Sister Delphine Brault was born in Acadie, Quebec, March 20th, 1839.
She joined the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph of Montreal June 5th, 1856. She made her vows September 18th, 1858. She worked at the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal as the administrator's assistant and was responsible for the orphans which prepared her for her functions in Tracadie, New Brunswick. She arrived in Tracadie with 5 others nuns September 29th, 1868. The lazaretto became her devotion for a quarter of a century. She would be: director of the sisters, hospital director, community secretary, the newcomers' mentor and mother superior from 1878 to 1881, and again from 1902 to 1909. A notable fact from her career was her near heroic devotion to the chicken pox victims in Pokemouche and Caraquet in 1874. Sister Brault returned to Montreal in 1886. She returned to Tracadie as mother superior in 1902 and remained until 1909.
She died at the age of 79, October 22nd, 1918.
Lepers at the lazaretto of Tracadie
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
Sister Clemence Bonin, 1816-1884
Sister Clémence Bonin was born near Montreal in 1836. She presented herself to the Hôtel-Dieu and was admitted as a lay sister at the age of 26.
She was chosen in 1868 to go help the founding sisters in Tracadie with the establishment of the convent where she would live for 7 years.
She shared with fervour and courage the hardships, the fatigue and the hard labours that are inherent in the foundation of a new community. She would have wanted to better the fate of the lepers countless times.
She was then designated to accompany an ill sister back to their community in Montreal in February 1876. Sister Bonin felt a profound sacrifice that she believed herself unable to bear. She said that it was as if:"she was being separated from her treasure". Her treasure being her community that she called : "her dear Nazareth".
In Tracadie she was a patients' aid and was responsible of the laundry and housework for the lepers. She was also in charge of making the candles and "altar" bread.
Her health was precarious. She gave of herself for a few more years before dying July 10th, 1884.
Sister Eulalie Quesnel
Sister Eulalie Quesnel was born in Arthabaska in the area of Bois Francs in the province of Quebec, Canada. She joined the Religious Hospilallers of Saint Joseph at the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal in 1846 and made her vows in 1848. She accompanied mother Pagé during her first visit to the lazaretto in Tracadie with Mgr. Rogers. It was at that time that the sick and the people called for the nuns naming them:"holy sisters".
Sister Quesnel was co-founder of the mission in Tracadie, New Brunswick in 1868. She would accept the office of mother superior in St. Basile, in Madaswaska, New Brunswick from 1874 to 1880. This was one year after its foundation which was still unstable, poor and in a very precarious state. She would then return to Arthabaska for a third foundation from 1884 to 1888. She would become assistant to mother Pagé. As with the other foundations, the difficulties and the trials were numerous. She lived in an exemplary fashion and leaves us with the memory of a life of faithfulness and of great love that characterized it.
She would return to Montreal November 19th, 1888. She passed away March 4th, 1903 at the age of 75. 57 years of which were spent in religious service.
Sister Philomène Fournier, 1840-1895
Sister Philomène , known as sister Lumina was born in Saint Anselme, Quebec April 6th , 1840. She asked to join the monastery at the age of 19. She wished to serve as a "lay sister". She made her vows June 22nd, 1862. She was chosen as one of the six founding nuns for the mission in Tracadie in 1868.
She kept as a motto this saying from Jesus:" I have come to serve, not to be served".
We read in her necrology that: "Amongst her sacrifices, one should be noted, that of leaving the community with the founders of our house in Tracadie where she shared poverty and fatigue. She made available her talents for manual work given to her by God with heroic charity.
Everywhere she was seen, she was constantly joining prayer and action".
She was a cook and worked in the laundry in Tracadie. We read in the community's Chronicles:"The kitchen and refectory floors were almost constantly covered in frost...it was so cold that sister Lumina often saw herself forced to put hot ashes in her clogs to do her work".
After spending 9 years in Tracadie, she returned to Montreal with S.M.
Reid May 28th, 1877. She died at their Montreal headquarters May 22nd, 1895.
Doctor Joseph Charles Taché, Deputy Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Federal Government
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Joseph Charles Taché, 1820-1894
Doctor, politician, journalist, public servant and writer, Joseph Charles Taché, son of Charles Taché, trader, and Louise Henriette de Labroquerie was born December 24th, 1820 in the parish of St. Louis in Kamouraska, Lower Canada. He married Françoise Lepage July 1st, 1847 in Rimouski. They had 6 children. He was elected, without opposition, deputy of Rimouski in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada on January 24th, 1848 at the age of 27.
He retired as a deputy in December of 1856. Taché had been chosen shortly before to lead a new daily newspaper:the "Courrier du Canada". Taché's employment at the paper ends in October 1859. He took on a few days later the function of inspector of Canada's asylums and prisons. He was then named in August 1864, as deputy minister of Agriculture and Statistics , an important department that also included public health. This would be his last and his longest career as a high ranking civil servant for 24 years. His most remarkable achievement during this period was the census of 1871 for which he determined its content, form and procedure.
He conceived the desire to study leprosy. He wrote to Mr A. K.
McDougall, Provincial Secretary for the government of Fredericton in 1872. Taché expressed his desire to receive authorization to access Tracadie's lazaretto and its archives. From that part, he never stopped working to better the state of the lepers. Taché judged necessary and urgent to have the lazaretto's jurisdiction transferred over to the federal government since it was under provincial jurisdiction. He worked diligently on this project and succeeded November 25th, 1880.
He lent the nuns the support of his influence and the community always held him amongst its main benefactors and best protectors.
Sisters and lepers
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
Sisters Marie Pitre and Marguerite Maillet caring for the sick and two young leper girls.
The Religious Hospitallers of Tracadie in 1893
The Religious Hospitallers of Tracadie in circa 1893 in the garden of the community, near the fence of the lazaretto
Here are the names of the nuns, in the garden of the community:
From left to right, 1st row:
Sisters Amanda Sormany, Landry, Vautour, Otar de la Grange(beginner), Miss Vautour(associate), Blanchard(candidate), and Octavie(lay sister),
sisters Marie Bariault, Elisabeth Landry, Louise Légère, LeRoyer(from Arthabaska), Saint Jean de Goto,(superior), Doucet, Maillet, H. Robichaud, Marguerite Marie, Marie des Anges and Hedwidge.
The Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph
Tracadie, New Brunswick, Canada
The Religious Hospitallers of Tracadie circa 1899. The majority of the sisters were Acadians from the diocese.
From left to right: 1st row:
Sisters Haché, Marie Anne, Michaud.
Miss Vautour(associate), sisters Octavie(lay sister) and Elisabeth.
Sisters Hedwidge, Marie and Marguerite Marie
Sisters Sainte-Elisabeth, Marie des Anges and Marthe.
Sisters LaDauversière, Pitre and St. Joseph.
Sisters Pagé and Losier.
Sisters Landry, Robichaud, Daigle, Sormany, Vautour, Doucet(superior), St. Jean de Goto, Maillet and Légère.