A Week of Festivities in Montreal
At the Mother House, the feast of February 19 was preceded by almost a full week of special activities. On February 14, the clothing made by the sisters was distributed to the poor. Mother Mary Antoinette also had the idea to purchase small personal items for the orphan girls such as handkerchiefs, combs, soap, pencils, and paper. These items were bought at the Woolworth Store built on the spot of one of Mother Gamelin’s first homes for the elderly.
On the second day, food was distributed to the poor and with each basket was a small card with Mother Gamelin’s picture and a caption about the centenary of her birth.
On the 16th of February, a special feast was given at the Asile, on the 17th a Mass was celebrated to remember all the deceased sisters of the community, and on the 18th, in memory of Mother Gamelin’s prison ministry, the sisters visited the jails where cake, fruit, and tea with milk and sugar were served to the prisoners.
The inside page of the "Souvenir" gives a brief biographical summary and lists the ministries founded by Mother Gamelin. The verse from scripture reads: "She has considered a field, and has bought it; from the fruit of her hands, she has planted a vineyard" (Proverbs 31:16).
The 19th of February, the feast of Mother Gamelin’s birth, was dedicated to religious ceremonies including Holy Habit and perpetual professions. A visit was made to the poor at Hospice Gamelin where a lunch including chicken, gelatin and fruit was served. At the Hospice, a priest noticed that something was lacking in the menu. He gave money to one of the assistants who ran to the market – and soon the fragrance of good cigars filled the room. At 2 p.m., there was a pilgrimage to Mother Gamelin’s tomb and benediction, and at 4 p.m. Bishop Bruchesi arrived and visited with the sisters in the infirmary. Afterward, the sisters gathered in the community room for recreation and relived the events of the day. The celebration went smoothly and the sisters felt they owed it all to Mother Mary Antoinette noting that "she handled all details, answered questions, and solved difficulties. Her ready smile, her joyous words, her flashes of wit lessened the strain of fatigue and scattered sunshine everywhere." And so ended a wonderful centennial celebration day at the Mother House.