We celebrate the courage of these women who sacrificed their lives for the realisation of Catholic education in Red Deer.
Through the years, Bishop Legal insisted that religious teachers in his diocese be as well qualified as their counterparts in the public schools. This was only fair to the parents supporting separate schools.
During the months of July and August the sisters were busy. In the early years children came from the country to the convent for a couple of weeks to prepare for first holy communion. Sometimes the DW teachers went to summer school, and came home just in time for the annual retreat.
For the Sisters who stayed at home jobs were plentifully : curtains and bed spreads were laundered ; coifs were starched and ironed ; the grey habits were taken apart, washed, mended and resewn ; sometimes quilts or mattresses were remade. If the garden was productive there were beans, peas and corn to can. No deep freezer in those days ! A good wild fruit season meant berry picking expeditions that gave the sisters an outing, and filled the pantry shelves with preserves.
The west wing was added in the summer of 1912, and classes opened there in September. Except for the basement, the new wing was exclusively for the boarders and remained their domain for fifty years.
During the Second World War the convent was filled to capacity as the number of boarders increased.
To accommodate the junior and senior high school pupils the Separate School Board rented the empty River Glen School. Seven Sisters went down to the barrack school to teach with lay staff. The Board provided a bus for the boarders and the Sisters, and a hot lunch was transported from the convent to the school for the girls and the Sisters.