This year marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Sisters of St. Joseph community in Pembroke, Ontario. The Sisters departed their second Motherhouse in Pembroke in 2019, after faithfully serving Pembroke and the nearby rural communities for one hundred years. During their time in the Ottawa Valley, the Sisters served as music teachers, elementary and secondary school educators, and healthcare workers. They administered St. Francis Hospital in Barry’s Bay for many years. They established a Normal School, later St. Mary’s Teachers’ College, in Chapeau, Québec. They also branched out from Pembroke and administered hospitals and long-term care facilities in Barrhead, Alberta and Radville and Regina, Saskatchewan. They established a mission in Chincha Alta, Peru serving as nurses and educators. While the Sisters no longer live in the Motherhouse in Pembroke, they are still actively involved in serving the “dear neighbor” where ever they still reside – whether in Pembroke, Barry’s Bay, Ottawa, or Peru.
We are happy to launch the new website for our consolidated archives on the eve of St. Joseph’s Day in the Year of St. Joseph. We hope you will keep checking back as we add new content each month!
St. Joseph is our patron saint. St. Joseph was by birth of the royal family of David, but lived as a carpenter. He found Mary pregnant when he married her, and planned to quietly divorce her. However, an angel told him the child was the son of God and conceived by the Holy Spirit, so he took her as his wife. After the visit of the Magi, an angel warned him of violence against the child Jesus by King Herod, and so the family fled to Egypt, returning to Nazareth only after Herod’s death. Along with Mary, he searched for Jesus in Jerusalem and found him in the temple. Joseph died before the crucifixion and his feast is celebrated on March 19, the traditional day of his death. St. Joseph is the patron saint of the universal church, workers, social justice, and of Canada.