A congregation of women founded 16 January, 1848, for the purpose of procuring spiritual and corporal assistance for poor mothers and unfortunate girls. The foundress, Madame Rosalie Jette, in religion Mother Mary of the Nativity, declining to serve as superior, Sister St. Jane de Chantal held that office. The institution was approved by Pius IX, 7 June, 1867; and the constitutions, revised according to the latest rules of the Roman Congregations, received the approbation of Pius X, 21 March, 1905. The order is governed by a superior general, assisted by four councillors, a secretary, and a bursar, who reside at the mother-house, Montreal, Canada. All branch houses are under the control of the general administration. Each house is governed by a local superior and two assistants forming her council; in each a bursar has charge of temporal matters, but is controlled by the council. There is only one novitiate, at Montreal, although the rules authorize more if necessary. Candidates are received from all parts of the world. The novitiate lasts a year, during which the novice is instructed in the constitutions of the order and other matters of the religious life ; a supplementary novice-ship of six months, in which to become familiar with the work of the order, is given before taking the vows, renewed annually during, a period of five years and then made perpetual. The sisters also conduct Magdalen asylums. In receiving patients no discrimination is made in regard to religion, colour, or nationality. After their convalescence, those who desire to remain in the home are placed under a special sister and are known as "Daughters of St. Margaret ". They follow a certain rule of life but contract no religious obligations. Should they desire to remain in the convent, after a period of probation, they are allowed to become Magdalens and eventually make the vows of the Magdalen order. The congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary 16 January, 1898.
At present the congregation numbers professed sisters, 189; novices, 23; candidates, 10. Branch houses have been established throughout Canada and the United States. The mother-house contains 60 sisters ; with this is associated on Orphan Asylum with sisters, 7; infants, 525; also a hospital with 5 sisters and accommodations for 175 patients. At Sault-au-Recollet, P. Q., the sisters conduct a home for aged and retired priests and an Orphan Asylum with sisters, 10; attendants, 15; priests, 5, orphans, 40. The hospital at Ottawa. founded in 1879, was destroyed by fire in 1900. The new building, completed in 1904, accommodates sisters, 10; nurses, 5; patients, 100. A house was established at Winnipeg, Man., in 1898, of which a branch was founded at St. Norbert, Man., in 1904. The two houses have sisters,19; trained nurses, 15; attendants, 25; average number of patients and children during the year, 700. In 1900 a house was opened at Edmonton, Alberta, with sisters, 12; trained nurses, 6; average number of patients during the year, 300. In the United i3tates the sisters have a large hospital in New York City, containing sisters, 19; average number of patients during the year, 496. From this, in 1901, was established the Orphan Asylum and Kindergarten of St. Mary's of the Angels, at Hartsdale with sisters,10; attendants, 20; average number of children during the year, 150. In Green Bay, Wis., a house was established in 1900 with sisters, 13; nurses,15; average number of patients and children during the year, 450. In Oak Park, Ill., a hospital was founded in 1905 with sisters, 15; patients, 712. The establishment at Milwaukee contains accommodations for sisters, 9; patients, 112.
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