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Red Deer Daughters of Wisdom

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The Red Deer Daughters of Wisdom was introduced into the rural community for those in need of education, health care and basic human and spiritual resources. The Daughters of Wisdom was co-founded in France in 1703 by Louis-Marie de Montfort and Marie-Louise Trichet. Marie Louise dedicated her life to caring for the sick and opened new houses all over France promoting religion and community life until her death in 1757.

The congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom continued to expand and flourish until the French Revolution in 1792 when several of the women were executed. These women suffered religious persecution in the Franco-Prussian War when they were no longer allowed to wear their religious habit in public schools and hospitals. As a result, many withdrew from their work as teachers and nurses and some left to find establishments outside of France.

In 1904, four Daughters of Wisdom arrived in British Columbia where they were invited to serve the new territorial jurisdiction of the Bishop. In 1905, Bishop Legal at St. Albert invited the Tinchebray priests to come to central Alberta to serve the communities of Innisfail and Red Deer. In 1907, Bishop Legal sent Father Voisin to France to find Sisters who would start a boarding school in North Red Deer. In 1911, the Daughters of Wisdom opened a hospital in Castor and eventually 12 other convents in Western Canada.

In the early 1960s, most of the religious communities began to face a decrease in the number of postulants and Sisters who were aging. The convent in Red Deer on Mission Hill is currently a retirement home for all Daughters of Wisdom who served the various communities in Alberta. Archbishop Emile J. Legal. ca. 1911

These women were vital in the way that they founded the first schools, hospitals and homes for the orphans, elderly and the mentally ill. They served Aboriginal communities, taught religious doctrine in parishes and administered to the sick and dying. They derived their spiritual strength through their faith in God and from living and sharing with other women in their communities. These women were ordinary people who were involved in extraordinary activities. Today, the congregation still continues in many countries.

Source:

  • Hursey, Roberta. "Researching Women's Religious Communities - A Personal Journey". September 17, 1999.

 

  
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