- to the DW for their 100th anniversary,
- to the people of Red Deer who have walked with our sisters during these decades,
- to Sr Harriet still present in Red Deer and who organized this “happening” with you all,
- to all the organizing committee.
The DW have received so much from the people of Red Deer throughout these decades. I am truly honoured to represent my Congregation at this historical moment.
This banquet is a well-chosen moment to express our mutual « Thank you »
A little bit of history
Let us now trace together the history of the Sisters who came to Red Deer in 1908.
In the summer of 1907 Father Voisin went to France on business, and got the promise of six Filles de la Sagesse for a small boarding school. He was commissioned to buy land, take charge of the construction of the building (to be ready for the Sisters in September 1908), and to obtain a loan of not more than 30,000 francs, to be repaid by the Red Deer Community.
In the spring and summer of 1908 two impressive buildings were erected on the “mission hill”
a presbytery for the priests and a convent for the Sisters.
Who were the Sisters, wakeful in the night of October 8th in the Arlington Hotel ? Sisters Marie Agathe, Jeanne Eugenie, and Rosalie Baptistine were newly arrived from France. Sisters Marie Aimée and Alfred were Canadians who spoke English : Sr. Cesarine was a French lay Sister, somewhat older than the others. The newcomers were young, energetic, optimistic and filled with apostolic spirit.
Right away a prospectus, announcing the opening of the boarding school on October 21st, was sent out. The Sisters proceeded to set their house in order sweeping up the plaster, lime, shavings and sawdust left by the workmen and arranging their meagre furnishings – six beds, six chairs, a big table, and a few dishes.
On October 21st two young girls came to school – one day scholar and one boarder. By the beginning of November two more boarders had arrived, and at Christmas there were four !