The Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, Hélène David, designated the arrival of the Recollects in New France as a historic event.
This symbolic gesture, pursuant to the Cultural Heritage Act, coincides with the 400th anniversary of Franciscan presence in North America.
"The designation of the arrival of the Recollects in New France recalls this community's key role in our history. Their presence on Quebec soil and their action in the various parishes throughout Quebec have helped to define our culture and identity," explained Minister David.
"At that time, leaving for the new continent was a risky undertaking, and only the bravest attempted it. Indeed, all those who landed on our shores were exceptional and courageous, including the Recollect Franciscans. Furthermore, with their pastoral and missionary spirit, these brothers marked the entire period of New France and helped shape today's society. It is this important part of our collective history that we wish to commemorate this year with the entire Quebec population," said Brother Marc Le Goanvec, provincial superior of the Franciscans of Eastern Canada.
The Recollects of New France
400 years ago, on June 2, 1615, the first Recollect missionaries arrived in Quebec City. Chosen by Samuel de Champlain with the aim to ensure a spiritual ministry in New France, the Recollects constituted the very first religious community to establish itself in Quebec and became the first elementary school teachers in New France.
The Recollects were a reform branch of the Franciscan community established in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. In 1897, Pope Leo XIII dissolved the Recollect community by integrating it as part of the Franciscan Order, naming them the Friars Minor.
The designation of the arrival of the Recollects in New France testifies to the importance that is given to this element of Quebec's cultural heritage. It helps us remember this significant event and store it in our collective memory, and fosters a better knowledge of Quebec's history.
The Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec (Quebec's Heritage Directory)
Information on the arrival of the Recollects in New France and on all the heritage elements recorded in the Registre du patrimoine culturel du Québec is available on the Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec (RPCQ) website (in French only).
Our coverage of the 400th Mass in Montreal