The St-Joseph-du-lac agricultural orphanage was inaugurated in July 1907, and in 1910 it accommodated thirty children. Orphans received a Christian education which trained them for an agricultural profession, while the older children participated in clearing the land.
For a little more than 30 years, the Saint-François-Régis Brother-workers provided room and board to orphans aged 7 to 18 to train them for an agricultural or industrial future. The youngsters received a Christian education focused on the needs of each. Thus, four groups were trained according to the student’s grade level - from illiterate to very educated.
Days started at 5:30 a.m., and were punctuated by prayers in the classroom or in the chapel. Students were taught drawing skills that were essential in producing of maps and plans, as well as the operations associated with accounting and surveying. Added to this were core courses such as: mathematics, chemistry, botany, the rural economy and much more, not to forget: theater, singing, and music options.
They reviewed all agricultural techniques, from ploughing to manufacturing various materials, right through to preparing food such as: bread, wine, butter and cheese. All children also worked on the farm during school holidays.
The community was turned upside down as a result of the fire in the seminary in February 1926 which occurred when filling oil lamps. A new seminary was built, but the loss was great.