Meeting a missionary's dream

A brief history
by Tourisme Laval

Discover Laval's attractions.
Let yourself be seduced by their stories and discover their hidden treasures.


Do you know Délia Tétreault? Born in Marieville in 1865, this inquisitive little girl with a sparkling spirit had a passion for missionary work from an early age, and was fascinated by the lives and history of children in China, Japan and Africa. Her dream: to go abroad to help these children. Inspired, committed and daring, in 1902 she founded the Missionary Training Centre, the first in Canada for women. Better known today as the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, this community is present in 14 countries and includes 17 nationalities.

Would you like to learn more about the impressive career of this Quebec "entrepreneur"? Visit the Musée Délia-Tétreault! Located on the banks of the Rivière des Prairies, this culturally and historically rich site bears witness to the remarkable contribution of women who, over the years, have dedicated their lives to teaching and caring for disadvantaged populations.

Through a private, personalized guided tour lasting around 90 minutes, visitors discover the life of Delia in three exhibitions. More than a hundred objects and documents, some of which belonged to Delia - photographs, artifacts, works of art and craft, furniture, everyday or cult objects and publications - bear witness to the story of these women who, with daring and an uncommon sense of initiative, criss-crossed the planet with the aim of doing good.

"This museum not only traces the lives of Quebec missionary nuns around the world. It offers visitors a meditative experience where spirituality meets history and wonder," emphasizes Jeanne Gauvin, m.i.c., the museum's director. "What's more, at a time when Quebec is becoming increasingly welcoming, the values of universal solidarity and sharing conveyed by the museum are more than relevant today," adds Céline Gauvin, m.i.c.

In 2018, nearly 580 visitors from all over the world passed through the museum's doors, discovering the saga of these intrepid little women without borders. "As they wander through the museum's various exhibits, whether it's the stories of these women's many journeys, the memory room where we enter Délia Tétreault's personal universe, the space dedicated to her family genealogy or admiring the paintings that recount her spiritual life, visitors come away transformed and transported by a new energy, that of a great Quebec figure," concludes Alexandre Payer, curator of the exhibits.

Did you know that?

  • In 1920, Delia Tétreault launched Le Précurseur magazine to showcase missionary stories. The magazine still exists today.
  • Delia's philosophy was: "Look on the bright side!
  • In 1997, the Church proclaimed her Venerable Délia Tétreault.
  • At the museum, visitors can visit the tomb of the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
  • In 2016, the Municipality of Marieville named a park in honor of Délia Tétreault.