Series F01-S099 - Amalgamation Process series

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Amalgamation Process series

General material designation

  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the series.

Level of description

Series

Reference code

CA ON00279 F01-S099

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1996-2013 (Creation)
    Creator
    Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada (London, Ont.)

Physical description area

Physical description

18.5 cm of textual records
1 photograph album ; 18 x 16.5 x 5 cm

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1868-2012)

Administrative history

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.

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This series contains records relevant to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the diocese of London’s amalgamation with the Hamilton, Pembroke, and Peterborough congregations to become the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. The records are from before, during, and just after the amalgamation. While material concerns all four of the congregations and the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada, it was created by and primarily concerns the London Sisters.

The Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada was heavily involved in driving the amalgamation. In 1996 a video was shown to the London Sisters to bring awareness of the prospects of the religious communities and proposed uniting as one congregation. The London Sisters individually wrote reflections on this video. From 2007 to 2009 the Federation operated the Oneness Project which focused on interconnectedness and unity amongst the Sisters of St. Joseph and assessed four potential options of collaboration, one of which was amalgamation. This project resulted in newsletters, presentation slides, and the “Wisdom Gathering” report prepared by Sister Veronica O’Reilly. There is feedback from the London Sisters to the Oneness Project and the options presented at the 2009 Assembly.

Many of the records involved preparation for the amalgamation and the legal, organizational, and financial concerns related to the amalgamation. Other congregations of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States had undergone similar union of congregations. A booklet, timelines of their process, and minutes from meetings with these American Sisters were amassed by the Canadian Sisters in preparation for their own amalgamation.

Many committees and teams were formed and involved with preparing for and facilitating the transition, creating new goals and organizational structures for the amalgamated congregation, and communicating the process to the Sisters. Prayer pamphlets, minutes, and agendas from meetings as well as correspondence, newsletters, and reports from these teams and committees are present in this series. Those prominently featured are the Core and Local Futuring Teams, the Transitional Team, the Design Team, Chapter Planning Committee, Materials Resource Committee, Lay Advisory Committee, Website Committee, and the General Council. Select major topics include by-laws, insurance, finances, internal organizational structure, future planning, canonical and civil law requirements, and the creation of a website for the amalgamated congregation. There is also preparation for, and reports from, various Chapters and the Assembly where amalgamation and other options proposed by the Federation were discussed and voted on.

Another report included is “Evolving Design” which was created as part of the amalgamation process to outline the goals, governance, and process of the amalgamated congregation. There are several versions of this document from its creation process. It is based on the Sisters’ feedback on the congregation’s collective vocation and outlines the charism, the leadership structure, the role of the General Chapter, and contains a transitional constitution for the Sisters. It also outlines the duties of the Transitional Team.

There were many legal and financial issues which had to be addressed during the amalgamation. Forms, agreements, by-laws, acts, and correspondence with the Holy See, the Canadian government, solicitors, and Father Francis G. Morrisey about canonical and civil legal requirements for the amalgamation are present in this series. Some by-laws are internal and concern the operations and structures of the amalgamated congregation. Financial records, including budgets and arrangements for transfer of assets, for both the individual and amalgamated congregation are also included. There are also various iterations of guiding principles for the transition process and the amalgamated congregation.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of London had their final, binding vote on amalgamation at the Special Chapter in November of 2011 and there is an album of photographs documenting the event. The formal installation of leadership of the amalgamated congregation was held in 2013, and there is an invitation and brochure from the event. There are also correspondence and statements concerning press releases about the amalgamation.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

These records were accumulated by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada (London, Ont.).

Arrangement

Original order was maintained.

Language of material

    Script of material

      Location of originals

      The records are located at the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Archives.

      Availability of other formats

      Restrictions on access

      F01-S099-01-06, F01-S099-01-08, F01-S099-04-04, and F01-S099-04-09 are restricted to public access because these files contain correspondence with barristers, solicitors, and trademark agents. F01-S099-01-14 is restricted to public access because it has Sisters’ personal responses to major operational decisions. F01-S099-04-02 and F01-S099-04-10 are restricted to public access because these files contain financial records.
      The Archives reserves the right to restrict access to the collection depending on the condition of the archival material, the amount of material requested, and the purpose of the research. The use of certain materials may also be restricted for reasons of privacy or sensitivity, or under a donor agreement. Access restrictions will be applied equally to all researchers and reviewed periodically. No researcher will be given access to any materials that contain a personal information bank such as donor agreements or personnel records, or to other proprietary information such as appraisals, insurance valuations, or condition reports.

      Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

      Permission to study archival records does not extend to publication or display rights. The researcher must request this permission in writing from the Archives.

      Finding aids

      Series and file list available.

      Generated finding aid

      Associated materials

      Related materials

      Accruals

      No further accruals are expected.

      General note

      The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Ontario was part of the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada which encompassed the congregations in Ontario. The other congregations in the Federation were in Hamilton, Pembroke, Peterborough, Toronto, and Sault Ste. Marie. In the 1990s, the Federation began considering consolidating these congregations due to declining numbers and aging membership. A video was shown to the London congregation in 1996 about this issue which proposed the members of the Federation united as one congregation. Uniting was addressed again during the Oneness Project which, from 2007 to 2009, asked the Sisters within the Federation to consider an expanded federation, to enter a covenantal partnership, to form one governing council, or to amalgamate into one new congregation. Sister Veronica O’Reilly, representing the Federation, connected with each individual congregation to gain insight into the Sisters’ perspectives and to propose four options for collaboration. Sister Veronica collected the Sisters’ reflections and summarized the results in the “Wisdom Gathering” report. The London Sisters discussed amalgamation at the 2009 Assembly – Assemblies are biennial meetings of the congregation to make or evaluate new decisions – and the Federation asked the Sisters to vote in a referendum in September 2009. The Sisters in Hamilton, London, Pembroke, and Peterborough gave strong indications of pursuing amalgamation further, and based on the results the Toronto Sisters agreed to consider it further.

      Sister Pat Kozack and the Core Futuring Team took on the task of assisting the congregations in exploring this option. The Core Futuring Team consisted of one member of the Leadership Team and one member-at-large from each of the congregations and coordinated with Local Futuring Teams at each congregation. Sister Pat and the Futuring Teams engaged in dialogue with the Sisters to get their input and concerns about the process and goals of the amalgamated congregation. Several other teams and committees were formed throughout the process to ease the transition. The various committees shared their findings and progress with the Sisters in newsletters. A document called “Evolving Design” was created to define the changes to congregational leadership, collective goals and charism of the amalgamated congregation, and the role of the General Chapter – Chapters are quadrennial meetings of the congregation to make formal decisions. At the June 2011 Assembly, members from the five congregations provided further input into “Evolving Design.”

      In September 2011, each of the congregations offered their Sisters an opportunity to participate in a non-binding vote on amalgamation. Hamilton, London, Pembroke, and Peterborough were in favor. In November 2011, each of the four congregations invoked a Special Chapter to make the binding decision at which each Sister was informed of her canonical options by the Congregational Leader and signed a personal statement of intent. All four congregations were in favor of amalgamation.

      Solicitors and Father Francis Morrisey, a canon lawyer, were consulted about issues of civil and canonical law which would need to be addressed in the amalgamation. The congregations had to establish the civil body of the new congregation and petition the Holy See for an Indult of Union. The Sisters also had to determine the place and diocese of the principal seat of the amalgamated congregation, which was determined to be the diocese of Peterborough. The new amalgamated congregation was named the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. The first General Chapter was held November 18 to 23, 2012, with the Amalgamation Agreement being signed on the 20th. The Decree of Approval for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada was issued on November 22, 2012, which was also the celebration of the feast of Mother St. John Fontbonne, foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph, on the anniversary of her death. The installation of the Leadership Circle was held in Peterborough on March 19, 2013. The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Act received Royal Assent on June 13, 2013, finalizing the amalgamation of the Sisters in Hamilton, London, Peterborough, and Pembroke into one charitable corporation.

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Standard number

      Standard number

      Access points

      Place access points

      Genre access points

      Control area

      Description record identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules or conventions

      Status

      Final

      Level of detail

      Partial

      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      January 12, 2024

      Language of description

        Script of description

          Sources

          “Timeline,” Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Consolidated Archives, https://csjarchive.org/about/timeline/, accessed January 11, 2024.

          Accession area