Former Apostolic Sites In Ontario

Ahmerstview, Ontario, Canada
1952 to 2012

In 1952, the English Generalate offices, under the direction of Mother Cecilia Murray and the novices moved from Hotel-Dieu,Kingston, to a new residence, Mount Saint Joseph on Franklin Lake, Perth Road, Ontario.

March 19, 1953, the English Generalate became Saint Joseph Province.

So as to be less isolated, the Provincial Council, under the direction of Mother Gertrude Borden, Provincial Superior, acquired land in Amherstview and the building of a new facility began. It was blessed by Archbishop J.A. O’Sullivan in April 1957. On May 8th, 1957, the Sisters, novices and the infirmary Sisters moved to the new St. Joseph Provincial House. The novitiate remained in Amherstview until 1961, at which time the Sisters in formation after having moved from Kingston , received their formation at an inter-congregation center in Galilee from 1978-1987, residing at the RHSJ novitiate in Arnprior, Ontario.

The Provincial House, which became the Regional House in 2001, serves as the administrative center for the Regio and served regional archives until 2012.

In 1957, at the request of the Catholic community, the parishioners of Amherstview were welcomed in the Holy Family chapel until the construction and opening of the Blessed Sacrament Church in 1981.

From 1964 – 1973, the RHSJ responded to the needs of the children in the region by providing teachers to the local Separate Schools. On December 8, 1957. Our Lady of Mount Carmel School was opened. The Sisters also taught at St.Linus Separate School in Bath, Ontario.

From 1984 – present
Faithful to their mission of responding to the most needy, the Provincial House opened its doors to serve as the base of operations for the Partners in Mission food bank. This vital service continues to grow with the support of the community and local volunteers. Approximately 65 children and adults benefit from this monthly service. Moreover, Meals on Wheels, prepared by the kitchen staff at the regional house, are taken to homebound persons. This important service provides approximately 85 meals a month to people in Amherstview and surrounding areas.

1984:Foundation of the RHSJ Health System
This Catholic system was the first to be established in Canada. It was inaugurated at the provincial house with Sister Rosalia Cobey as President. In 1988, the headquarters for this health system were transferred to Kingston and in 2010, it was integrated into Catholic Health System International.

Windsor, Ontario

Hotel-Dieu, Windsor was established in 1888 at the request of Dean J.T. Wagner and his Excellency, John Walsh, Bishop of London, Ontario. Dean Wagner was eager to create a school and orphanage to care for the black children who migrated from the southern United States.

Mother Bonneau, Superior in Montreal, offered the assistance of the RHSJ. Dean Wagner seized this opportunity and invited them to Windsor to build a hospital and open the orphanage and school. Mother Josephine Paquette, with Sisters Lamoureux, Carriere, Boucher and Victoire, left the Motherhouse in Montreal to begin this new mission. They arrived in Windsor on September 14, 1888. The orphanage for black children was opened in 1890 and remained in operation until 1894.

In February 1890, the 100 bed Hotel -Dieu hospital opened its doors after a year and a half of construction. New wings were added and major renovations made the hospital a 305 bed, modern acute care facility, caring for over 130,000 patients a year. In 1993, the Windsor Sisters entered into an Alliance Agreement with the Salvation Army in what is now known as the Hotel-Dieu-Grace Hospital.

The care of the elderly was a concern and in 1944, the RHSJ purchased the Murphy Dwelling on Riverside Drive to accommodate 15 senior residents. The three Sisters, Maria Guevin, Catherine Renaud and Stella Tremblay, left the hospital community to take charge of the home, then known as St. John the Evangelist Home and now called Villa Maria Residence.

As the needs increased, the Sisters purchased an adjacent residence that could provide care for an additional 27 persons. In 1950, supported by a Diocesan Campaign, the Sisters bought a neighboring house and provided care for an additional 15 residents. The three separate homes presented disadvantages and the decision was made to begin construction of a new seniors’ residence which opened on September 23, 1956. The attractive two-story building on the shores of the Detroit River had a capacity of 120 beds. In 2003, the Ontario government decided to close the Villa Maria Residence. The Villa Maria community joined the Hotel Dieu Community. The remaining Sisters left the Hotel-Dieu-Windsor in 2009 and were assigned to the St. Joseph Regional House in Amherstview and the Motherhouse in Montreal. Sister Rose-Marie Dufault remained to complete the closing transactions and returned to the Motherhouse in Montreal in April 2010.

Cornwall, Ontario

The first Bishop of Alexandria, Alexander Macdonnell, invited our Kingston Sisters to open a hospital in Cornwall. Five Sisters went to open this mission: Sisters Margaret Donnelly, Ann Hopkins, Janet Macdonell, Margaret Powers and Katherine McCarthy. The first RHSJ foundation from Kingston’s Hotel-Dieu became a reality on February 9, 1897 in Cornwall, when Hotel-Dieu Hospital opened in the newly renovated home of Ontario’s first Premier, the Honorable John Sandfield Macdonald. A new hospital was soon constructed on Water Street.

As community needs outgrew the facilities on Water Street, plans began for a new hospital. September 1955 saw the completion and official opening of a modern Hotel-Dieu Hospital on McConnell Avenue on property bequeathed to the Sisters by the Allan Macdonell family. The original hospital on Water Street was renovated for chronically ill patients and renamed Macdonell Memorial Hospital.

In 1989, a new 100 bed addition to Hotel-Dieu was completed and the chronically ill patients were moved from the Macdonell Memorial to the new Janet Macdonell Pavilion. In 1992 the RHSJ housing corporation converted the Macdonell Memorial Hospital building, left empty when patients were moved to the Janet Macdonell Pavilion in 1989, into a non-profit apartment building for seniors with 59 apartments, six of them for disabled tenants.

In 1898, St. Paul’s Home opened for the care of elderly persons. At its maximum capacity, the home had 100 elderly residents in four large dormitories. St. Paul’s Home was closed and demolished in 1964. A new facility, St.Joseph’s Villa was built, incorporating the former Hotel-Dieu School of Nursing and the Nurses’ residence. The 150 bed Villa was opened on August 27, 1969. By 1998, the facilities of the Villa needed to be updated, but renovations could not meet current standards. It was decided to  rebuild on the York Street site. The two phase St. Joseph Continuing Care Center, encompassing both long-term and complex continuing care facilities, was begun in 2006 with the new St.Joseph’s Villa opening at the end of 2007. The second phase, housing 59 complex continuing care beds, replacing the services currently at the Janet Macdonnell Pavilion opened in the spring of 2009.

In 1901, two small houses adjacent to St. Paul’s Home were purchased and renovated to provide care for destitute children. Within the year, a large house was purchased to care for 24 children and by 1919, when Mrs. John McMartin donated her home on Second Street, up to 100 children at a time were being cared for at Nazareth orphanage. The building was destroyed by fire in 1950 and, at that time, services were transferred to the Children’s Aid Society.