George Manly Muir

Lawyer George Manly Muir (1807-1882), secretary to the Legislative Assembly, used to visit the Quebec City Jail. One day, when he invited a woman prisoner to turn her life around, she answered:

“What’s the use? Even if we tried to live a better life, we’d never make it. Once we’re in trouble, there’s no way out, and no one wants us around. When we get out of jail, there’s no place to go except back to our old haunts….”

That was all this generous man needed! With the participation of his fellow members in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Mr. Muir opened a shelter for women who, on leaving jail, expressed the wish to lead a Christian life. This was the shelter Marie-Josephte Fitzbach was called to direct, in response to Bishop Pierre-Flavien Turgeon’s invitation in December 1849.

The First Collaborators

Marie-Anne Angers

(Mother St. Vincent de Paul)
A young woman of strong character from a well-to-do family in Neuville, Quebec, she left everything to join Mrs. Roy at St. Magdalen’s Refuge on March 23, 1850.

Zoé Blais

(Mother St. Joseph)
Born in Berthier-sur-Mer, Quebec, she entered at St. Magdalen’s Refuge on April 15, 1850. An able seamstress, she was a valuable aide in the early days of the foundation.

Esther Ouimet

(Mother St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Originally from Beaumont, Quebec, she joined the group of Mrs. Roy’s collaborators on May 18, 1850. Likewise a valuable recruit, she had good experience in tailoring and other aspects of sewing.

Angèle Lacroix

(Mother St. Francis Xavier)
From St-Roch parish in Quebec City, she entered the Good Shepherd on September 16, 1850 and took on the general housekeeping with zest. Every spring, she went out making collections, the means of subsistence of the shelter.

Éléonore Thivierge

(Mother Mary of the Presentation)
Born in St-Jean parish, Île d’Orléans, Quebec, she offered her services to Mrs. Roy and joined the group on October 2, 1850. Well educated, she became the first teacher when the future community opened classes on January 7, 1851.


Marie-Anne Fiset

(Mother St. Charles Borromeo)
A native of Cap-Santé, Quebec, she was admitted to the Good Shepherd on November 21, 1850 and actively participated in the fledgling ministry.

© Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec, tous droits réservés / all rights reserved
Updated April 5, 2024.