|Air Photo Study|
The Sisters of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus
|The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur
de Jésus) celebrated 100 years as an Ottawa East institution in 2002.
Angeliqué Le Sourd started the Order in Brittany,
France in 1816. There are no actual images of this woman and the painting
shown here is a representation of her in Brittany.
In 1902, at the request of the Oblate Fathers, five Sisters were sent to the Scholasticate to provide domestic service and that continued until 1969. A small convent was built just adjacent to the Scholasticate as seen in the photograph below. This original convent was lost to fire in 1913 and was replaced by the present structure in 1915.
By 1910 the Sisters had established their own convent at the present-day site on Oblate Ave. to receive novitiates for their Order. In 1911 the Sisters opened a boarding school that initially taught elementary levels and later secondary levels up to Grade 13. During the busiest years up to 200 students boarded at the school. The original name of the school was the "Pensionnat à Externat du Sacré-Coeur". Outside students came mainly from the Ottawa East area.
The training of novitiates for the Order initially took 2 years and that was later extended to three years. Many of the Sisters received teacher training at the University of Ottawa and taught in many of the schools throughout Ontario. The Sacred Heart Sisters taught at De Mazenod School on Main St. from 1938 to 1969.
|As the Sacred Heart Order grew, so did the building with wings
added to the original structure as the photographs of the convent below
demonstrate. Well into the 1940's the Sisters maintained a large vegetable
garden on the northwest portion of the property near Main St. as well as
a chicken coop that supplied food for convent. At one point they even had
a milk cow that regularly escaped the fence to prowl Ottawa East. A major
renovation and extension of the building took place in 1954 with the addition
of the back wing and the chapel. In addition the Order has living quarters
for many Sisters in the houses on Main St. between Oblate and Springhurst
By 1961 the Order had grown to a point where it regrouped forming two "religious provinces": the Province of Notre-Dame-du-Cap (Ontario) headquartered on Oblate Avenue; and the Province of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur in St. Hubert (Quebec). In that year there were 246 Sisters, 31 Novices, 25 students and 2 pensioners in the Ontario Province.
By 1995 the convent ceased to train new novitiates. Many Sisters continue
work outside of the convent in teaching
and nursing positions. Today 95 Sisters live at the convent with many
of the aged cared for in second floor infirmary that is staffed with nurses
24 hours a day. In addition the Order continues to maintain many missions
throughout the world that are supported in part by the many crafts that
are produced by the Sisters.
As with the Oblate Fathers, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart have played a major role in the churches and schools of the Ottawa East and continue to do so even today.
Different styles of habits worn over the years
|And finally, a glimpse of the evolution of the Sacred Heart
Convent as seen in some of the air photos that can be found in the Air
Photo Study found here. These images are cropped portions and are not
The first image (top left) from 1922 shows in sequence from left to right: Ste. Famille Church; Sacred Heart Convent (just behind and to the right) and the Scholasticate on the far right. That configuration should be the same with all the remaining photos unless somebody moved them!
1922 (H 5 1922 cropped)
1928 (A26 36 1928 cropped)
1931 (A3332 67 1931 cropped)
1938 (A6532 36 1938 cropped)
Yes I know, it's almost impossible to see
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