FORMER APOSTOLIC SITES IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Campbellton, New Brunswick
Bishop James Rogers of Chatham and pastor of Campbellton, approached the RHSJ to educate young people. Mother Gendron, the first superior arrived in September 1888 with two companions. Two Sisters from Chatham joined them. They installed themselves in a warehouse transformed into a school, cramped with 40 boys and girls plus 2 teaching Sisters.
The care of the sick was a priority for them and from the very outset, they established a Hotel-Dieu. The hospitals which followed were subject to a long series of hardships: lack of space, two fires, the First World War (l914-1918), the Spanish flu, care of the sick under tents, all of which did not prevent the Sisters from building a modern Hotel-Dieu in 1958. The hospital received approval from the American College of Surgeons in 1959. The Hotel-Dieu was renowned, due primarily to the medical staff. However, the development of the hospital was the work of Sister Lea Audet, an exceptional Hospitaller. The Hotel-Dieu was transferred to the government in 1972.
Because of the Spanish flu and the fire, the Sisters gave up teaching young students. However, this became the site of the first French-speaking school of nursing in New Brunswick. Sister Belle-Isle, the first director was succeeded by Sister Campion and Sister Carroll, well known for her competence and her leadership in the development of modern health care.
From 1922-1975, 830 nurses and 200 practical nurses received their diplomas. The Hospitallers of Saint Joseph left Campbellton in 2004.
Edmundston, New Brunswick
After having cared for 36,372 patients throughout 75 years, Hotel-Dieu de Saint Basile could no longer fill the needs of the area. In 1944, the Sisters accepted to build a 200 bed hospital in Edmundston which opened its doors in November 1946. Sister
Anne-Marie Dionne and 18 other Sisters formed the first community and assured the administration of this new hospital, offering their services free of charge. In 1949, an Advisory Council was formed.
When the universal hospital insurance system was implemented in 1959, the ministry of health assumed financial responsibility for the hospital. In 1966, the Sisters entrusted the management to a lay administrator. On December 31, 1972, the property and administration of the hospital was transferred to the Provincial Government.
Dalhousie, New Brunswick
At the request of Father Godbout, pastor of Dalhousie, the RHSJ accepted to manage a hospital in Dalhousie. On May 18, 1946, Sister Albertine Richard, Director, and three companions opened a 50 bed temporary Hotel-Dieu with a plan to build a 100 bed hospital.
In 1947, Rome refused to authorize the construction of the hospital. The Cambellton community was unable to finance this project and decided to withdraw, ceding to the Filles de Jesus.
The RHSJ left Dalhousie on August 15, 1948.
Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick
The parishioners of St. Quentin wanted to acquire a hospital. Miss Rioux was employed as superintendent for an 11 bed hospital. In April, 1947, the first patients were admitted. Monsignor Eudore Martin, the pastor, called upon the RHSJ to manage this hospital. Sisters Seguin (LeBlanc), Celestine Allard and Ste. Elizabeth (Theriault) admitted 30 patients to the new Hotel- Dieu.
The original hospital where space was added did not meet the requirements of a modern hospital.
After several negotiations seeking financial resources, the new Hotel-Dieu opened in November 1963.
The former building was transformed into a residence for the Sisters, which was later demolished to build a smaller residence for them. They continued to provide pastoral healthcare services until 2010.
Lameque, New Brunswick
Hotel-Dieu, Lameque owes its existence to the pastor, Father Morin, who offered his rectory, and to Mother LaDauversiere (Sormany) who was very happy to establish a community in her native town.
The three foundresses, were Sisters Saint Therese de l’Enfant Jesus (Alfreda Hache), Madeleine Roy and Marie de Jesus (Bernadette Hache). They arrived on this island away from the mainland in the dead of winter on February 2, 1949... not an easy enterprise.
In 1960, Sister Albertine Allain was the administrator who supervised the construction of a hospital whose doors opened on August 4, 1963. The Hospitallers left Hotel-Dieu in 1972 at which time the government assumed both the administration and the property.
Caraquet, New Brunswick
Upon pressing demands from a committee of business men of Caraquet in 1961, the RHSJ were convinced to assume the responsibility for the construction and the management of the 55 bed hospital in their locality. In May 1963, the city of Caraquet warmly welcomed the seven founding Sisters, namely, Sister Bernadette Levesque , Sylvia Poirier, Anita Robichaud, Celestine Allard, Evangeline Savoie, Patricia Ouellet and Elmyre Doucet. The hospital officially opened on August 15, 1963. The RHSJ withdrew in 1987.
Grand Falls, New Brunswick
When the need for a modern hospital was being felt in Grand Sault, a General Hospital Committee had been formed and entered into negotiations with the RHSJs. The Sisters did not want to be owners of this hospital, but would accept to be the administrators.
On January 2, 1964, Sister Berthe Arseneau, Administrator, arrived with Sisters Aurore Gallant, Gemma Mazerolle, Beatrice Pelletier and Lucie Grant and prepared for the official opening of the new hospital on June 7, 1964, A residence was provided for them. When a lay administrator was appointed and the number of Sisters was diminishing, they withdrew on July 12, 1985.
Brantville, New Brunswick
In 1973, responding to the invitation to meet the needs of the most vulnerable regions, where there was absence of religious witness and professional services, the RHSJ chose Brantville as a field of apostolic service. They wanted to be a presence among the people and help them in various ways.
On August 24, 1974, Sisters Georgina Mallet, Superior, Noella Ferguson, Ernestine Laplante, and Rachel Theriault arrived in this small village isolated from the main stream. They began to participate in many basic human services, pastoral services, home-visiting, liturgy, a nursery school etc.
In 1979, a social justice committee was organized informing people about existing government programs and encouraging individual and community development. Mr. Claude Snow, a social worker became the executive secretary of this committee and served until 1982.
These Sisters, as did those in other areas, continued “to incarnate the tender compassion of Christ among the poor and the most needy”. The population of Brantville, having become self-directing, the Sisters were able to leave Brantville in 2005.
Sainte-Rose, New Brunswick
Father Edmond Richard, pastor of Pont-Landry and Sainte Rose, requested the RHSJ to continue the apostolate of the Filles Marie de l’Assomption who were leaving the parish. Their mandate was to prepare lay men and women to assume the administration and activities of the parish, since there was no longer a resident priest.
Sisters Rachel Theriault, Rolande Dugas and Yvonne LeClerc arrived on August 15, 1999. They worked to consolidate committees, namely management, catechesis, preparation for the sacraments and leadership training.
In 2002, the Sisters judging that they had fulfilled their mandate, left the administration of the parish to the laity and withdrew.