Sister Agathe Dorge, SNJM
(1912 – 2008)
Sister Agathe Dorge was a francophone woman born November 24, 1912, in Ste Agathe. She enhanced the francophone culture with her leadership in song and liturgical music. She died in St. Boniface on December 11, 2008.
Sr. Agathe (Sr. Josaphat-de-Marie) entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary making her first profession of vows in 1932. After that she taught in the music field until the last years of her life. She made countless contributions to religious and secular culture as a piano and organ instructor and as a leader of choirs.
She composed two books (Psaumes et acclamations, 1988) that contain psalms and acclamations for every day of the week and all the Sundays of the Liturgical Years. These books are used in Francophone parishes of Canada and also in France, Belgium and in many francophone parishes of Africa. The psalm acclamations are still used in the monthly Novalis publication “Prions en Église”. She has also composed numerous hymns and songs. All of these are preserved in Archival Fonds of St. Boniface.
She held numerous workshops for ALPEC (Animation Liturgique et Pastorale) in the 1980’s to renew and enliven liturgical celebrations.
Her vision was to prepare leaders for the future who would take up the challenge to preserve and continue francophone culture and music and church leadership in music.
Sister Agathe helped to add to the francophone cultural scene in the 1970’s through week-end workshop sessions of song and choir called Mélo-Mani. They were intended to uphold, preserve and encourage francophone choral and individual singing as well as to promote the joy of choral singing. For many years she prepared choirs to participate in “Festival de la bonne chanson” since its inauguration in 1956. This kind of musical participation greatly contributed to the evolution of French in Manitoba.
Sister Agathe was often called upon to be an adjudicator for the Manitoba Music Festivals. Her name is well-known in the francophone community and the music culture as a promoter of music in this province.
La Liberté Fonds