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The Great Canadian
Catholic Hospital History Project

Documenting the legacy and contribution of the
Congregations of Religious Women in Canada,
their mission in health care, and the founding and operation of Catholic hospitals.


Catholic hospitals have played a vital
role as health care providers in Canada from the very beginnings of this country.
When Marie Guenet, Anne Cointre and Marie Forestier, three sisters of the Augustines Hospitalières, disembarked from their ship at the port of Ville de Québec on August 1,1639, they had with them a charter from Louis XVI with a mandate to care for the needs of the sick and disadvantaged in New France. From these humble beginnings, and often under harsh conditions, religious women and men from many religious congregations, along with lay people, have carried out this healing ministry for over four hundred years.

The Great Canadian Catholic Hospital History Project has the following goals:

  • To document the history of existing Catholic hospitals in Canada as well as all those hospitals that existed in the past.
  • To pay tribute to the people who have envisioned, built, administered and maintained these institutions.
  • To document the innovative programs initiated within Catholic hospitals in Canada.
  • To record the histories of Nursing and Nursing Assistant Schools that operated in conjunction with Catholic hospitals.
  • To explore the option of publishing an English and French book of the gathered material, and/or creating a CD-ROM version (dependent on financing).

sault general hospital


How can you participate?
Do you know of any historical materials concerning Catholic hospitals in Canada that you can contribute?

  • Information concerning the history and foundation of hospitals: anecdotes; documents; anniversary (souvenir) books, booklets, pamphlets; articles about the people who made it happen.
    also see the: Catholic Hospital Books/Booklets Digital Project

  • Photographs of hospital facilities (construction, through the ages, the caregivers in action).

  • Lists of Administrators, Presidents/CEOs, Board Chairs of the hospitals and the dates they served.

  • Information on Schools of Nursing/Nursing Assistants.

  • Innovative programs and “firsts” that occurred in Catholic hospitals.

  • A history of governance and sponsorship.

How to send materials

By Mail:

By E-Mail: Greg J. Humbert -

Our pledge to you


We will acknowledge all sources and return all materials that are specified for return.

We thank you sincerely for participating in the Great Canadian Catholic Hospital History Project.

(photo: Sr. Brigid Knopic, SOS, with patients at Our Lady's Hospital, Vilna, AB, 1964 - Sister of Service Archives)

Send all inquiries or information to:

The Great Canadian Catholic Hospital History Project
Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
Annex C, Saint-Vincent Hospital
60 Cambridge Street North
Ottawa ON K1R 7A5