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 Today

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 Today)

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.