Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Français : A Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, France), intérieur de la cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure ou nouvelle Major par opposition à l'ancienne cathédrale romane juste à côté, chapelle axiale abritant le tombeau de monseigneur Eugène de Mazenod, saint et évêque de Marseille.

Author: Finoskov

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) is a missionary religious congregation in the Catholic Church. It was founded on January 25, 1816, by Eugène de Mazenod, a French priest born in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France on August 1, 1782, who was later be recognized as a Catholic saint. The congregation was given recognition by Pope Leo XII on February 17, 1826. As of January 2020, the congregation was composed of 3,631 priests and lay brothers usually living in the community. Oblate means a person dedicated to God or God's service. Their traditional salutation is Laudetur Iesus Christus ("Praised be Jesus Christ"), to which the response is Et Maria Immaculata ("And Mary Immaculate"). Members use the post-nominal letters, "OMI".

As part of its mission to evangelize the "abandoned poor", the OMIs are known for their mission among the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and their historic administration of at least 57 schools within the Canadian Indian residential school system. Those oblate schools have been associated with many cases of both sexual abuse and missing and dead children

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missionary_Oblates_of_Mary_Immaculate

Grey Nuns

Soeur Grise enseignante au Couvent Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur

Soeurs de la Charité d'Ottawa  

Source numerique.banq.qc.caAuthor BAnQ Gatineau - Fonds Famille Foran

The Sisters of Charity of Montreal, formerly called The Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montreal and more commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal, is a Canadian religious institute of Roman Catholic religious sisters, founded in 1737 by Saint Marguerite d'Youville, a young widow 

The congregation was founded when Marguerite d'Youville and three of her friends formed a religious association to care for the poor. They rented a small house in Montreal on 30 October 1738, taking in a small number of destitute persons. On 3 June 1753, the society received a royal sanction, which also transferred to them the rights and privileges previously granted by letters patent in 1694 to the Frères Hospitaliers de la Croix et de Saint-Joseph, known after their founder as the Frères Charon. At that time they also took over the work of the bankrupt Frères Charon at the Hôpital Général de Montréal located outside the city walls. (In the seventeenth century, a "general hospital" was an institution that took in old people, the ill, and the poor. Medical care was dispensed at the Hôtel Dieu.)

In 1755 the sisters cared for those stricken during a smallpox epidemic. As the sisters were not cloistered, they could go out to visit the sick. Those who assisted included the First Nations people in Oka, who was among the benefactors who later helped rebuild the hospital after a fire in 1765.

After 1840, the order rapidly expanded, and over the next 100 years became a major provider of health care and other social services throughout Quebec, Western and Northern Canada, and the northern United States. In 1855, the Grey Nuns were called to Toledo, Ohio, to care for many suffering from cholera. St. Vincent's later became part of Catholic Health Partners.

St. Joseph Hospital was founded in 1906 in Nashua, by the parish of St. Louis de Gonzague primarily to serve Nashua's French Canadian community. The Sisters of Charity of Montreal began to staff it in 1907. The hospital was dedicated on 1 May 1908, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The sister also started nursing school. In 1938, the parish transferred ownership to the "Grey Nuns".

In 1983 the Sisters of Charity of Montreal established Covenant Health Systems, a non-profit Catholic regional health care system, to direct, support and conduct their health care, elder care and social service systems throughout New England. In 1996, sponsorship of St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua was transferred from the Grey Nuns to Covenant Health Systems.

Participation in the residential school system

The Sisters worked as nurses and teachers in a number of Indian Residential Schools, as the preferred missionary partners of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate,  who were not allowed to teach girls. At the schools, they participated in the effort to remove children from their parents and traditional Indigenous ways of life, in order to "civilize" them.

The main goal of the Oblates and the Grey Nuns was to provide a Catholic education (in competition with schools operated by Anglicans) and to give limited secular education. Though often at odds, the Canadian government and the various religious organizations operating residential schools agreed that Indigenous cultural practices had to be suppressed.

Students at the schools were often subjected to horrific conditions including physical, sexual, and verbal abuse;  insufficient or rotten food; frequent outbreaks of disease and insufficient medical care;  and being forbidden to speak their native languages or engage in their cultural practices. This treatment has been deemed cultural genocide by the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Sisters worked at one of the most notorious schools, St. Anne’s Indian Residential School (located in Fort Albany, Ontario), where a homemade electric chair was reportedly used on the children for the amusement of the staff, among other severe abuses. Survivor testimony later sparked a long-running OPP investigation; two nuns were eventually convicted of assault for their actions at St Anne’s. The Sisters also worked at the school in Fort Chipewyan, where a mass grave was reported. 

Other residential schools where the sisters worked include Île-à-la-Crosse Residential School,  Lac la Biche (Notre Dame des Victoires) Residential School, St. Albert (Youville) Residential School,  Qu'Appelle Indian Residential School,  St. Boniface Residential School, Assiniboia Indian Residential School, Shubenacadie Indian Residential School,  Fort Providence Residential School,  Blue Quills Residential School,  the residence at Fort Smith,  Fort Resolution Indian Residential School, and Chesterfield Inlet (Turquetil Hall) Residential School.

The Sisters and the Oblates objected to the characterization of their actions during the IRSSA process, stating that they felt many students had positive experiences and that some of their members had been falsely accused.

As of 2018, the Sisters had not turned over several thousand photos and records which they had promised to return to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. As of 2021, the Catholic Church as a whole has not issued a formal apology for its role in the residential school system, although some dioceses and orders have issued their own apologies.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Nuns

Les sœurs grises administrent des centres d'accueil pour femmes et enfants en détresse, maisons de retraite pour personnes âgées, centres de réadaptation pour personnes handicapées. Elles se consacrent également aux soins des malades et à la distribution de nourriture et de vêtements aux indigents.

Elles sont présentes au Canada, aux États-Unis, au Brésil et en Colombie.

La maison généralice est à Montréal.

En 2017, la congrégation comptait 277 religieuses dans 11 maisons.

Plusieurs congrégations sœurs se séparent des Sœurs Grises de Montréal :

Les premières Mères Supérieures

Autres dates importantes

1737 : Fondation de la Congrégation par Marguerite de Lajemmerais d'Youville

1738 : Aménagement du premier refuge pour les pauvres par les Filles de la charité

1747 : Prise en charge de l'Hôpital Général de Montréal

3 juin 1753 : Louis XV confirme officiellement M. D'Youville dans son rôle d'administratrice de l'hôpital.

15 juin 1755 : Mgr Pontbriand approuve la communauté

1765 : Le premier hôpital est la proie des flammes ; on met 4 mois à le reconstruire.

1846 : Début de l'assistance des malades à domicile

1847 : Épidémie de typhus à Montréal

1849 : Épidémie de choléra à Montréal

1858 : Ouverture du noviciat

3 mai 1959 : Béatification de Marguerite d'Youville par le Pape Jean XXIII

9 décembre 1990 : Canonisation de Marguerite d'Youville par le Pape Jean-Paul II