A crucifix charged with mystery

Un crucifix 
chargé de mystère

The celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the parish of Saint-Dominique, Jonquière, will be enhanced by the presence of an object of art on which floats a sweet mystery. It is a crucifix of a height of eight feet, a figure of Christ carved in wood with such finesse that one recognises the mark of a master.

It is in 2020 that activities will be initiated by the organizing committee, but already, it is possible to admire the crucifix by making in the rood-screen, located on the side of the street from the Factory. He stands at the end of the stairs, near the space that will be called The rood-screen of History. Comprising casing and display glass, it will house an exhibit containing vestments and many of the memories of the past.

Un crucifix 
chargé de mystère

This photograph allows you to appreciate the work of the artist who created this crucifix, a work which, for several years, was at the Boarding school Saint-Dominique in Jonquière.


A few benches have been sacrificed to this end, and judging by the reaction of the faithful, this place which offers an exceptional view on the interior of the church will create a nice traffic. It should be known that the crucifix which, for a long time, has watched over the people attending the Boarding school of Saint-Dominique in Jonquière, spent two or three weeks in the nave before migrating to the rood-loft. “We were looking in November, I and father Louis-Marie Beaumont. He belonged to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Chicoutimi, but they no longer had space to keep it and Sister Huguette Tremblay has suggested me to get it back. It is hoped that this work will return to St.-Dominique, ” says one of the members of the committee of the 150th, Luc Lessard.

Himself was impressed by seeing the work. However, its temporary presence in the nave, while the Christ was based on a few benches, has not gone unnoticed. “People are touched, kissed. It was an emotional moment, ” said Luc Lessard. It was all the more surprising that many people, among these people, had not attended the Boarding school.

These manifestations of piety is evidence of the quality of the work and its evocative character. The problem is that there are grey areas about it. A careful examination did not identify its author, nor of its provenance. All we know for the moment is that the crucifix was in the chapel of the School, which opened its doors in 1939, at the centre of the city of Jonquière.

“The face, the details, show that this artist was not an amateur. The work is in perfect condition and we will enjoy the next few months to gather more information about it. Without a doubt, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, have kept a trace in their archives. It will recall memories to many people, ” anticipates Luc Lessard.



Celebrated throughout the year 2020, the 150th anniversary of the canonical erection of the parish of Saint-Dominique will address several dimensions of life jonquiéroise. It will be question of its heritage buildings, the evolution of the activities related to the worship, of the leading lights of the cultural scene, but mostly, the feeling of belonging which remains very strong within the population.

“I am in the service of this parish since 2007, which has given me the opportunity to measure the degree of attachment that people have for Saint-Dominique. They appreciate the efforts made to preserve the church and realize that in this way, it perpetuates the memory of their parents, their grandparents, what they have accomplished. After all, he must never forget where we come from,” observed the abbot Louis-Marie Beaumont, the moderator of the pastoral Unity of the Two Banks.

Met Tuesday, in the company of some members of the festival committee, he was happy to reveal a part of the activities that will take place in 2020.

In the exhibition presented at the rood screen, for example, we will speak of the ceremonies which balisaient once the religious year, including the procession of the Feast-God. There will also be the congress of the League of the Sacred Heart, June 3 to 6, 1937, had attracted 50 000 faithful in Jonquière.

“We also show how were held the funeral,” adds the abbé Beaumont. There will be photographs, and documents that visitors can view through a computer. The contribution of religious communities will be part of the exhibition, a way of recalling the contribution of the Sisters of the Bon-Conseil, of the Brothers of the christian Schools, as well as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, which the school of Notre-Dame-du-Carmel stood a stone’s throw of the church.

“A tribute will be given to the bedeaux who have served here, as we think of Leo Caron, who has held this position for 39 years, or Vallier Lavoie, who succeeded him in 1973. We will share pleasant memories”, suggests Marthe Simard, coordinator of activities related to the 150th. She also invited the citizens to lend objects and photographs enrich the exhibition content.

History and culture

Another personality will be the subject of a tribute felt, the musician François Brassard. This man, who had studied in England at the beginning of the 20th century, alongside the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, was the holder of the organ of Saint-Dominique, from 1940 to 1971. It also requires a folklorist renowned, as evidenced by his vast number of recordings of traditional songs made in the francophone communities of Canada.

He will be entitled to a space in the Chancel screen of History, while his work as a composer will be raised during an organ concert given as part of Tuesday of the Holy-Do. A special programme would prepare the ground for the summer of 2019, is announcing another member of the committee, Luc Lessard. “I’ve invited Robert Girard to present the works of Félix Leclerc and Gilles Vigneault on this occasion”, he says.

In the same vein, this music-lover who, in turn, affects the organ in Saint-Dominique, wants to organize a benefit concert in collaboration with the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean as an event, involving a choir of children, in what is called a choir school. In the latter case, it is by 2020 that the thing would be done.

All the activities will not be focused on the church, however. Within the history pane, in fact, guided tours are scheduled at the Cemetery of the Holy Angels, where were transferred the remains of the deceased who had been buried on the site of the park of Pioneers, then in the vicinity of the Patro. Another circuit will take a different look at the quartier Saint-Dominique, then, that significant places will deliver their secrets.

For its part, the camera Club JAK will propose an exhibition on the bridge of the Rivière-aux-Sables, which will match the old photos with the shots taken today, under the same angle. For the historian Éric Tremblay, he will give lectures dedicated to the feasts that balisaient the seasons, as well as the parishes surrounding Saint-Dominque, Saint-Raphaël, Saint-Cyriac, Saint-Albert-le-Grand and Saint-Georges.

“The idea behind all these projects, it is to make known the history of the parish, that people can take ownership of it,” observed Martha Simard, who also intends to pay tribute to the painter Angémil Ouellet, the author of a painting representing Saint Dominic in the early 1950s. To admire this work of youth, it is enough to make it to the presbytery.

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