Historical BackgroundIn 1826, Sir John Simpson had a magnificent stone residence built on a tract of land situated near Les Cascades, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, 30 miles West of Montreal. The design of the building was inspired by the French Renaissance style of architecture prevalent in the 18th century. The house was 62 feet in length, 40 feet wide and 31 feet high, and overlooked the waters of the St. Lawrence near Coteau-du-Lac. Sir John rarely occupied his beautiful new home, however, and on August 2, 1831, he sold it to Count Jacques-Philippe Saveuse de Beaujeu (1770-1832), 4th Seigneur of Soulanges. The Count adopted the edifice as his new seigniorial manor or Manoir - this is when the structure took on the name Manoir de Beaujeu.
The Foundation for Culture and Education (FCE) purchased the premises on October 28, 1968, as the property’s 20th owner. FCE acquired the Manoir de Beaujeu as a retreat and conference centre. Faithful of the Prelature of Opus Dei conduct the retreats and other activities organized at the Manoir.
Opus Dei is a Catholic institution erected by pope John Paul II. Its mission is to spread the message that work and the circumstances of everyday life are occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.