LEWISTON – The Spirit of Evangeline will open at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Franco-American Heritage Center. The traveling exhibit, compiled and curated by Dr. Francoise Paradis, will be in place from Feb. 17 to March 11. It was launched at Dyer Library in January 2005.

Paradis is a 13th generation descendant of Pierre Paradis and Barbe Guyon, who migrated from Mortagne-au-Perche, France, to Ile d’Orlean, Quebec, in 1652, with six of their seven children, more than 100 years ago prior to the Acadian deportation.

Her parents, Raoul and Lucille, like their ancestors, value education, hard work, spirituality, freedom of expression and responsibility for self, family and community. The values have guided Paradis’ life and work.

She has served her fellow Franco-Americans, including Acadians, in her work as administrator, instructor and counselor at the University of Maine and continues to serve them in her private practice as a psychologist. She has conducted research and workshops on cultural diversity and has published articles and poems about Franco-American culture.

Paradis is a member of the Maine Historical Society and volunteers as a docent at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland and at the Maine Historical Library as a researcher.

Her interest in Evangeline and compilation of the exhibition are products of her passion for awakening people to their ancestral gifts and guiding them in their integration of the gifts with today’s journey of the heart and soul.

Admission is free. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The center invites all interested in the special exhibit focusing on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s fictional heroine, Evangeline.

For more information, go to www.francoamericanheritage.org or call 783-1585.


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