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Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate

Upon invitation from Father Achille Delaere of the Redemptorists, the first Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate arrived in Yorkton in 1915. In 1916 they started teaching Religion and providing home nursing care. With money borrowed from the Sulpicians of Montreal, the Sisters moved into their new convent in December 1916.

In Yorkton, the Sisters cared for Sacred Heart Institute (1917–45), Sacred Heart Academy (1945–73) and Sacred Heart High School (1974–2000). They also conducted a music school at these institutions, specializing in piano and musical theory. They were involved in every Catholic elementary school in Yorkton until the 1980s and taught in St. Joseph’s Junior High School (see St. Joseph’s College). The Sisters’ tradition of Music as an important part of Education has been maintained by Yorkton’s Catholic schools.

From Yorkton, the Sisters established convents in other parts of the province. In Saskatoon they administered a women’s hostel (1928–93), taught in Catholic schools (1942–76), and have been managing the Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Centre since 1980. In Regina they cared for a women’s hostel (1939–60s), managed the Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Centre (1974–80), and taught at St. Joseph’s School (1939–74). In Prince Albert they taught at St. John’s (1956–71) and at St. Michael’s and St. Paul’s schools (1971–76), and provided a principal and teacher at St. Ann’s School (1959–71); they also worked with female inmates at the federal penitentiary. In the summers, the Sisters provided Ukrainian Catholic parishes with catechetical programs and teachers. Over a hundred women born in Saskatchewan became Sisters Servants, mainly due to the encouragement of the Redemptorists in the Ituna and Yorkton areas. Although vocations have declined, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate have been closely identified with the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Saskatchewan and continue to contribute to its life and work.

Victoria Hunchak

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