November 28, 2022
On Sunday Nov. 20, at the George Bryson House in Mansfield-et-Pontefract, was the official launch of the book ‘Les sacrifiés de la bonne entente’. This book was originally published in 2002 by the author Luc Bouvie with the original initiative coming from the Comité d’action francophone Pontiac in 1997.
The book, unfortunately available in French only, is an historical journey going back to the early 1800s. It describes the battle of the francophones to have the church services in French and most importantly a school where their children could have access to an education in their mother tongue.
The book has historical value as the author went to the full extent to find archives to support and explain all the interactions between the Catholic English community, the Protestant community (mostly anglophones) and the French community (mostly Catholics) in the Pontiac.
Bouvier noted it was unfortunate that the archdiocese of Pembroke refused to collaborate on the content in giving access to its archives or by accepting to meet the author.
Still today, all French Catholics churches in the Pontiac, are under the Pembroke Archdiocese. The actions of Willian J. Smith, bishop between 1945-1971, with the complacency of the Sisters of St. Joseph are particularly questionable. They were the main stumbling blocks that prevented the French community to have access to a proper education in French and they encouraged a hostile climate in the education system of the Pontiac for decades. Unfortunately, this is not the only matter where the Catholics leaders clearly abused their position of authority in our Canadian history between 1945 and 1980. To this date, the Pembroke Catholic authority has not shown any repentance to the French communities affected.
This second edition has been enhanced with new pictures and statistical data. The original edition was no longer available. The second edition was also launched in Gatineau and Montreal. The co-editors are Société Pièce sur Pièce and L’Action nationale Éditeur. If interested, the book is $25 and available at the CHIP FM office located at 138 Principale in Fort-Coulonge. The book is also available in some libraries in Gatineau, online at www.action-nationale.qc.ca or by phone at (514) 845-8533.
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