Danielle Bourgeois, a Catholic, was divorced and living common-law outside the Church and the sacraments with Maurice Chartrand, future co-founder. The Lord was nudging and calling her back home to His Heart and His Church, but at first she found it difficult to respond.
She was reconciled with the Church, her prayer life blossomed, and she sensed that God had a special mission for her. She knew that she was called to live a celibate life and in fidelity to her original marriage vows.
With the encouragement and counsel of the bishop, Maurice, too, found the strength to accept this as a way of life. Men and women whose lives and families were shattered by divorce or separation began gathering in their home, asking their help. With the advice of their bishop and their spiritual director, Danielle and Maurice began the work of the Solitude Myriam Family in 1981. “For several years we had been begging God that the Church would come to our aid! Solitude Myriam was the answer to our prayers,” writes one member.
This spiritual family now has over 400 members, with four houses in Quebec and groups that meet in several cities both in Quebec and in Ontario, Canada. It has spread to France, Guadalupe, Reunion Island, Martinique, Switzerland, and Argentina.
In 2006, the first lay member from the United States joined the community. Within the last two years two new members have consecrated themselves . Although French is the language spoken in almost all of the countries, an English-speaking group has begun in Vermont.