Four Sisters who pioneered the congregation in Canada

History of the Congregation of The Sisters of the Child Jesus in Canada

Stagecoach to Williams LakeThe Congregation of the Sisters of the Child Jesus was founded in Le Puy, France and in 1893 Bishop Durieu, OMI invited them to come to Williams Lake, British Columbia to help him with his missionary work with the First Nations people.

What began with four courageous sisters from France grew quickly. Some of the dates of special interest are:

  • 1896 Four sisters arrive in Williams Lake, B.C.
  • 1898 – 1903 Twenty nine sisters are sent to B.C.
  • 1898 St. Paul’s school in North Vancouver, B.C.
  • 1904 Sechelt school for Native children
  • 1909 Sisters take the direction of the school in Maillardville, B.C.
  • 1911 Sisters build St. Edmunds School, North Vancouver
  • 1917 Foundation of residential school in Stuart Lake, B.C. (which moved to Lejac in 1922)
  • 1915 Expansion to Saskatchewan in Prince Albert
  • 1925 Boarding and high school built in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
  • 1931 St. Mary’s school in Vancouver, B.C.
  • 1932 Regional house in North Vancouver, B.C. built.
  • 1935 Sisters teach in various schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan until late 20th century.
  • 1947 - 1966 Various foundations in Quebec
  • 2004 Regional administration moved to a new house in Coquitlam, B.C.

Today in Canada there are sisters in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We still maintain a close affiliation with the Oblate fathers in working with First Nations people. Other ministries carried out by the sisters are varied. We can be anywhere as long as wherever we are we remain conscious that we follow the example of Anne Marie Martel and live out the Incarnation of Jesus in our daily lives especially for the poor and marginalized. We are committed to whatever contributes to enhancing human dignity—to helping persons become all they were meant to be.

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Posted 19 SEPT 2005