Motherhouse at Namur 1809
The first Sisters of Notre Dame are established at Namur on July 7, 1807, at the request of Bishop Pisani de la Gaude. The bishop of Namur welcomes them with great warmth and offers them a house near the bishop’s palace. Sister St. Joseph is named superior of the community.
Mother Julie feels very attached to Namur. In a letter addressed to Sister St. Joseph, March 20, 1808, she recounts the difficulties experienced in Amiens but she is joyful when thinking about Namur:
“There is something about Namur which is very dear to my heart.”
The success of the school is such that, soon, the little house near the bishop’s palace no longer suffices. On December 6, 1808, the sisters settle into a larger residence on the rue des Fossés (called rue Julie Billiart in 1932). It is there that Mother Julie, obliged to leave Amiens with her congregation, arrives on January 21, 1809. Namur becomes the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Notre Dame on February 24, 1809.