Present in Estrie since 1875, the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe leave the region.
The community, also known as the Gray Nuns, will no longer have representatives in Sherbrooke with the departure of Sr. Gilberte Desrosiers and Sr. Pauline Bélanger, announces the archdiocese.
The Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe leave an important legacy in Sherbrooke, it is mentioned. This community is at the origin of the hospital Youville, formerly called the hospice of the Sacred Heart, and the founding of the hospital Saint Vincent de Paul.
Sr. Pauline Bélanger, a bachelor’s nurse, worked for nearly 25 years in d’Youville, having worked as a nurse in northern Manitoba in an aboriginal community. In particular, she helped to found the hospital’s rehabilitation department.
As for her accomplice, Sr. Gilberte Desrosiers, she has put her cooking skills to the service of collective kitchens in Sherbrooke for 25 years and her availability at the service of JEVI. Attracted by missionary work, she also worked with an Aboriginal community in northern Manitoba for 25 years before arriving in Sherbrooke.
The community of Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe was founded by Marguerite d’Youville in 1840. During the 1950s, more than a hundred nuns of this community worked in Sherbrooke, informs a press release.
The Gray Nuns of Montreal, a community founded by Marguerite d’Youville in 1737, settled in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1840 and arrived in Sherbrooke in 1875.
The name “Gray Sisters”, which alludes to a state of drunkenness, was given to the nuns of the time by contempt. These were associated with the brandy traffic that the deceased husband of Marguerite d’Youville had made. Faced with this unfair accusation, the latter chose this name as a sign of humility.
The Gray Nuns were dedicated to serving the poor. In Quebec, Western Canada and the United States, they have contributed to the founding of numerous hospices and hospitals.