Valrideau: A Vibrant Way to Live

Papal Nuncio for Canada dedicates New Chapel in Ottawa residence. Msgr. Luigi Ventura, the representative of the Holy Father in Canada celebrated Mass in Valrideau student residence for young women. Here is an article about the newly expanded residence that appeared in Image Newspaper in Sandy Hill Ottawa.

Valrideau: A Vibrant Way to Live

A large red brick house at the east end of Daly Ave., south of Rideau St., has had a number of additional rooms built these last few months. These were added to accommodate the growing number of students who are seeking an intellectually vibrant place to live, where they can study, enrich their culture and make life-long friendships.

The recent construction also involved the building of a new chapel. Last fall, on Nov.10, Msgr. Luigi Ventura, the Pope's representative in Canada, came to dedicate the new chapel adorned in beautiful oak and paintings behind the altar. Over 120 people packed the chapel to hear him speak.

Valrideau women's residence opened its doors to university students in 1989. What does it mean to live in a place that is vibrant and challenging for young people? Students find a great atmosphere where they learn to combine hard work, intense study and good clean fun. For some of them it means finding time to organize groups to visit young handicapped children to help make them laugh. For others it means doing volunteer work with elderly groups, figuring ingenious ways to make them smile. For others it means being enriched by the frequent cultural get-togethers offered in the residence, where different professionals speak about their experiences.

Last year the chancellor of the University of Ottawa, Ms. Huguette Labelle who was appointed Companion to the Order of Canada, came to speak about her own experience and what it means for women to be successful in the Canadian work force.

Different groups of women from around Ottawa come to Valrideau to pray in the chapel and to learn more about concrete ways to make the world a better place, finding specific ways of putting their faith into practice.

Mass is offered on a regular basis in the chapel. "They are given formation to live their faith in ordinary circumstances of their life," said residence director Laly Martin.

At Valrideau residence, the teachings are grounded in the Catholic faith and inspired on the ideas of Opus Dei

founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva, who was officially declared a saint by Pope John Paul II last October. Many of the residents went to Rome and joined the record crowd that attended the ceremony in St. Peter's Square. The new saint teaches that all Christians can and should strive to be holy by serving others and turning all events of one's life into ways of loving God.

For information about Valrideau call Laly Martin, 613-789-3510.

Reprinted with permission of IMAGE newspaper, Sandy Hill, Ottawa. April-May 2003

  • IMAGE newspaper, Sandy Hill, Ottawa. April-May 2003 // by Patrick Meagher