A Woman of Valour is the biography of Marie-Louise Bouchard
Labelle, a French-Canadian woman who found love with a priest
thirty-three years her senior. Against all social convention, they
lived, produced three children, and built a life together after fleeing
However, after several years together, Bouchard's husband
ultimately chose to return to the priesthood, abandoning his family as
a result. Through interviews and documentation, Claire Trepanier tells
Bouchard's story of survival while highlighting the history of
women's stature in Canada, and raising a question about the
celibacy of Catholic priests.
Claire Trepanier lives in Ottawa. Her interest in travel, teaching, and international development led her to participate in the conception and co-creation of the TV series Gens d'ici, Gens d'ailleurs, which aired on TCV Outaouais from September to December 1999. A Woman of Valour is a testimony to her admiration of women's resilience, courage, and dynamic spirit.
Table of Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Preface Family Trees Family of Georgianne Tremblay and her two spouses Family of Marie-Louise Bouchard Labelle and Joseph Ray Prologue CHAPTER ONE: From Les Escoumins to Hanmer (1891-1906) Marie-Louise Bouchard Marie-Louise Labelle Arrival in Hanmer Life of Hanmer's First Settlers Marie-Louise's Education Primary School Tough Love And What of the Future? Spiritual Life in the Hamlet CHAPTER TWO: The New Arrival (1858-1906) Father Joseph A. Roy The Francophone Catholic Clergy in the Canadian West Wolseley, Saskatchewan Vernon, British Columbia Hanmer, Ontario (August 1906) First Meeting with Marie-Louise CHAPTER THREE: The Turning Point (1906-1916) Regular Meetings with Marie-Louise Presbytery Maid? Against All Comers Flight Impact of Their Departure CHAPTER FOUR: Family Life (1916-1928) New Identities Ottawa Rideau Park (May 1917) Life as a Couple Daily Life Intellectual Life Spiritual Life First Return to Hanmer (November 1920) Birth of Lorne 1921-1926 Gertrude's First Communion Facing Facts Synchronicity The Big Decision (1928) CHAPTER FIVE: "Widow" with Three Children (1928-1935) Heartbreak Unexpected Visits Living Day to Day Free to Explore Life Napoleon's Visit The Crash, 24 October 1929 Family Ties Homeowner Impact of Joseph's Departure Religion after Joseph's Departure The French-English Question Life During the Great Depression Bank Street (1930-1932) and Sunnyside Street (1932-1933) Stanley Avenue (1933-1935) Social Life Convalescent Home Kiosk CHAPTER SIX: Living from Hand to Mouth (1935-1944) James Street (1935-1936) Lisgar Street (1936-1937) Nepean Street (1937-1939) Rideau Street, Corner of Chapel (1939) Slater Street (1940) Central Avenue (1941) Acquaintance Changes (1942-1944) CHAPTER SEVEN: Nanny (1944-1965) Grandmother Sewing and Knitting In the Kitchen "Breaking Camp" Mother-in-Law Jake and the Kid God Back to Ottawa (1957-1965) Ogilvy's Cinema The Countess of Segur A Busy Room (1962-1965) The Secret CHAPTER EIGHT: Return to Her Roots (1960-1964) Graduation (1960) The Two Gossips Inner Peace The Trip to the Yukon CHAPTER NINE: Old Age, Humour and Tenderness (1965-1970) A Time to Relax Always Keeping the Secret Reminiscences of Long Ago The Bloomers The Braid Thieves CHAPTER TEN: Living in Peace (1970-1973) Housewarming A Time to Enjoy Life Artist A Time to Die Epilogue Postscript Appendices Appendix One: Arrival in Hanmer Appendix Two: House in Hanmer Appendix Three: Landowner Appendix Four: Amour Immacule / Immaculate Love Family Documents List of People Interviewed List of People Who Helped Me in My Research Abbreviated Chronology Notes Bibliography Index