Manresa Spirituality Centre

Manresa Spirituality Centre (French: Centre de Spiritualité Manrèse) or Villa Manresa is a centre for Ignatian spirituality in the Sainte-Foy area of Quebec City. It was founded in 1891 by the Society of Jesus originally on Chemin Sainte-Foy. In 1921, it moved close to Parc des Braves. It is now situated on Louis Fréchette next to St. Charles Garnier College (French: Collège Saint-Charles-Garnier)

Church in Quebec, Canada
Manresa Spirituality Centre
French: Centre de Spiritualité Manrèse

Front of the centre. St. Charles Garnier College is in the background.

Manresa Spirituality Centre
Location in Quebec City
Location 965, avenue Louis-Fréchette
Quebec City, Quebec
G1S 4V1
Country Canada
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status Active
Founded 1976 (1976)
Functional status Retreat Centre
Parish St Charles Garnier[1]
Deanery Laurentides/Québec-Centre[2]
Archdiocese Quebec
Province Quebec

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The original Jesuit college in Quebec (which the Jesuit Chapel was originally part of) was seized by British forces in 1776. In 1891, a Jesuit priest, Fr. Edward Désy bought Teviot House on Chemin Sainte-Foy and turned it into Villa Manresa.[3] It was to provide local individual and group retreats in Ignatian spirituality.[4]

With the influx of people in what was previously a rural area, a new chapel was built next to Villa Manresa between 1893 and 1895. It was called Our Lady of the Way (Notre-Dame-du-Chemin). With the increased urbanization of the area, the chapel became a parish church in 1909. In 1911, an annex was created connecting Villa Manresa and the church together, so that the villa could also be used as a presbytery.[3]

The Church of Our Lady of the Way on Avenue des Érables, demolished in 1999

In 1921, the Jesuits left the presbytery and then the church. Both were given to the Archdiocese of Quebec. They moved Villa Manresa to a site neighbouring Parc des Braves. In 1930, construction work on a new, larger, Church of Our Lady of the Way on Avenue des Érables started, so previous church and villa/presbytery were sold to the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux in 1936. The old Teviot House was demolished and a hospital was built in its place. It was called St. Anne’s Hospital. In 1980 it became Courchesne Hospital. In 1986, the first Our Lady of the Way Church was also demolished.[3]

While this happened the Villa Manresa near Parc des Braves continued to function until 1977.[5]

The street names in the Sainte-Foy area refer to previous locations of Villa Manresa. There is an Avenue de Manrèse behind Courchesne Hospital. Edward Désy is remembered by Avenue Désy off Chemin Sainte-Foy. There is an Avenue Casot, which refers to Jean-Joseph Casot. The previous site of Villa Manresa near Parc des Braves is indicated by the apartment blocks collectively referred to as Manresa Gardens.

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