Sisters of Service (SOS)

Founded by Catherine Donnelly in Toronto in 1922 as the first English-speaking Canadian Catholic religious order, the Institute of Sisters of Service was formed to minister to the immigrants of rural western Canada. The Sisters’ garb was a simple grey dress, cloak and hat rather than the long religious habit and veil worn by women religious at that time. The SOS opened their first Saskatchewan mission in 1934 in Regina, where they operated a Correspondence School for Religious Instruction in the winter, and traveled to rural areas to teach catechism in the summer. SOS also taught in public schools in Marquis (1936–43), the Bergfield area (1938–48), and the Sinnett area (1940–68); served in Saskatoon as social workers for the Catholic Welfare Council and its successor, Catholic Family Services (1942–76); and operated a residence for Catholic women students attending St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan (1946–68). The Sisters were involved in education and social work in La Loche, (1975–79), Green Lake (1979–83) and La Ronge (1983–94), and in pastoral ministries in Regina at Campion College (1976–80) and Holy Rosary Cathedral, as well as in parishes at Milestone (1991–94) and Radville (1997–2002). The community left Saskatchewan in 2003.

Patricia Burke