Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2008

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sister-Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary


[This article was published in 1948. For the precise source, see the end of the document.]


Sister-Servants of the Immacu­late Heart of Mary. The Congregation of the Sister-Servants of the Immacu­late Heart of Mary, incorporated under the title of Good Shepherd Asylum, Quebec, was founded by Sir George Manly Muir, barrister and clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Quebec, and also a zealous member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. A poor widow, Mrs. F. X. Roy, was the instrument chosen by Providence to effect the execution of his pious project. Under the name of Mother Mary of the Sacred Heart, Mrs. Roy became the first superioress of the new institute. On January 11, 1850, the first refuge, first called St. Magdalen, was opened in a dilapidated tenement building in one of the poorest districts of Quebec; and the very next day, January 12, the first penitent was ad­mitted. The aim of the Institute was twofold : first came "the conversion of wayward girls and the preservation of children by means of education" ; then, as a secondary aim, teaching was added. These very modest beginnings were followed by a gradual, but steady period of development. In 1855, the Institute was incorporated under the naine of Good Shepherd Asylum of Quebec; in 1856, it was raised to a religions com­munity by the archbishop of Quebec, under the title of the Congregation of the Sister-Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Since then, the Congregation has made marvellous headway ; at present, it numbers 1,340 sisters, shelters 5,166 inmates, and gives instruc­tion to 15,698 children. A maternity hospital and a foundling home receive yearly approximately 700 new-born in­fants; these are provided for from birth until adopted by some charitable persons. There is, furthermore, a kinder­garten, or Hospice of Holy Angels, for these same children from the ages of 2 to 7. An industrial school, the Hospice St. Charles, cares for girls from 7 to 14. The St. Geneviève Protectory completes the first period of education by a prac­tical training in house-keeping, culinary, and other domestic arts. In fine, the St. Magdalen's Home houses wayward girls and repentant women. Bethany solidi­fies their conversion, assures their perseverance by their consecration for life under the name of Magdalens. For some years past, the sisters have had charge of the women's jail or Refuge of Our Lady of Mercy, and of two orphanages for abandoned boys and girls. The work of education counts numerous estab­lishments such as boarding-schools, day-schools, academies, a school of home economics, and a normal school. These houses extend their beneficial work to the regions of Chicoutimi, Gaspé, and the United States.


Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Volume VI, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 398p., p. 8.

© 2008 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College