Showing 25 results

People and organizations
Corporate body · 1980 -

Western's Caucus on Women's Issues was formed in 1980 to promote and safeguard the interests of women at the University of Western Ontario and its affiliates. Its objectives are: (1) to cultivate a sense of community among women at the university, (2) to encourage the integration of findings from feminist research into curricula at UWO and its affiliates and (3) to promote a work environment that facilitates the full professional development of all women employed at UWO and its affiliates.
The Caucus held lecture series, sponsored a women's studies essay award and hosted a brown bag lunch series to foster discussion. The group also produced several documentaries about the experiences of women and minority groups in post-secondary institutions including Breaking the Trust (1986), The Chilly Climate (1991), Backlash to Change (1996) and Voices of Diversity (2008).
In addition to this, the Caucus mobilized its membership around issues of importance to women, forming committees to address particular issues and to ensure that women would have meaningful input into initiatives undertaken by the university. The Caucus gave recommendations on the university's sexual harassment policy and race relations policy, submitted proposals for affirmative action/ employment equity and gave input during the university's strategic planning process.
The Women's Studies Committee of the Caucus on Women's Issues raised awareness about courses focused on women and ensured that library holdings supported women's studies. The committee compiled the “Directory of Women's Studies Courses” which, in the absence of a formal women's studies program, identified courses which fell into the realm of women's studies - courses which previously had not been identified as such. In 1981, courses identified as “women's studies” were offered for the first time.
The Caucus actively promoted employment equity (previously known as affirmative action) at Western, submitting in 1982 a brief on the status of women that contained a proposal for affirmative action. In 1986 Western received the Ontario government's employment equity award and in response to this, Constance Backhouse released the report, “Women faculty at UWO: reflections on the employment equity award.” Constance Backhouse researched the history of women at Western extensively in writing this report and conducted additional research on women at Western for the U.W.O. law archives and in preparation for celebrations marking 100 years of women at Western.

Murphy, Chrysostom
Person · June 8, 1923-November 4, 2015

Sister Chrysostom Murphy was born Mary Theresa Murphy in Balderson, Ontario on June 8, 1923, to Hugh Murphy and Teresa Hagan. She served as an organist at Sacred Heart Parish in Lanark and at the Parish of Annunciation in Enterprise, Ontario from 1936-1949. She attended Perth Collegiate, and then Ottawa Teachers' College from 1942-1943 and received her Permanent Elementary Teacher’s certificate. She then taught and served as a principal at Lanark, Drummond, Enterprise and Tillsonburg. She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Ontario, in July of 1950 and took the religious name Chrysostom. She received her habit January 3, 1951, and professed her first vows on January 3, 1952, and her final vows on January 3, 1956.

Sister Chrysostom taught at many schools in London from 1950-1953. She then served as both a principal and teacher in London schools from 1953-1962. In 1962, she received her B.A. from the University of Windsor, followed in 1965 by her Elementary Principal's certificate. She also obtained several teaching certificates in physical education, learning materials, guidance, and art. Sister Chrysostom moved to Windsor and again served as a principal and teacher until 1970. In June of 1970, she received her M.Ed. from the University of Toronto. She became the Director of Religious Education for the Kent County Roman Catholic Separate School Board in Chatham, serving in this position from 1970-1976. Following this, she returned to London in 1976 and worked as a teacher at Mount St. Joseph Academy until 1978.

Moving to Toronto, Sister Chrysostom took up the position of National Executive and Program Director of the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood from 1978-1989. After her long tenure in this position, she returned to London, and became the audio-visual assistant at Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. Sister Chrysostom was a member of the Canadian College of Teachers and was a lifelong learner, also taking training in photography, the Christopher Leadership course, and driving.

Sister Chrysostom Murphy celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2001 and her Diamond Jubilee in 2011. She died November 4, 2015, in London, Ontario.

Mount Saint Joseph Academy
Corporate body · 1950-1985

Mount Saint Joseph Academy was a school for girls directed by the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1950 to 1985. It was initially located at Sacred Heart Convent with a mere six students. In 1953, it moved to the newly built Mount St. Joseph convent. At this time, there were 26 students but by 1957, this number had grown to 105 students (80 girls resided at the school and 25 were day students). In 1958, the Academy was moved to a newly completed wing in the Mount St. Joseph complex.

The mission of the Academy was to provide secondary education for girls in which the Catholic faith was integrated into the curriculum and school life. Students had the option of being day students if they lived in the area or boarders if they came from far away. Students came from across Canada and 10%-15% came from other countries including the West Indies, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Music was always an important part of life at the Academy, perhaps due to the influence of the St. Joseph’s School of Music which was also staffed by the Sisters. Students who wished to learn to play musical instruments did so on their own time, usually through the School of Music. They could also volunteer to join the Glee Club, one of the choirs, or the choral group called the Academy Singers which was well-known in the area.

In addition to regular curriculum classes, students were required to sign up for an activity for their enrichment and cultural development. These activities included photography, driving school, typing, fencing, drama, ballet, horseback riding, charm class, scripture study, physical education, crafts, and home economics club.

The Academy closed in 1985, and the wing that it occupied became a guest wing for relatives of hospitalized patients. It is estimated that over the course of 32 years, between 2,000 and 3,000 students received at least part of their high school education at the Academy. In 2005, the building was sold by the Sisters.

Medaille Retreat House
Corporate body · 1969-2012

Medaille Retreat House was founded in 1969 as a community retreat centre where members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph could stay to spend time in prayer and contemplation. The house was named after Fr. Jean-Pierre Medaille, who established the Sisters of St. Joseph at Le Puy, France in 1650. The building which became Medaille House was located on Windermere Road. The grounds had originally belonged to Hellmuth College, and when the property was sold, some of the land was purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1912, an eight-acre property adjoining Hellmuth College was also purchased, but later sold to the Nelles family who built a home and a gardener's house which they called Norwood Place, likely after the name of the original house built by Bishop Hellmuth which was named Norwood House. In 1943, the Sisters purchased the property back, and renamed the building St. Joseph's House of Studies. This building accommodated Sisters studying at the University of Western Ontario between 1949 and 1960.In 1960, the building was rented to Dr. J. J. McCredie. When the lease expired in 1969, it was decided to use the building as a community retreat centre, and it became Medaille Retreat House later that year. Sisters visited the retreat house for varying lengths of time ranging from a few hours of prayer to retreats lasting for several weeks.

Beginning in 1975 with their “Time Out” program, a 48-hour retreat for single mothers, Medaille House welcomed members of the public for courses and retreat experiences. Groups from churches, educational institutions, community organizations, and health care facilities attended programs at the retreat centre. In addition to the many programs designed to offer peace and spiritual connection, a beautiful labyrinth was added to the grounds in 1998 as a walking meditation tool. In response to a growing need, the Sisters created a new space for service and instruction in the Ignatia Hall auditorium at Mount St. Joseph. Located on the first floor, the newly refurbished space was called Medaille Program Centre. Programs began here in the fall of 1990, running until 2006.

During its years of greatest activity, Medaille House welcomed over 2,000 participants over an eight-month period from September 1992 to May 1993. After a closing ceremony on October 30, 2004, Medaille House moved to a new property, formerly known as Highview, at 545 Fanshawe Park Road West. The new Medaille House location opened on March 2, 2005. The original building on Windermere Road was demolished in July, 2005 in order to build the new Motherhouse. The demolition involved Habitat for Humanity volunteers participating in the dismantling so that materials could be re-cycled through the Re-Store. Programs at Medaille Program Centre were discontinued in 2006. In 2012, the Medaille Retreat House finally closed.

Today the CSJ Spirituality Centre carries on the work of Medaille House by providing spiritual direction, while retreats may still be arranged at the new Motherhouse on Windermere Road.

McKeough, Katherine Joan
Person · August 21, 1920-April 13, 2006

Katherine Joan McKeough was born on August 21, 1920, in Stratford, Perth County, Ontario, the daughter of Christopher James McKeough and Katherine Mary Devlin. She received her habit on October 15, 1945, at Sacred Heart Convent and took her final vows on January 3, 1951. She was given the religious name Sister Angela Felix and after the Second Vatican Council in 1962, she reverted to her baptismal name.

Sister Angela Felix spent her life in hospital ministry. She then attended the University of Western Ontario in London and earned a diploma in psychiatric nursing and in 1952 was appointed to a supervisory position in psychiatry at St. Joseph’s Hospital, London. She was named an instructor at the School of Nursing in London for two years. In 1956 Sister Angela Felix received a diploma in nursing education and in 1965 completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Then in 1967 she earned a Masters of Science in Adult Psychology at Boston University in Massachusetts. She held other positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London besides clinical supervisor in psychiatry, such as assistant to the executive director and supervisor of patient services. She held memberships in the Ontario Group Psychotherapy Association; the Canadian College of Health Service Executives; the American Society for Hospital Nursing Service and Administration. She served as board member of the London Psychiatric Hospital, the Catholic Hospital Association of Canada, and St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Chatham and Sarnia. She was President of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada from 1985 to 1986, was a member of the Administrative Council of the Catholic Religious Conference and Vice-President of the Catholic Religious Conference of Ontario.

In 1971 Sister Katherine was elected to the General Council of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London and was named coordinator of health care for the Community and in 1979 she was elected General Superior. She died on April 13, 2006.

McKeogh, Angela
Person · 1859-1943

Sister Angela was an accomplished musician who taught music, and was appointed the first music teacher at the Ingersoll convent when it opened in 1879.

On July 24, 1902 Sister Angela, who had been assistant to the Superior General, was elected to replace Mother Ignatia Campbell who held the office of Superior General since the inception of the Community in 1870. Mother Angela fulfilled admirably the task of fostering the spirit of the Congregation and of promoting the charitable works of the foundress, Mother Ignatia. During Mother Angela’s term of office, the east wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital in London was built and officially opened in 1903. Lord and Lady Minto, the Governor General of Canada and his wife, visited London and were present
for the opening. Our Lady of Mercy Convent in Sarnia was also opened; a new Chapel of St. Anne at Mount St. Joseph was built and consecrated in 1908 by Bishop McEvay before he left for Toronto; the expansions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London and Chatham were completed. Mother Angela hosted a picnic at Mount St. Joseph for Sisters of all communities who were attending summer courses for teachers.

At election of officers in 1908 Mother Angela was re-elected for a third term. At this time the work of the Community in schools and other institutions flourished. However, in July 1911, Mother Angela McKeogh resigned her office and was then appointed Superior of the Mount Hope Community. Mother Angela died on September 17, 1943, at Mount St. Joseph in London, Ontario. She had served as General Superior from 1902-1911.

McCarthy, Mechtilde
Person · January 1, 1862-June 12, 1943

Susan McCarthy was born on January 1, 1862, at Maidstone, Essex County, Ontario. She was one of eleven children born to Jeremiah McCarthy and Susan McMahon. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation in London, Ontario, and received the habit on March 19, 1881, taking her final vows on December 8, 1883, at Mount Hope. Her religious name was Sister Mechtilde McCarthy. She taught at St. Peter’s School, London for 22 years and at the Roman Catholic school in Goderich for two years. In 1911 she was appointed Superior at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London The chapel at St. Joseph’s Hospital was built under the guidance of Sister Mechtilde. It is of classic Renaissance architecture and Romanesque design. The whole chapel was a model of artistic taste and reflects on Sister Mechtilde under whose supervision it was erected. As the growth of the hospital kept pace with the city, an urgent need for larger facilities was realized and in 1914 work was begun to the west of the main building on an addition embodying the latest and best ideas of hospital construction and equipment.

In 1917, she was elected General Superior of the congregation. At that time there were 185 Sisters in the Community and the number of aged at the House of Providence was 212. The orphans at Mount St. Joseph orphanage numbered 231. In the Roman Catholic Schools the pupils numbered 1161 and in the hospitals there were 2573 patients. During her term of office she began a foundation in Edmonton which included a novitiate. A Eucharistic Congress was held at Mount St. Joseph in July 1923. The Community received approbation of the 1920 Constitutions which had been requested by Bishop Fallon in 1917. During her term of office, she began a foundation in Edmonton which included a novitiate. She left the office of General Superior in 1923 and continued mission work at St. Mary’s, Ingersoll, Belle River and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario in 1934. She was General Superior from 1917-1923. She died on June 12, 1943.

McCarthy, Celestine
Person · 1857-October 11, 1940

Clara McCarthy was born in London, Ontario in 1857 to Denis McCarthy and Ellen O’Keefe. Clara McCarthy received her habit on August 10, 1878, in the first ceremony in the new chapel at Mount Hope, London, and was given the religious name Sister Celestine. She professed her vows at the same chapel on August 25, 1880.

Sister Celestine was among the first Sisters to staff the Catholic school in St. Thomas in 1879. In 1891 she was appointed director of novices and served in this position for the next three years. Sister Celestine was assigned as administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham, Ontario in 1902. She held that position until 1911, when she was elected General Superior of the London congregation. Mother Celestine was responsible for establishing the new wing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham and the Kingsbridge, Kinkora, Seaforth, St. Mary’s, and Woodstock convents. In 1913, while Mother Celestine was General Superior, the Sisters took charge of Sacred Heart School on Queens Avenue from the Religious of the Sacred Heart. In 1914 she oversaw the purchase of Sacred Heart Convent in London from the Religious of the Sacred Heart which became the third Motherhouse of the Sisters in London. Mother Celestine was also responsible for the Congregation’s Act of Incorporation which was passed by the House of Commons in 1915. She ended her last term in office in 1917 and died on October 11, 1940.

Corporate body · 1894 -

The London and Area Council of Women was founded on February 14, 1894 as the Local Council of Women, London. In 1990, a motion was passed by the executive to change the name of the council from the London Council of Women (LCW) to the London and Area Council of Women (LACW). The objective of the council is, “To draw together the women of London in greater unity of thought, sympathy and purpose to further the application of the Golden Rule to society, for the development, improvement and happiness of mankind.” The logo of the council is a bow bearing the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would that they do unto you.”
The LACW is comprised of individual members and members of its federated organizations which include women's groups, service clubs and volunteer organizations. The president of each federated organization is named a vice-president of the LACW executive and has a single vote. The executive of the LACW also includes a president, an executive vice-president and elected and appointed officers who hold positions such as treasurer, secretary, registrar and standing committee officers.
The LACW is part of a hierarchical organization of Councils of Women, answering to the Provincial Council of Women of Ontario (PCWO) and the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC). The NCWC is a member of the International Council of Women (ICW).
Throughout its history, the LACW has held regular meetings and organized events to encourage political engagement, educate the public on various issues of importance to women, raise funds and promote culture and heritage. In addition to this, the LACW has been active in lobbying the municipal, provincial and federal governments. As a member of the PCWO and the NCWC, the LACW proposed resolutions which were debated, voted on and formalized into briefs which were submitted annually to the provincial and federal governments.

Kuntz, Mary Lillian
Person · December 30, 1935-October 23, 2015

Mary Lillian Kuntz was born in London, Ontario on December 30, 1935. She was the daughter of Edward J. Kuntz and Margaret H. Ward. Mary Lillian attended St. Angela’s School in London from 1949-1950, and then Catholic Central High School in London from 1950-1953. She entered the Congregation on July 2, 1953 and received the habit and her religious name Dolores on January 3, 1954. She took her final vows on January 3, 1961. Sister Mary Lillian trained at London Teachers’ College from 1956-1957. Later, she attended the University of Windsor, obtaining her B.A. in 1965. This was followed by the completion of an M.A. in Educational Administration from Columbia University in New York in 1976. Almost a decade later, she completed a B.A. and J.C.L. in Canon Law from the University of Ottawa in 1985.

Sister Mary Lillian served as a teacher and principal in London from 1957-1972. She spent the summer of 1969 in Uganda, teaching mathematics to teachers. She then moved to Yellowknife, where she was principal at St. Patrick’s High School until 1977. During her time in the north, she also served as a bursar for the local religious community. She returned to London, and taught high school mathematics from 1978-1981. She then worked as an administrator at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse from 1981-1983.

Following this, Sister Mary Lillian studied canon law in Ottawa from 1983-1985, and then received several canonical appointments. She was the Associate Judge and substitute Defender of the Bond for the Vancouver Regional Tribunal, working through the Nelson, B.C. office in 1984. She then served as Judge and Defender of the Bond for the Nelson Marriage Tribunal after it became a distinct Diocesan Tribunal in 1985. She was appointed to the Disability Pension Committee for the Diocese of Nelson in 1985. In 1987, she was appointed Judge, Auditor and Notary on the Marriage Tribunal in Nelson. She held this position until 1993, when she also became the Director of the Marriage Tribunal. In 1996, she became the Director of the Nelson-Kamloops Interdiocesan Tribunal, still serving as a Judge and Auditor.

Sister Mary Lillian held other positions of service, including on the Diocesan Synod Steering Committee, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Diocesan Sexual Abuse Committee, and the Cathedral Liturgy Committee. She was the treasurer for the Sisters’ Council in the Diocese of Nelson. Sister Mary Lillian was also a world traveller.

Sister Mary Lillian died on October 23, 2015 in London Ontario and is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, in the same city.

Kirwin, Mary Leo
Person · January 7, 1922-November 26, 2015

Sister Mary Leo Kirwin was born Mary Margaret Kirwin in Ingersoll, Ontario on January 7, 1922 to Leo Joseph Kirwin and Mae Henesey. Mary attended Sacred Heart School from 1936-1940 and Ingersoll Collegiate Institute from 1940-1942. She then completed her teacher training at London Normal School from 1941-1942. After earning her teaching certificate, she spent the summer of 1942 working in a munitions factory, but began teaching in September of that year. Her teaching career began at RCSS #2 in Clinton, Ontario. She then taught at Sacred Heart School in Ingersoll from 1944-1946, and later moved to St. Mary’s School from 1946-1947. On July 2, 1947, Mary Kirwin entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and received the habit on January 3, 1948. She took the name Sister Mary Leo. She took her final vows on January 3, 1953.

Sr. Mary Leo Kirwin worked as a teacher from 1950-1953 at the Holy Rosary School in London, Ontario. From 1953-1957, she served at this school as the principal. She moved to Simcoe to be a teacher and principal at St. Mary’s Catholic School from 1957-1961. During this time, Sr. Mary Leo also attended the University of Western Ontario and obtained her B.A. in 1958. From 1961-1965, she taught at St. Louis School, Riverside in Windsor. She remained in Windsor from 1965 to 1967, where she taught at F.J. Brennan Catholic High School. She then returned to London and became a teacher and head of the home economics department at Mount St. Joseph Academy from 1969-1983. While she was teaching in London, she graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Specialist in Home Economics in 1980.

In 1983, Sr. Mary Leo was called to move to Edmonton to serve as the General Superior of St. Joseph’s Convent and act as coordinator of Western Houses, a role in which she served until 1989. While living at the Edmonton Regional House in 1987, Sister Mary Leo became involved with the People In Need Shelter Society during a housing crisis. Along with Sister Alice Caswell and Sister Olga Barilko, she worked with disabled people. She also worked with the poor alongside Sister Esther Lucier. Her involvement grew and eventually the Society named a house for homeless men and women after her (the Kirwin Lucier House). From 1989-1991, she took up a new role at Elizabeth Place, a home for needy women in Edmonton. She was also involved with the Elizabeth Fry Society where she worked with prison women doing handiwork and visiting. In 1991, she returned to London, where she served as the general treasurer at Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse until 1998. In addition, she was on the local leadership council. Although she retired in 1998, Sr. Mary Leo Kirwin still provided relief for Sr. Veronica Cooke at Elaine Lucas Place from 1999-2001. The Elaine Lucas Place in London is a 45 bed residence for the homeless on Little Simcoe Street with which Sr. Mary Leo Kirwin was affiliated.

Sr. Mary Leo was involved in many committees throughout her life, including the Elizabeth Fry Society in Edmonton, L.I.F.T. Housing in London, and the Congregational bursary, donations, and strategic planning committees. She was also a community representative on the Red Cross Board.

One of her lasting contributions was her work with a low-income housing organization in Edmonton, the Edmonton Inner City Housing Society. The society opened its first project, a five-bedroom house in the McCauley neighbourhood and 30 years later, the year Sr. Mary Leo died, the same Edmonton Inner City Housing Society had grown to the point where it owned and managed more than 20 housing developments. These houses provided shelter for individuals and families, and supported 500 people in 300 housing units in inner city neighbourhoods.

Sr. Mary Leo also, as a result of visiting at Edmonton Women’s Prison, saw the need for post-incarceration housing for women. The Congregation bought a house, known as Elizabeth House, with a Sister serving as housemother. Later, they purchased another house called Tess’s House, with Sister Theresa Carmel Slavik serving as housemother for at risk young adults.

The Kirwin-Lucier House, which opened in 1993 in Edmonton, is a housing project of the Edmonton People in Need Shelter Society and provides a home for people with chronic mental disorders or substance abuse. It was named after Sisters Mary Leo Kirwin and Esther Lucier for their contributions to the society and its clients.

Sister Mary Leo was an expert at needlework, sewing of all kinds, quilting, upholstery, caning, and gardening. In 1976, her students at Mount St. Joseph Academy made an Olympic quilt which was presented to Prime Minister Trudeau. She continued making at least two quilts each year with a friend from the low cost housing development in London, until her death.

Sr. Mary Leo died November 26, 2015 in London, Ontario and is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in London, Ontario.

Janisse, Marie Celine
Person · February 13, 1928-August 4, 2022

Sister Marie Celine Janisse was born in Windsor, Ontario on February 13, 1928. She was one of the seven children of Norman Janisse and Eva Tino, both of Windsor. She had her reception at Sacred Heart Convent in London, Ontario on August 25, 1946. Her first profession was August 25, 1948, and her final profession was August 25, 1951.

Sister Marie Celine received a Fine Art diploma from the Institute of Pedagogy, Montreal in 1952-53. She was awarded her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1969.

Sister Marie Celine served as a parish worker in Peru from August 2, 1983 to December 1, 1994. Upon her return to Canada, she was involved in Heart-Links, an organization started by the Sisters of St. Joseph to support community development in Peru. She returned to Peru from 1998 to 2000 to work for Heart-Links. After this, she served on pastoral and art projects with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Pembroke mission to Chincha, Peru from 2001 to 2003, and then again with Heart-Links in London from 2003 to 2007. Sister Marie Celine also served in Nicaragua as part of the Hurricane Mitch Response, for three months from 1998-1999.

Heart-Links
Corporate body · 1994-

Heart-Links began in Sept. 1994, as a community-sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The ministry grew out of the Sisters’ work in Zana Valley, Peru (1962 to 1994, when the order closed the mission). In 1994, when Sister Janet Zadorsky returned to Canada, she began as a way for the Sisters and others to continue links with Peru and expand the work the Sisters started.

The first board for Heart-Links met in 1995, and eventually Pat Mailloux took over accounts and Sister Marie Celine organized artistic work and sales. On November 1, 2002, Heart-Links was incorporated under the Canada Corporation Act, and on January 1, 2003, it received charitable registration from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. At this time, Heart-Links became a secular, autonomous organization.

The Sisters and other volunteers raised funds through Heart-Links for Peru via concerts and bazaars. Each year beginning in 1996, an Awareness trip took volunteers to visit the work and communities in Peru supported by Heart-Links. In 2014, Heart-Links celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Over the years Heart-Links in Peru has supported communal kitchens in Zana, Aviacion, Nueva Rica, and Mocupe, a music group in Chiclayo, a dance group in Zana, school breakfast programs, special needs schools in Mocupe and Zana, a school for needy in Zana, a bakery in Reque, and the construction of a new communal kitchen in Zana, among others.

Hartleib, Mary Anthony
Person · February 10, 1924- June 23, 2008

Sister Mary Anthony Hartleib (nee Mary Anne Lenore) was born in Stratford, Ontario on February 10, 1924. She was the daughter of Charles Henry Hartleib and Loretta Durand. Her stepmother was Mary Hartleib of Waterloo, Ontario. Mary Anne Lenore Hartleib joined the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Ontario and received the habit on July 2, 1965. She made her final vows on May 30, 1971 in the Chapel at Mount St. Joseph. She was given the religious name Sister Mary Anthony. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in art and theology at the University of Windsor in 1969, and then studied at Althouse College in London, Ontario. Sister Mary Anthony received a permanent teaching certificate in 1972, a supervisor’s certificate in art, and a teaching certificate in art and English. From 1970 until 1981, she supervised the art department at Mount St. Joseph Academy in London. She was appointed assistant bursar at Mount St. Joseph, but continued with art and the teaching of ceramics until 1985 when her art work took a new turn. Always interested in the spiritual, Sister Mary Anthony turned to iconography. She spent two years studying Chinese water colour painting, followed by three years of iconography. She was a scholar, a skilled teacher of art, and a passionate advocate of the way icons open the mystery of the sacred. Sister Mary Anthony became well known as an iconographer and maintained a studio in the Sisters’ residence after Mount St. Joseph Academy closed. For several years, she shared her knowledge of iconography with the seminarians at St. Peter’s Seminary in London. The community of the Sisters of St. Joseph moved to 485 Windermere Road in 2007, where Sister Mary Anthony occupied her own art studio. Three of her icons, including that of the Blessed Trinity, were placed in the Chapel at the new residence. After a very short illness, Sister Mary Anthony died in the care centre at the Sisters’ Residence on June 23, 2008. Her funeral Mass of Resurrection was celebrated in St. Joseph Chapel in the residence at 485 Windermere Road. Father Frank O’Connor of St. Peter’s Seminary was the main celebrant. Sister Mary Anthony was buried in St. Peter’s cemetery in London.

Gagner, Eveline
Person · July 3,1917-June 15, 2020

Sister Eveline Gagner was born in Chatham, Ontario on July 3, 1917. She was one of five children born to Dieudonne Gagner of Tilbury, Ontario and Marie Helene Caron of Dover Township, Kent County, Ontario. Her sister, Viola Marie Blanche, also entered the Congregation, and was given the religious name Yvonne.

Sister Eveline received her B.A. from Assumption University, Windsor in 1963, and her M.A. in Theology from the University of Windsor in 1972. She received a diploma from Lumen Vitae in Brussels. Following this, she received the Attestation d’Etudes: Recherche en Catéchèse from the University of Montreal in 1967. Three years later, in 1970, she received her Attestation d’Etudes: Perfectionnement en Religion from the University of Sherbrooke. Sister Eveline attended the EXODUS program in St. Louis Missouri, during a sabbatical period in 1988.

As well as her academic training, Sister Eveline holds her permanent teaching certificates for French and English. She taught from 1939 to 1979 in separate schools in Ontario, in London, Windsor, Belle River and Sarnia, and held positions as principal as well during this time. From 1969 to 1973, she served as the religion consultant for the Roman Catholic Separate School Board in Windsor, Ontario. From 1979 to 1982 Sister Eveline worked in the field of adult faith education as a catechist in the Stratford Deanery, followed by pastoral ministry at St. Andrew’s Parish in London from 1982 to 1988. Sister Eveline served as a volunteer in various capacities, including as a hospital visitor and ministering to the poor.

Flynn, Cathleen
Person · May 1, 1933-February 13, 2020

Cathleen Flynn was born in London, Ontario on May 1, 1933. She entered the congregation on July 1, 1951, and received her habit on January 3, 1952. She made her final vows on January 3, 1957. Her religious name was Sister Mary Brendan. She was the daughter of Timothy Flynn and Mary McNally both of Ireland. Cathleen attended St. Mary's Elementary School, St. Angela's College, and Catholic Central High School in London, ON.

While in the novitiate, Sister Mary Brendan completed her teacher training at London Teachers' College in 1955. She then earned her BA at Assumption University in Windsor, ON, followed by her MA at Manhattanville College in New York, NY in 1967. She completed her STM in (Masters in Sacred Theology) at Regis College in Toronto in 1983, and her PhD in Ministry, also at Regis College in 1990.

From 1955-1961, Sister Mary Brendan was a teacher and principal in Windsor. She returned to London and taught at the same high school she had attended in her youth, from 1961-1963. She then served as Mistress of Novices at Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse in London from 1964-1971. As a member of the Commission of Religious, Sister Mary Brendan made a significant contribution to Synod II of the Diocese of London in 1969. She was then elected General Superior, a position she held from 1971-1979. As Superior General, Mother Mary Brendan was a member of the boards of the community's hospitals in London, Chatham, and Sarnia. The varied works of the Sisters involved her in separate school education as well as the private Mount St. Joseph's Academy and St. Joseph's School of Music in London. She was also involved in health care, social work, pastoral care, the mission field in the NWT and in Peru, care of the aged, and retreat programs.

Sister Cathleen then worked as the Assistant Director of Continuing Education at Regis College in Toronto from 1983-1986. While a student in the Doctor of Ministry Program at Regis College, she worked as the Director of Continuing Education from 1986-1990, and upon graduation, continued in this role until 2000. She then became the Director of the Master of Arts Degree program at Regis College in 2000, and then the Vice President of Regis College from 2001-2002. She served on the Board of Governors at Regis College from 2000-2005. Sister Cathleen also served on the Faculty Council, Academic Council, and Dean's Council at Regis College in 1996, on the Appointment and Rank Committee in 1998, as Vice Chair of the Academic Council in 2003, and was appointed Professor Emerita from 2007-2008. Sister Cathleen died on February 13, 2020.

Ferris, Margaret
Person · May 25, 1931-November 12, 2017

Born Mary Margaret Ferris in London in 1931, Sister Margaret Ferris is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, who spent much of her life furthering her education and ministry. In particular, she was a reformer and innovator of prayer, community involvement, and spiritual direction at the Congregation. She also published a book titled Compassioning: Basic Counselling Skills for Christian Caregivers in 1993, and various articles pertaining to spiritual direction and community living and involvement.

Sister Margaret Ferris was involved in her local parish at an early age and was especially encouraged in her faith by her grandmother, who lived with the Ferris family. At a young age she began to consider entering religious life. She completed upper school at St. Angela’s College in 1950 and was a member of the first class to ever graduate from Catholic Central High School in 1951. At age 22, after working as a legal secretary, she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. After the completion of her novitiate, she attended the University of Western Ontario where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959, and Master’s degree in Education in 1977. In 1959, she began her teaching career as a high school teacher.

She continued to advance in her career in the 1960s. She became vice-principal of St. Patrick’s High School in Sarnia in 1963, and then principal of Mount St. Joseph Academy in 1966. During the 1960s, she continued to further her own education. She studied during the summer months at the University of Notre Dame. There she received a Master’s degree in Science in 1968. She also became a leader of spiritual renewal at the Congregation, which resulted in a strengthening of her own prayer life.

In 1972, she resigned as principal of Mount St. Joseph Academy, and with three other Sisters, established Internos, a home for troubled teenage girls, who experienced family difficulties or substance abuse. Her ministry evolved as she became exposed to and involved in family and community life. In 1977, she became Director of the Congregation’s Medaille Retreat House. During this time, she was also completing her Master’s degree in Counselling at the University of Western Ontario part-time. During this time, she continued to broaden her experience and understanding of spiritual direction and contemplative spirituality.

In 1978, she was elected to the Congregation’s General Council while still maintaining her position at the Retreat House where she worked alongside individuals of other Christian denominations. In 1984, she studied for a year at the Institute for Creation-Centred Spirituality in California where she obtained a Master’s degree in Spirituality and Culture. She marks this as the richest experience of community in her life, which strengthened and broadened her own spiritual understanding and life.

When she returned to London in 1985, she was asked to join St. Peter’s Seminary as a faculty member in the positions of teacher, counsellor, and Formation Director for Lay Ministry. She was the first woman professor to work full-time at St. Peter’s Seminary. This was another fulfilling experience for Sister Margaret Ferris as she was able to influence the development of the Church and to empower the laity. She held this position for over ten years. In 1992 she obtained her Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction at the Graduate Theological Foundation, and in 2007 she received an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from the same institution.

Sister Margaret Ferris also dedicated a portion of her life to travelling. From 1959-1963, she made various trips around Ontario and northern U.S.A. In 1981, she travelled to Peru and Florida. In 1990, she and other Sisters visited Rome where she also met Pope John Paul II and received a rosary from him. In 2003, she made a pilgrimage to Le Puy, France, from where the Sisters of St. Joseph originally came. In 2004, she was honoured as one of the seven Golden Jubilarians in the Congregation. She died in 2017.

Dunn, Constance
Person · 1877-June 16, 1956

Adelaide Teresa Dunn was born the youngest daughter of William Dunn and Bridgid O’Boyle in Toronto, Ontario in 1877. Her sister Mary Ellen became a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and was given the religious name Sister Norberta. Adelaide entered the congregation and was received into the community on August 21, 1906, at Mount St. Joseph and was given the religious name, Sister Constance. On August 28, 1908, she professed her vows in the Chapel of St. Anne at Mount St. Joseph, London, received her habit at the Sisters of St. Joseph of London August 21, 1906, and was given the religious name Sister Constance. She professed her vows on August 28, 1908.

Sister Constance was trained as a teacher and received several degrees before she entered the Community. After becoming a member of the London community, she taught in various schools in London Diocese. She was also named Superior in the convents where she lived, in Seaforth, Sarnia and Windsor and at Sacred Heart Convent in London in 1947. From 1935 until 1947 Sister Constance served as the community’s sixth General Superior. During her term of office Sister Constance opened missions in Delhi, Simcoe, Tillsonburg and Langton. She encouraged the formation of the School of Christ radio broadcast from the Chapel of Sacred Heart Convent in 1939 in London which was initiated by Rev. W. Flannery of the London Diocese. After her term as General Superior she was named Superior at Mount St. Joseph Orphanage. She died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London on June 16, 1956.

Coughlin, Margaret
Person · December 30, 1887-December 2, 1980

Josephine Hildegarde Coughlin was born in Mount Camel, Ontario on December 30, 1887 to Bartholomew Coughlin and Johanna Curtin. One of her sisters, Nora (1884-1957), also joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of London and took on the religious name Sister St. Francis. Josephine entered the congregation and received her habit on June 24, 1909. She was given the religious name Sister Margaret and professed her vows on September 16, 1911, in the Chapel of St. Anne at Mount St. Joseph, London, Ontario. After completing senior high school, she attended Ottawa Normal School and graduated in 1913. She then taught in St. Thomas, London, and Woodstock and was appointed the community’s Supervisor of Schools, a position she held for 11 years. In 1945, Sister Margaret transferred to St. Patrick’s High School in Sarnia where she took charge of building an expansion of the original school.

In 1947 she was elected as General Superior. During Mother Margaret’s term as General Superior a great many projects were initiated. Among them were St. Joseph’s House of Studies, which opened for Sisters in studies at London’s University of Western Ontario; property at 353 and 534 Queens Avenue was purchased as a residence for Sisters; Sisters were missioned to housekeeping duties at the Holy Family Retreat House which the Diocese opened in Oxley, on Lake Erie; St. Mary’s Hospital building project was completed and opened in 1951; Catholic Central High School was opened and a private school at Sacred Heart Convent began; a summer home was purchased in Kingsville for the Sisters; a new mission for Sisters in Yellowknife, NT was established; Holy Rosary Convent in Windsor was purchased to replace the overcrowded Cadillac Street convent; two Sisters went to Ireland to seek new candidates; an aspirancy was opened to train young women interested in becoming Sisters; St. Joseph’s House of Studies was opened in Windsor; new Constitutions were approved and sod was turned for a new Motherhouse at Mount St. Joseph.

Under Mother Margaret Coughlin, the “Ireland project” was initiated and Sisters were sent to Ireland in the hopes of recruiting young women interested in joining the congregation. The Superiors’ Institute was initiated in 1958 along with a tertianship program for Sisters, and held at Holy Rosary Convent in the summer with Rev. Embser, C. S. B, assisted by Sister Mary Angela Flaherty. In 1950, Mother Margaret and Sister Placidia Walsh went on a Holy Year pilgrimage to Rome, Italy, and visited the Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy and Lyon, France, to celebrate the Sisters of St. Joseph’s tercentenary. During her trip to Rome, she consulted with Monsignor Elio Gambari concerning papal approbation of the congregation’s rule, and as a result the Constitutions received Pontifical Approbation on July 11, 1953.

Mother Margaret Coughlin was deeply involved in the designing of the chapel of the new Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. It was she who insisted the windows from the old chapel should be incorporated into the new one. In designing the Chapel, her love of the Eucharist shone through as she worked with the architect and artisans to produce a masterpiece of artistry from the wrought iron grill, the pews and sanctuary furnishings which all bore hand-carved grapes and wheat design, symbolic of the Eucharist. The formal opening of the new Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse on June 20, 1954, presented to the people of London a building with heraldic towers and a beautiful chapel with stained glass windows personally chosen by her in consultation with the artist, Guido Polloni, of Florence, Italy.

The Superiors’ Institute was initiated in 1958 along with a tertianship program for Sisters, held at Holy Rosary Convent in the summer with Rev. Embser, C.S.B., assisted by Sister Mary Angela Flaherty. When Sister Julia Moore was elected General Superior in 1962, Mother Margaret remained as an elected Council member. She encouraged the opening of the first foreign mission in Cayalti, Chiclayo Diocese in Peru. A new regional house, St. Joseph’s Convent, was opened in Edmonton, AB. She helped to plan for Ignatia Hall - a home for the senior Sisters and the sick, which was completed in 1969. It was she who suggested that Ignatia Hall be so named since Mother Ignatia must not be forgotten. Mother Margaret died on December 2, 1980.

CA-ON · Corporate body · 1868-2012

The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London, in Ontario was first incorporated on February 15, 1891 under chapter 92 of the Statutes of Ontario, 1870-1. London, Ontario is on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron Peoples.

On December 11, 1868, at the request of Bishop John Walsh, five Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto arrived in London, Ontario. Mother Teresa Brennan, Sister Ignatia Campbell, Sister Ursula McGuire, Sister Francis O’Malley and Sister Appolonia Nolan were accompanied by Reverend Mother Antoinette McDonald and were welcomed by Bishop Walsh, Rev. J.M. Bruyere, V.G., and Rev. P. Egan, pastor of St. Peter’s Church. Awaiting the Sisters were sleighs that transported them from the train station to a temporary home at 170 Kent Street.

In accordance with their mission in London, three Sisters began teaching at St. Peter’s School in January, 1869. After classes, they visited the sick, the poor and the imprisoned. They were also mandated to open an orphanage in the future. In order to accomplish these tasks, more Sisters and larger facilities were necessary.

On October 2, 1869, the Barker House at the corner of Richmond and College Street in North London was purchased and the Sisters moved there from Kent Street. The building was named Mount Hope, and it became the first Motherhouse of the Sisters, eventually housing the elderly, orphans, Sisters and novices.

On December 18, 1870, the Sisters of St. Joseph became an autonomous congregation in the London diocese, independent of the Toronto congregation. Sister Ignatia Campbell was appointed Superior General, an office she held until 1902. On February 15, 1871, the congregation became legally incorporated.

On October 7, 1877, an addition was made to Mount Hope. This building stood until it was demolished on August 3, 1980, surrounded by the growing healthcare institutions founded by the Sisters, beginning with St. Joseph’s Hospital which opened at 268 Grosvenor Street on October 15, 1888, and followed by the opening of St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1895, and the construction of a new nursing school building in 1927, which saw its last graduation in 1977. On May 1, 1951, St. Mary’s Hospital was opened, followed by Marian Villa on January 12, 1966. In 1985, the hospital complex was renamed St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and ownership was transferred in 1993 to St. Joseph’s Health Care Society.

But it was not only in London that Sisters saw the need for healthcare and nursing education. On October 15, 1890, they opened St. Joseph’s Hospital on Centre Street in Chatham, Ontario, which remained under their control until 1993. In 1895, they opened St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, which saw its last graduation in 1970. On October 18, 1946, they opened St. Jospeh’s Hospital at 290 North Russell Street in Sarnia which remained under their control until 1993. In Alberta, they administered St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stettler (1926), St. Joseph’s Hospital in Galahad (1927), the General Hospital in Killam (1930), and St. Paul’s Hospital in Rimbey (1932).

On April 10, 1899, the Sisters opened Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse, Novitiate and Orphanage at the former Hellmuth College at 1486 Richmond Street North in London. The orphans were moved to this new location from Mount Hope, which remained a home for the elderly and was renamed House of Providence on June 3, 1899. The orphanage remained at Mount St. Joseph until it was moved to Fontbonne Hall in 1953 (to 1967). The original Hellmuth College building was demolished in 1976.

Later, on September 14, 1914, the Motherhouse and Novitiate moved to Sacred Heart Convent at Colborne and Dundas Streets in London, with the orphans remaining at Mount St. Joseph. The Sisters lived at Sacred Heart Convent until 1953, when they moved back to the newly built Mount St. Joseph, on the original location of the former Hellmuth College. The new Motherhouse and Novitiate was officially opened on June 29, 1954. It was here that they continued a private girls’ school which had begun in 1950 at Sacred Heart Convent, and was now known as Mount St. Joseph Academy (to 1985). It was here too that they continued a music school which had also begun at Sacred Heart Convent and was now called St. Joseph’s School of Music (to 1982). The Médaille Retreat Centre began here in 1992, and the Sisters also administered a Guest Wing for relatives of hospitalized patients (to 2005). The Sisters departed Mount St. Joseph for their new residence, a green building at 485 Windermere Road in London, in 2007.

On September 4, 1873, St. Joseph’s Convent opened at 131 North Street in Goderich, Ontario, followed by other convents in Ontario, including Ingersoll (1879), St. Thomas (1879), Belle River (1889), Windsor (1894), Sarnia (1906), Kingsbridge (1911), Seaforth (1913), St. Mary’s (1913), Woodstock (1913), Kinkora (1916), Paincourt (1923), Maidstone (1930), Leamington (1932), Delhi (1938), Tillsonburg (1938), Simcoe (1938), Langton (1939), West Lorne (1957), and Zurich (1963)

The Sisters also opened missions in other parts of Canada, including in Alberta: Edmonton (1922), Wetaskiwin (1929), St. Bride’s (1934); and in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Yellowknife (1953), and in British Columbia in Haney, now Maple Ridge (1956), and Rutland (1970). Branching even further afield, Convento San Jose was opened in Chiclayo, Peru in 1962.

Over the years, as well as their service as teachers in the separate school system, as music teachers, as healthcare workers, as nursing educators, in providing care to orphans, and in providing parish ministry, pastoral care, and administering spiritual retreats, the Sisters were also involved in social service ministry. In Windsor, they opened the Roy J. Bondy Centre on September 13, 1970 which was a receiving home for the Children’s Aid Society, withdrawing in 1982 but continuing to provide residential care for disabled children afterward. In London, they opened Internos, a residence for teenage girls attending school and later for troubled teens (to 1979). This was followed by the opening of St. Joseph’s Detoxification Centre on September 13, 1973 (to 2005) and St. Stephen’s House, an alcoholic recovery centre on February 1, 1982 (to 2000). Loughlin House in London opened as a residence for ex-psychiatric female patients in 1986 (to 1989), followed by the Home for Women in Need at 534 Queens Avenue in 1979 (to 2004). Later, St. Josephs’ House for Refugees was opened in 1987 (to 2005), followed by St. Joseph’s Hospitality Centre, a food security program, on February 2, 1983.

On November 22, 2012, the congregation amalgamated with those in Hamilton, Peterborough, and Pembroke into one charitable corporation under the name Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Act, a Private Act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario which received Royal Assent on June 13, 2013.