisters' well-being in order to keep the community and its educational engagements alive. As the sisters were encouraged to go back to school and to specialize in the field of their choice, the community allowed some empowerment to the individuals, who could either continue their educational work or reorient in another apostolic sector, while respecting their vows of obedience and the community hierarchy. The exploration of the collective and individual adaptation experience of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec increases the comprehension of the ambiguous relation between autonomy and obedience in a religious community.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 12 July 2021
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/69590
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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