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Quebec, Canada



Social Works

In 1850, St. Magdalen’s Refuge, the first ministry directed by Marie-Josephte Fitzbach, received women released from jail. Later, the fledgling community continued to respond to the needs of society concerning a particular clientele: women prisoners, orphans, women and teenage girls in difficulty, single mothers and their children.
In the early 1980s, the era of extensive social works and large schools seemed finished, but the mission of the sisters did not end there. They became involved in new ministries, some led by the Congregation, others in partnership with other religious communities and organizations offering help to persons who were lonely and/or in need. Today, the sisters offer assistance especially to women in need.


List of Social Works

Teaching and Pastoral Ministry

Education was added to the initial ministry. On January 7, 1851, Marie-Josephte Fitzbach opened two classes, one in French, the other in English.

Encouraged by Msgr. Charles-Félix Cazeau, chaplain at the Good Shepherd Mother House, many pastors in the countryside asked to have teaching sisters in their parishes. That is how, in 1860, a group of sisters left for Fraserville (Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec). The era of the “missions” had just begun.

The Congregation opened its first Teacher Training School in Chicoutimi in 1907 because teachers were very much needed in that region.

In the mid-1900s, three schools of Home Economics, acknowledged for their specialty programs, became homemaking institutions (Instituts familiaux) where young women were prepared for their future role as wives and mothers.

About 1950, pastors and school boards in the Abitibi Region, the Lac St-Jean Region and the city of Matane and surrounding areas in Quebec, and even in the Province of British Columbia, likewise asked the Congregation for teachers in elementary schools and high schools in their parishes. But in 1964, a newly-formed education department (ministère de l’Édication) changed the entire school system. The sisters continued to teach in elementary schools in villages and many helped with the pastoral ministry as resident priests left the parishes. Some sisters were mandated by the diocese as pastoral ministers. Others adapted to the new polyvalente high schools, the Cégeps junior colleges, and the universities, and served as principals, teachers, and pastoral leaders.

Far from extinguishing their lamp, the sisters today kindle many fires of faith education through parish ministries such as preparation for the sacraments, the Lambs of Jesus Movement, youth accompaniment, and faith reflection groups.

The teaching sisters have left elementary and high schools, but they continue their outreach to individuals and groups by teaching French and English to immigrants and giving Tai-Ji courses.

List of Schools

List of places of involvement in Pastoral Ministry

© Soeurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec, tous droits réservés / all rights reserved
Updated May 26, 2023.