2017 – The Year of Bailly Summary

(posted: September 29, 2017)


2017 – The Year of Bailly – In Praise of Our Founders


The ONRC Spirituality Committee presented this workshop, highlighting some of the familiar and not-so-familiar founders within the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.  These included the well known:  St. Vincent, St. Louise, Blessed Frederic and Blessed Rosalie and those less well known:  Joseph Painchaud, George Manly Muir, the original members of the first conference, and of course, Emmanuel Bailly, the first Conference president.

The workshop began with a reflection based on a selection from the Book of Sirach which began with, “Now I will praise those godly men, our ancestors, each in his own time…..” and invited participants to reflect and share about Vincentians who were inspirational and, as well, to share their thoughts on how to keep the memories alive.

Committee members told stories in the first person about Bailly and the Canadian founders. 

Deacon Gord shared Emmanuel Bailly’s struggles within his family, his business and his political affiliation.  Our first president suffered financially as well as personally.

Deacon John told the saga of Dr. Painchaud, who left Lower Canada (now Quebec) to study in Paris where he encountered SSVP and became Canada’s founder.  Injury sustained as a young man did not stop Joseph from dedicating his life to those in need.  Yet he was not able to complete his missionary dream.

Denise recounted the origins of the Society in English speaking Canada, through George Manly Muir.  George was caught between the two social groups of his day:  his father a British army officer and a Scot; his mother French and Catholic.  Among other accomplishments George was responsible for the founding of The Refuge of St. Magdalen, which was not an easy task.

By learning more about our Vincentian ancestors we see where we have come from and why we do what we do.  We ask their intercession as we look forward and pray that their dedication to Christ in His poor inspires us to find our way in the future.