CÉRÉ DE LA COLOMBIÈRE, MARIE-JULIE-MARGUERITE, dite Sœur Mance, Religious Hospitaller of St Joseph of Montreal, superior of her community 1851–57 and 1863–69; b. 29 June 1807 at Longueuil (Chambly County), L.C., daughter of François Céré de La Colombière, farmer, and Ursule Brin; d. 6 Dec. 1876 at Montreal, Que., and buried on the 9th in the vault of the monastery.
Marie-Julie-Marguerite Céré de La Colombière entered the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal on 19 Feb. 1825 and on 17 March 1827 made her solemn profession of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She held various posts before assuming the headship of her community. Between 1851 and 1869 she was four times elected superior of the Hospitallers. The 12 years of her administration are particularly noteworthy for three projects: St Patrick’s Hospital, assistance to orphans and the aged, and the lazaret at Tracadie (New Brunswick) for the care of lepers.
On 21 June 1852, in the old Baptist college, Sister Mance founded St Patrick’s Hospital, intended for the Irish. She enlarged the sphere of activity of the Hospitallers in 1856; to the care of the sick she added help to orphans, and she admitted old men to the Hôtel-Dieu. St Patrick’s Hospital and the orphanage, which was just beginning, were combined with the Hôtel-Dieu when it was moved in 1860 from Rue Saint-Paul to the domain of Mont-Sainte-Famine, on the slopes of Mount Royal.
On 12 Sept. 1868 Sister Mance sent some of her nuns to take over the direction of the lazaret at Tracadie, in New Brunswick, and look after the lepers there [see Ferdinand-Edmond Gauvreau]. In reality Sister Mance was founding a new independent community of the Institute of Religious Hospitallers of St Joseph. Out of the lazaret was to grow the Hôtel-Dieu of Tracadie; the former disappeared in 1965.
The annals of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal say of Sister Mance: “Great and memorable events took place under her administration and are associated with her memory to remind us continually of her name and her good deeds.” By extending both spiritually and materially the activities of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal, Sister Mance gave new impetus to the first charitable work of the Hospitallers of Ville-Marie. Julie Céré, dite Sœur Mance, therefore nobly bore the name of Jeanne Mance*, the founder of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal, and kept intact the spirit of charity that animated Mothers Judith Moreau* de Brésoles, Catherine Macé*, and Marie Maillet*, the first Hospitallers who came from La Flèche (department of Sarthe) to Ville-Marie on 20 Oct. 1659.
AHDM, Actes de décès, 1681–1890, 9e feuillet, 77; Annales, II, 260–347; Annales, III, 216, 228–320; Lettres circulaires, nécrologies, 1861–1884, X, 226–36; Obédiences des religieuses hospitalières de Saint-Joseph de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, 1827–1876; Procès-verbaux, vêture et profession, 1787–1847, 99, 104; Registre des entrées et professions. Jeanne Bernier, Trois siècles de charité à l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, 1642–1942 (Montréal, 1949). L’œuvre de trois siècles à Ville-Marie, 1659–1959; les Religieuses hospitalières de Saint-Joseph ([Montréal], 1959).