The Grey Nuns

The Grey Nuns and the Hotel-Dieu

The community of the grey Nuns arrived in Nicolet on August 17, 1886 in the morning, Sister Youville (Aurélie Crépeau), Sister of the Sacred Heart (Octavie Beaulieu), Sister St-Eusèbe (Zéphirine Brodeur) and Sister Saint John of God (Hermine Bédard) of the Sisters of Charity in Saint-Hyacinthe (independent religious community established by the Grey Nuns of Montreal in 1840) leave the cradle of their religious life to found a house of charity in Nicolet.

Until the construction of the Hotel-Dieu was completed, the community opened a novitiate and organized home visits. On September 7, 1886 the sisters entered Hotel-Dieu. The hospital was ready to receive its first ill persons in 1889. Year by year, the list of many ill persons, disabled persons, destitute of all ages and all categories was getting longer. The building became too small and the sisters thought of building what will be called the Orphelinat-Hôpital du Christ-Roi because of the growing demand. Photo credit: BAnQ

Burning of the Hotel-Dieu

On December 31st, 1955, a pyromaniac set fire to the Hotel-Dieu, which had become a residence for the elderly and the disabled. However, since the scree of the previous November 12, the building was uninhabited. That fire reduced 69 years of work carried out by the Grey Nuns. Photo credit: OTNY

New Provincial house of the Grey Nuns

After the fire that burned the Hotel-Dieu to ashes, a new construction saw the light of day two years later. In 1960, it became the new provincial house of the Grey Nuns of Montreal. Afterwards, from 1964 to these days, it beared the name of Foyer de Nicolet until it was completely demolished in 2015. Photo credit: Unknown source

Demolition of the former Foyer de Nicolet

After the demolitions of wings A and B and part of wing C in the 2000s to enlarge the parking of the École nationale de police du Québec, it was the rest of the building that disappeared in Fall 2015. Indeed, the ENPQ no longer needed the place after the construction of a new training lodge. Photo credit: Lacroix, S.

Site of the former Foyer de Nicolet

The demolition of the former Foyer de Nicolet provided a better picture of the EPNQ’s facade, once the Seminary of Nicolet’s facade, and also improved the look of the western entrance of the city of Nicolet. Photo credit: Lacroix, S.

The Grey Nuns and the former Trigge mansion

On November 3rd, 1919, the community of the Grey Nuns acquired the former Trigge mansion, property of 130 acres near the St-Joseph smallholding and belonging to Mr Ovide Proulx, to build an orphanage. A bold project that however proved to be essential due to the great number of orphans that the Spanish Influenza epidemic caused in the diocese. Ten more years passed before the project took shape. It was in the early 1930s that the negotiations began with the government. A voluminous correspondence revealed that a new plan was added to the orphanage one: the construction of a small hospital of 30 to 50 beds. There were none in the area since the heroic period continued where doctors rescued nascent human lives, treated the illnesses and faced epidemics at home with poor means. The Honorable Athanase David gave what he kindly promised, officially confirmed by the ministrial decree on March 28, 1931. From then on, the project came true. The time was near when the ruins of the old Trigge mansion would give way to a massive construction: the Orphelinat-Hôpital du Christ-Roy that opened in 1932. Photo credit: ANC

The Orphelinat-Hôpital du Christ-Roi

The end of the Orphelinat-Hôpital

On April 3rd, 1973, the state took charge of the management of the hospital, which put an end to 40 years of intense presence of the Grey Nuns at the Hôpital du Christ-Roi.
Nowadays, the establishment is called the Centre Christ-Roi and is part of the Centre intégré universitaire de la santé et des services sociaux de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec (CIUSSS MCQ). The network’s reason for being remains to improve the population’s health and well-being. Photo credit: Gervais, F.

Extract of
Religious Heritage Tour in Nicolet

Religious Heritage Tour in Nicolet image circuit

Presented by : MRC Nicolet-Yamaska

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