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Canada - Ursulines of Jesus Centennial

On September 28, 1911

Four Ursulines of Jesus arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at the request of Bishop Legal to take up residence and to teach in St. Edmund’s Parish. Father Boutin, FMI., who was teaching in a minor seminary in St. Albert told him about The Ursulines of Jesus in France.

The Sisters came and settled in a small place justnorth of Edmonton. It was a predominantly French-Canadian settlement, so it helped to have two French and two Irish Sisters for the first religious community. When they arrived, there were only fields of water and muddy paths, no roads. The winters were very severe and the snow deep.

Two days after the Sisters arrived they began teaching the children in the Pastor’s house; then when the numbers grew they moved to the Church and then to the Pool Hall across the street until some cottage schools were built in 1914 and a permanent brick school was erected in 1928. It remained until 1967 when the present larger building replaced it.

The Church also moved to three different locations over these 100 years. Over these 100 years the Sisters, Ursulines of Jesus, St. Edmund School and St. Edmund’s Parish were a close partnership sharing the mission of Christ.

On October 22 and 23, 2011

All three celebrated this beautiful milestone together. There was an “ open house” Saturday afternoon at St. Edmund School. Many former students returned to meet and rejoice together over refreshments, students’ band and presentations and displays around the hall.

On Sunday, October 23rd, there was a solemn Eucharist, presided by Archbishop J.N. MacNeill, followed by a delicious banquet and renewing acquaintance with many former Parishioners, students, friends and Ursulines of Jesus.

We thank our faithful God for so many blessings over 100 years. We truly ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’

Connie Piska, UdJ