About this Blog

Juliana L’Heureux is a freelance writer whose articles about Maine’s Franco-American history and culture have appeared in Portland newspapers for 25 years. She serves on the Maine Franco-American Leadership Council.

Juliana and her husband Richard live in Topsham ME. Feel free to contact her at Juliana@mainewriter.com.

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April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

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October 2013

September 2013

Friday March 28, 2014 | 09:57 AM

               Le Carême is the liturgical season of Lent. This is the time when Christians reflect on penance, sacrifice and repetitive prayers in anticipation of the Easter (Pâques) season.

Franco-Americans who grew up as parishioners of St. John the Baptist Church in Brunswick are familiar with the particularly beautiful sanctuary where les Chemin de la Croix (Stations of the Cross) are prominent. 

Le Chemin de la Croix St. John the Baptist Church

Monday March 24, 2014 | 09:57 AM

               A heartfelt plea from 16 year old Michael Katopodes in Michigan, asks for French heritage language advice. He’s reaching out to native French speakers in New England, who can help his beautiful Mèmére, Sylvia Marcotte Guillemette, 85, to continue speaking her primary language, like she did when growing up in Manchester NH and Portland, ME. 

Sylvia Marcotte Guillemette with her husband Roger Guillemette 1955 Hampton Beach NH

Roger Guillemette and Sylvia Marcotte Guillemette in 1955, on their honeymoon in Hampton Beach, NH, spoke French in their home. They later moved to the Detroit area of Michigan. Roger died in 2007, when the couple lived in Ferndale, Michigan.

               Although French is the same language where ever in the world it’s spoken, there’re definitely places where special accents and word usages are particular to distinctive regions. For example, French, as it’s spoken in Canada, evolved from the way it was spoken by 18th and 19th century settlers, who in immigrated from France to Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes.

Friday March 21, 2014 | 10:12 AM

           Maine’s Franco-American history is connected to Aroostook County because the first colonial pioneers to live in the northern area of the state were French Acadians and the Quebecois, who settled in the St. John Valley.

            Twenty-five years ago, on March 16, 1989, an Aroostook County time capsule was quaintly stored in a potato barrel to mark the 150th anniversary of “The County”, which was incorporated on March 16, 1839. This barrel was opened on March 16, 2014 at the University of Maine in Presque Isle (UMPI) Library.

             Opening the barrel was a ceremonial occasion for the Friends of the Aroostook County Historical Center and UMPI, on the 175th anniversary of The County’s incorporation.

Senator Susan Collins at UMPI time capsule opening

Monday March 17, 2014 | 09:40 AM

              There’s a Celtic connection between the French and the Irish. Separating the two cultures is primarily an issue of languages. Yet, both groups share a strong Roman Catholic religious heritage, where the influence of St. Patrick is revered.

While many Americans share the Irish tradition of enjoying corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, our family celebrates the Celtic occasion with a variation of this recipe.

On St. Patrick’s Day, we prepare a New England boiled dinner with beef and cabbage. This year, we even added another culinary tradition, to coincide with maple syrup season. We baked pain de sirop d'érable (maple syrup and oatmeal bread). This delicious bread recipe was located on line, for automatic bread machines (ABM), so it’s incredibly easy to prepare. 

My mother in law, Rose Anna Morin L’Heureux, called New England boiled  dinner “dîner bouilli”, or simply “bouilli”. It’s prepared with stew beef, rather than the traditional ham and cabbage.

Friday March 14, 2014 | 09:23 AM

           My husband still talks about how much he enjoyed “La Souillonne” and Marie Cormier’s performance of the monologue, when we saw the play in Lewiston, Maine several years ago.  He especially enjoyed hearing Cormier perform in the French language, the way he learned it,  when growing up in Sanford.

            Biddeford’s Franco-American writer and playwright is again joining talents with the actress Marie Cormier of Oakland, Maine, to present his endearing play “La Souillonne”, in Quebec in March. Cormier is a native of Lameque Island, in North East New Brunswick, Canada.

Performances of the play are being produced with the support of the Centre de la Francophone des Amérique, in Quebec.

La Souillonne Dramatic Monologue by Norman Beaupre