From Montreal to Ottawa!

Soon after breakfast it was time to head on our travels once more. Sr. Christiane and Sr. Christine had very kindly offered to drive me down to Ottawa. The journey was quite pleasant and it gave me a chance to look at the scenery, share some news with the sisters and get some of the country's history. We passed a small municipality in southwestern Quebec called Rigaud. It is famous because it has a very strange potato story attached to it so I thought my Irish readers might find it of interest!
Its main attraction are Mont-Rigaud and a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes). The mountain is also home to an unusual, natural rock garden known as the "champs de patates", so named because of the local legend that it was once a potato field, turned to stone by God because the farmer worked on Sunday!

We arrived in Ottawa just about lunch time after a two hour journey. We found Deschatelets Residence quite easily and we were warmly welcomed when we arrived. I got my keys and unloaded my things and then we headed for some lunch and exploring with the sisters.

Deschatelets is a residence owned and looked after by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It is situated more or less on campus of St. Paul's University where I will be doing my course. In fact, it is three minutes to the University ( I timed it!)...so no excuses for being late to lectures! I met some of the students who are all so friendly and helpful. So far my companions in Canon Law for this new year are from Canada, USA, Australia, Vietnam, Nigeria, China....I'm sure the list will grow when we have our orientation day on Tuesday!

The Residence is home to a community of about 30 Oblate brothers and priests who are French Canadian so it is a good incentive to try and speak French. There is even an Oblate priest here from Cavan so it's good to have an Irish connection. Settling in went well, the house is well-organized! There is a French Mass at 7.15am each morning so that is good to keep the regular schedule going. The grounds are beautiful and are full of squirrels (I thought that they were rats the first day I saw them...was slightly worried!). In a few weeks, the raccoons, chipmunks and skunks appear aswell! We have a river just behind the house so you can go for lovely walks or jogs before the cold sets in. So far, I'm enjoying soaking in the whole experience and preparing for the academic year which will be challenging and intense! As I already shared on FB, this is my motto for the next two years:"Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you! ". 

Ciao for now x  Photo gallery


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