Good Shepherd Heritage Museum inaugurated

Good Shepherd Heritage Museum
More than 200 guests attended the inauguration of the Heritage Museum at the Good Shepherd Mother House in Angers, France, on May 30, 2016.

Good Shepherd Heritage Museum is now open to the public. We held inauguration for the much awaited Good Shepherd Heritage Museum in the Mother House on May 30, 2016. It was the culmination of almost five years intensive work by the Heritage Committee. More than 210 guests took a tour of the Museum before inauguration speeches got underway in the main chapel.

Sister Ellen Kelly, Congregational Leader for Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd thanked all who had helped make the Museum a reality. Sr. Magdalena Franciscus, Provincial Superior of Europe BFMN also thanked everyone for creating the Museum. Marc Fardet, the great-great-grand-nephew of Mary Euphrasia, also gave an inauguration speech and thanked everyone. Marc is President of the Association of the Friends of the Museum.

Good Shepherd spirituality

Speakers underlined the interactive nature of the Museum. Our desire is that it will convey Good Shepherd spirituality, our history and our present ministries and social commitments throughout the world. We also hope the Museum will challenge visitors to respond to the social needs around them. Mrs. Fréderique Drouet d’Aubiguy, Departmental Secretary for Culture, Heritage and Archives expressed appreciation for this new initiative on behalf of the Department. Mr. Christophe Béchu, Senator-Mayor of Angers, France, expressed his gratitude for the benefit the Museum brings to Angers.

The Mayor drew attention to the materials used in the building. He spoke about the strong enduring slate of Angers and the soft tufa stone of the Angers region. He likened the work of the Congregation to weaving strength and tenderness where humanity is most vulnerable.

Pelletier family attends inauguration of Good Shepherd Heritage Museum

More than 30 members of the Pelletier family attended the inauguration. Their presence added greatly to the sense of continuity with our roots. The inauguration concluded with an enjoyable cocktail-aperitif in the Mother House dining room. The guests expressed enthusiastic appreciation for the dynamic and sensitive scenography of the Museum. Scenographer Sandra Troffigué developed the scenography. The firm Boscher from Nantes, France, built the displays.

Museum layout

Good Shepherd Heritage Museum
The new Heritage Museum in Angers, France, has static and interactive displays on three floors.

Most of the content in the Museum is in the three languages of the Congregation: English, Spanish and French. The Heritage Museum has a ground floor, first floor and second floor. The ground floor presents the geographical area of the building. Dates cover the 18th century, when the building was part of the Tournemine Factory for printed cotton, to the arrival of the Sisters in 1829.

The first floor presents the mission of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. This includes photographs, audio and video stories of Sisters and Mission Partners in France and around the world.

The second floor presents the roots of the Congregation. Displays cover our earliest beginnings with St. John Eudes (November 14, 1601 – August 19, 1680) . It progress through to the life and work of St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (July 31, 1796 – April 24, 1868). Displays on the second floor also cover the everyday life of the Sisters up to the Second Vatican Council.

I have been thrilled to be part of this great experience for the past five years. Creating a Museum is a challenge that has enabled me to learn a great deal about the Congregational History and Mission. We welcomed the public for the first time on July 6th!

Sarah Elbisser

Sarah Elbisser

Sarah is the Manager of the Good Shepherd Heritage Museum at the Motherhouse in Angers, France.