Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC)

In 1854, Honoria Conway, a native of Ireland, founded the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, the first English-speaking congregation of sisters to be founded in Canada. Saint John, New Brunswick, had been overwhelmed by an influx of impoverished Irish immigrants, a cholera epidemic, and many orphaned children needing care and education; the religious congregation was formed in response to these needs. The SCIC first came to Saskatchewan in 1906, when three sisters arrived in Prince Albert to care for and teach the children at St. Patrick’s Orphanage. Holy Family Hospital was constructed in 1910, and the first patient arrived on Christmas Day that same year. The sisters were involved in the work of the hospital until it was closed in 1997. Over the years, the sisters also responded to other needs in Saskatchewan: in Regina they operated Rosary Hall, a residence for young women, from 1921 to 1968; in Holdfast, they taught from 1924 to 1976; and in Saskatoon, sisters have provided leadership in the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan since 1988, as well as involvement in parental and pastoral care from 1988 to 1998, and journalism and university chaplaincy from 1993 to 2002.

Rose Ketchum