Monday, April 23, 2012

Sisters of the Joan of Arc Institute

Educators, girls and women's advocates

Founded in 1919, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Joan of Arc Institute had their mother house and novitiate in Ottawa. It is one of very few French speaking congregations founded in Ontario.

It began in 1910 when two women, Albina Aubry and Laura Chartrand founded a home for girls in Ottawa, a branch of the Montreal “Foyer Notre-Dame”. By 1913, it was no longer associated with the Foyer and was renamed l’Institut Jeanne d’Arc.

In 1919, Sister Marie-Thomas d’Aquin (née Jeanne-Lydia Branda) founds the religious congregation of the Sisters of the Jeanne d’Arc Institute and is the first superior-general.  You can read an entry on her under “B” in this blog.

This Congregation had charge of the protection and education of youth. Its chief aim was the protection of young girls away from home. It offered room and board in a homelike atmosphere. Through the employment bureau the Sisters also helped to find work for those who are unemployed.

The second aim of the Congregation was education. A course of studies comprising elementary, intermediate, and high school classes was given to day pupils and boarders from 1920 to 1957.

To favour health through recreation, the Congregation offered ladies two summer houses, Villa Lorraine on lake Wakefield, Quebec, in the Laurentian hills, and Villa Bellerive at Wychwood on the shore of the Ottawa river, only seven miles from the capital.

In July, 1934, at Westboro, Ontario, then on the outskirts of Ottawa, the Congregation built and opened the " Joan of Arc House", a beautiful residence for convalescent women and children, and a school for convalescent children with an intellectual disability.

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