History of Les Ouvriers de Paix
The Corporation des Ouvriers de Paix was founded in 1985 in Papineauville, a small village in the Outaouais region of Quebec, by a group of ten founding members. The first work to be done was the opening of a reception house – called “Jerusalem” – at the Papineauville presbytery. The house, now closed, offered food and shelter to people in need; the permanent staff who lived there sought to live the values of fraternity, unconditional welcome and sharing, in a spirit of service and prayer.
After several years of dormancy, the work resurfaced in May 2000, in St-François-du-Lac, in the Center-du-Québec region, first in the form of cultural workshops for children given, either at the village presbytery, or in the two local primary schools; then there are various pilgrimages, a work integration component and a community café.
In August 2006, the work took a new turn: the opening of a counter selling recycled goods allowed it to take off financially and reach its goal of self-financing. Various services have since been developed: Apprentice summer camp, sessions and healing stays in Le Tournenvert, humanitarian internships in Haiti and an international component aimed at supporting two solidarity tourism projects in Togo and Haiti.
Now established in a rural environment, after many challenges, the corporation patiently pursues its social and spiritual work, seeking to be more and more faithful to the initial inspiration that gave birth to it: to bring together the left-behind. -account of this world to work with them for the emergence of a new art of living based on altruism and interior life.
The words of John Paul II, addressing young people in September 1984 at the Olympic stadium in Montreal, are for us a confirmation and a beacon: “I hope that your concern for world peace will make you workers of peace. Start with your middle… ”