Three Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth came to St. Peter’s Colony from Klagenfurt, Austria in 1911. They were responding to a request made by Abbot Bruno Doerfler, Prior of the Benedictines of Muenster, for a community of Sisters to establish a hospital to look after the sick among the German settlers.
The Sisters established and operated three hospitals in Saskatchewan: St. Elizabeth in Humboldt; St. Michael in Cudworth; and St. Joseph in Macklin. They also administered and cared for the seniors at St. Anne’s Home in Saskatoon and St. Mary’s Villa in Humboldt. Home Care Services were developed in the Humboldt district upon the initiative of St. Elizabeth Hospital. Sisters of St. Elizabeth supported the work of the Benedictines at St. Peter’s College, Muenster for almost seventy-eight years, as well as the Oblates at St. Charles Scholasticate, Battleford and St. Thomas College, North Battleford, and the Franciscans at St. Michael’s Retreat House, Lumsden.
Presently the congregation comprises forty-nine members. It continues to operate St. Michael’s Haven, an assisted-living facility in Cudworth, and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, a long-term care facility in Macklin. The Franciscan Forest Sanctuary, established in 1997, operates as a retreat centre at Christopher Lake.
Sr. Viola Bens