Saint-Basile, New Brunswick
1873 to today

In October 1873, seven Hospitallers of Saint Joseph of Montreal arrived in Saint Basile. They came to replace the Sisters of Charity of Saint John, N. B. , who had supervised the Academy of Madawaska from 1857 to 1873. Some Hospitallers became teachers, but they had the intention of also opening a hospital.

Parallel Development of Two Great Works (1873 to 1936)

The sisters were hardly installed in the ex-Academy when the sick hastened to receive medicine and care. On November 5, 1873, the first patient was hospitalized in a room of the first convent. To respond to the insistent demands of the people, the Hospitallers of Saint Joseph opened, in January 1874, a boarding school for girls. Five years later, extern students were admitted free of charge.

Hospital care also improved; a benefactor offered the necessary wood to enlarge the original building and, in 1881, the region of Madawaska was provided with a fourteen bed hospital. Then, in 1885, the Academy became a public school for externs, as well as for boarders and orphans. Thus the two principal works of the RHSJ in Saint Basile began simultaneously.

Nevertheless, there was not enough space to adequately lodge everybody. In 1885 the dynamic Superior, Sister Maillet (Alphonsine Ranger) and her sisters suddenly decided to open a brickyard on the land. In 1885 and 1915, the bricks coming from this factory were put into the walls of a beautiful building called “the orphanage,.” as well as a monastery and a chapel. In 1902, a boarding school-orphanage for boys was constructed of wood.

In 1915, the first wing made of bricks (orphanage) became a 60 bed hospital; 57 Sisters of the community moved into their monastery, situated behind the chapel. Classes, female boarders and orphans occupied the older wooden wing; some rooms in the “convent” were reserved for elderly, retired persons. Following a fire in the old wooden convent in 1935, another building was constructed in 1936; students, boarders and some priests moved into this modern edifice.

Adaptation of Hotel Dieu to a new society (1946-1983)

The transformation of society in the years after the war brought great changes to the “convent” in Saint-Basile, as well as to the hospital and Academy.

Hospital: Nursing Home for the elderly (1946 – 1976) and residence for retired persons (1976)

In 1946, the sick hospitalized at Hotel Dieu of Saint-Basile were brought to a new hospital that the RHSJ had built in Edmundston. The old Hotel Dieu was renovated for elderly persons needing special care. This vocation of Hotel Dieu lasted until 1976, when the seriously ill were transferred to Saint Joseph Sanatorium nearby. Some apartments for persons desirous of living their retirement near the “Silver Bell,” the visible sign of the Sisters and Hotel Dieu, were then renovated.

Saint Joseph Sanatorium (1946 – 1972)

In 1946, patients with tuberculosis moved into a new building that Sister Lucie Morneault, superior, and the RHSJ of Hotel Dieu had constructed on adjoining land. Some sisters formed a community group on part of the top floor, then in 1968 they moved to the Jeanne Mance Residence on the other side of Principale Street. More than 2700 persons were cared for in the sanatorium until 1972, the year it was closed. The Minister of Health promised to undertake the renovations necessary to convert the building into a nursing home, but to bring the work to a conclusion, the Congregation eventually had to invest a great deal of money.

The Academy: The closing of the boarding school, orphanage and day school (1947 – 1983)

In 1947 the Eudist Fathers opened a college in Edmundston; the boarding school / orphanage for boys at Hotel Dieu was no longer necessary and closed the same year. Other changes left their mark on the old convent. In 1963, 30 teaching sisters formed a separate community group which moved in 1967 to the historic, renovated “white house”, which was renamed Maillet Residence, in memory of the celebrated Mother Maillet; moreover Hotel Dieu Academy became Maillet Academy.

Maillet College (1949-1980)

Under the direction of Sister Rhea Larose, Maillet College opened in 1949 in the Hotel Dieu premises, left vacant by the closing of the boarding school for boys. The development of programs and the increase in the number of students soon necessitated a larger and more functional space. In the autumn of 1963, college students, religious, teachers in training and the young in formation moved into a beautiful new building called the Scholasticate, constructed behind Hotel Dieu. In June 1972, Maillet College merged with Saint Louis College in Edmundston; only the students in the medical and juridical secretarial courses had their classes in the Maillet Pavillon which, until 1980, kept its vocation as a cultural centre. It was also the head office for the Madawaska Folkloric Group. In 1982, the building was given to the Minister of Education and the following year Hotel Dieu Elementary School was transferred there.

In 1970 secondary school classes were transferred to the regional school and the boarding school for girls closed the following year. The Academy, renamed Maillet Elementary school moved in 1983 to the vacant Maillet College. Classrooms in the old Hotel Dieu Academy were converted into apartments for retired persons. In 1998, this work was incorporated under the name of Les Oeuvres de l’Hotel-Dieu Saint-Joseph Inc.
The kindergarten, organized and directed by a religious, closed its doors in 2007 after many years of service which were very appreciated by the parents of the region.

The Works of Hotel Dieu Saint Joseph Inc. 1998 to 2013

The administration of this work is carried out by a lay director under the authority of a Board of Directors formed of laypersons and religious.
On March 19, 2013, responsibility for the work was transferred to Catholic Health Partners (Catholic Health International). On December 8, 2014, the Congregation transferred the property (land and buildings) to the Works of Hotel Dieu.
In 2011 major renovations transformed the Le Royer wing so that type 3b residents (needing care,) could be welcomed, as well as some type 2 residents (needing help). The top floor is occupied by autonomous RHSJ, because the wing which housed the Sisters was demolished in 2013.
The archives with exhibit space are situated on the ground floor, as well as an area for nursery school children and for the Foundation of Hotel Dieu.

Saint Joseph Nursing Home (1996 to 2013)

In March 1976 elderly and sick residents were transferred from Hotel Dieu to the sanatorium, which had been renovated and renamed Saint Joseph Nursing Home. The Minister of Health financially supports the Home where 120 persons needing long term care are admitted. The Hospitallers of Saint Joseph, the owners of the building, administer the nursing home with the help of a board of lay people from the region.

Many sisters from the Jeanne Mance, Maillet and Hotel Dieu communities worked at the nursing home until 2002, when a lay administrator took over. Saint Joseph Nursing Home has been part of the Catholic Health International System since 2001.

Miramichi, New Brunswick

Miramichi is the name given to the new city resulting from a merger of Chatham-Newcastle. In 1869, four Hospitallers, namely, Sisters Louise Davignon, Saint Louis, Helen McCurty and Vitaline Leveille from Montreal, arrived in Chatham to care for the sick and open an orphanage.

The Hospitallers served the sick in the Miramichi area for 127 years. In 1996, Hotel-Dieu disappeared following the construction of a regional Hospital in Miramichi.

In 1871, the RHSJs established St. Michael’s Academy in Chatham, with Sister Cesarine Raymond as its first director. The Sisters remained at St. Michael’s Academy until 1969 at which time it became a government elementary school.

In 1949, the old section used for the boarders of St. Michael’s Academy was renovated and became Mount Saint Joseph, a residence for the elderly. In 1975, the residents of the “Mount” moved into a modern four-story building which became home for more than 100 residents. In 2006, the RHSJ opened a senior assisted living apartment complex, Hotel-Dieu Place on the site of the former Hotel-Dieu Hospital. Three Hospitallers lived in this residence until 2009.

It is a member of Catholic Health Partner with headquarters in the Miramichi.

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.