The community of Sisters of Providence, or, more accurately, Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor, was founded in Montreal, Canada, by Bishop Bourget and Madame Jean Baptiste Gamelin (Marie Emélie Eugénie Tavernier), 25 March, 1843. With the approbation of the religious and civil authorities Madame Gamelin had for some time been sheltering in her own house a number of infirm and poor old women. After a voyage to Europe Bishop Bourget wished to bring to Montreal some French Sisters of Charity, but the project came to nothing, and he decided to appeal to the young women of his own diocese. On 25 March, 1843, in the chapel of the first asylum in Montreal seven sisters received the religious habit at his hands. The new institution developed rapidly. Its object is to provide for the poor and sick spiritual and temporal relief, to shelter children and the aged, to visit the homes of the poor and the ill, to shelter the infirm and the homeless, to maintain dispensaries for the needy, and to instruct the young. The rule of the Institute of Providence was definitively approved by Leo XIII 12 September, 1900.
The community numbers about 1600 religious with more than eighty establishments, of which the principal in Montreal are the mother-house and the Gamelin Asylum, the Longue-Pointe Refuge, the Hospital for Incurables, the Home for Deaf Mutes, the Bourget Asylum, and the Auclair Asylum. Outside the Diocese of Montreal there are foundations of these sisters in the dioceses of Quebec, Ottawa, Trois-Rivières, Saint-Hyacinthe, New Westminster, Valleyfield, Joliette, Vancouver, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in Canada; and in San Francisco, Oregon City, Burlington, Great Falls, Helena, Boise, and Manchester in the United States. The general administrative body, which is located at the mother-house in Montreal, is composed of the superior general, four assistants, a secretary, and a treasurer. The community comprises seven provinces: Montreal, Hochelaga, Joliette, Trois-Rivières, Washington, Montana, and Oregon.
Vie de Mère Gamelin, by a Religious of her Order (Montreal, 1900); AUCLAIR, Vie de Mère Caron (Montreal, 1908).
APA citation. (1908). Sisters of Charity of Providence. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03609b.htm
MLA citation. "Sisters of Charity of Providence." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03609b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Gary A. Mros.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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