LEWISTON – The Daughters of Wisdom of Lewiston recently joined their sisters and friends in St. Agatha to celebrate their first foundation in Maine.

One hundred years ago, the Daughters of Wisdom, a community of Catholic women religious, arrived in the town of St. Agatha after a long journey from France. In 1904 the bells of St. Agatha rang in welcome for the four Sisters, who would soon establish a school, later a hospital, and who would be followed by other Daughters who would eventually run a variety of institutions in northern Maine, including Notre Dame de la Sagesse, a boarding school for high school girls.

One hundred years later on the weekend of July 31 to Aug. 1, 2004, the town of St. Agatha again welcomed and honored the Daughters of Wisdom at the Long Lake Summerfest, which drew an estimated several thousand attendees.

A festive liturgy was celebrated in St. Agatha church by the pastor, the Rev. Philip Cyr and six area priests and presided over by the Bishop of Portland, Most Rev. Richard Malone. The Rev. Michael Gendron preached the homily. Following the liturgy, a capacity crowd attended the centennial banquet provided by the Lakeview Restaurant.

Today Daughters of Wisdom serve in a variety of ministries on five continents, continuing their mission to bring the message to people experiencing injustice, violence, poverty and oppression, especially women and children.

There are presently six Daughters of Wisdom who live and minister in St. Agatha and five in Lewiston. The Sisters in Lewiston staff Wisdom’s Center – a drop-in center for women, provide chaplaincy services at d’Youville Pavilion and provide assistance to those in need for several parishes.

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