The Sisters of Charity of St. Louis, a teaching congregation, was founded in France in 1803 in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Settling in Quebec in 1902, they established schools and acquired Canadian members to staff them. From these foundations, they sent Sisters to the newly founded dioceses of western Canada. In 1913 the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis came to Moose Jaw, where they established St. Louis College, a school for boys. They taught in Moose Jaw’s separate schools for many years, and left the city in 2001.
Radville welcomed the Sisters in 1915 when St. Louis Academy was built, followed in 1922 by St. Olivier Elementary School. Declining numbers caused the Sisters’ withdrawal from Radville in 1973. At Wilcox, the Sisters established Notre Dame of the Prairies Academy in 1920. When Père Athol Murray asked the Sisters to accept “his boys” into their school, Notre Dame College of Canada was born.
Over the years, other centres in Saskatchewan benefited from the work of the Sisters, including Swift Current, Willow Bunch, Shaunavon, Melville, Marquis, Saskatoon, Weyburn, Wolseley, and Claybank. At present, the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis continue to maintain residences in Regina (since 1924) and Wilcox.
Maria L. Gerritsen