This Week in JPL History: Sister Marie Noelle de Baillehache

On March 13th, 1966, as a part of the Montreal Jewish Forum the JPL was honoured to host Sister Marie Noelle de Baillehache for a reading of her French translation of the poems of J.I. Segal. Sister Marie Noelle described her relationship with the Library best in a 1970 letter “I have been for nine years, since, November 1961, a devoted friend of the Library, following its pride and worries, not only by knowing a little about it, but by sharing with my heart in its life, pains and hopes.”

As a member of the Congregation Notre Dame de Sion and later the Centre mi-ca-el, she helped foster a Judeo-Christian dialogue in Quebec and influenced similar work across Canada. She was the recipient of a special Media Human Rights Award from the League of Human Rights – B’nai B’rith Canada for her work in encouraging interfaith understanding. Sr. Marie Noelle was the editor of multiple publications and co-authored essays with David Rome, the Library`s Executive Director.

Sr. Marie-Noelle had a close friendship with Rome where they shared the goal of promoting a closer Jewish-Christian relationship. The JPL-Archives holds a number of letters between Sr. Marie-Noelle and David Rome during his tenure at the Library. Sr.Marie Noelle along with Sr. Anne Francis attended the Library`s 50th Anniversary Jubilee Dinner. Rome wrote to her after the occasion “we wish you to know how deeply touched we are at the trouble you have taken to be with us on this occasion, and by the constant interest you show in our library and in our community.“ Sr. Marie-Noelle wrote to Rome regarding her and Sr. Anne Francis ”delight” at being so warmly welcomed at the event. The Library`s was truly fortunate to enjoy Sr. Marie Noelle`s longtime support.

Group portrait of (l to r) Mrs. Trapunsky, D. Rome, Sister Marie Noel, Mr. Trapunsky, G. Lapalme, N. Otenberg, and Mrs. Norma Field, Jubilee Dinner in celebration of 50th Anniversary, Jewish Public Library.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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