The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

 

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Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul (SP)

The congregation of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in Kingston, Ontario, in 1861 to care for the poor. Catherine McKinley was the first member and Superior of the congregation, which eventually spread across Canada. The Sisters’ history in Saskatchewan began in 1912, when typhoid raged through Moose Jaw and local clergy appealed to the Congregation, which had come west four years earlier to Daysland, Alberta. Sisters Mary Angel Guardian Mangan and Mary Camillus Bradley arrived in Moose Jaw on November 14, purchased a building that day, and welcomed their first patient two weeks later. Providence Hospital grew with the new city, becoming respected for its nursing and training programs.

By 1939, Saskatchewan’s settlers were ageing and the Depression had left many poor. The Sisters took on the care of the indigent elderly, purchasing the former Presbyterian College in Moose Jaw and renovating it to become St. Anthony’s Home. The hospital and home operated independently until 1983, when the administrations merged. In 1995 both institutions closed, and the new Providence Place for Holistic Health opened to care for the aged, and the Sisters’ duties shifted from administration and medical services to pastoral care duties.

Gayle Desarmia

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