Catholic Health Association of Manitoba

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A historical resource of over 500 digital history books, booklets and some videos chronicling Catholic hospitals and schools of nursing in Canada spanning every province and territory and founded by over 50 congregations of Women Religious and two congregations of Men Religious.

To set out to create a “master list” of all the Catholic hospitals that have ever existed in Canada is a daunting and humbling task. Yet for Greg Humbert after researching Catholic hospitals in Canada these past 19 years, he remains convinced that such a comprehensive list has historical relevance as a research tool for others.

This being said, there are more important reasons for creating such a master list of all the Catholic hospitals in Canada the overriding purpose is to demonstrate two things.

Firstly, to emphasize that the 54 congregations of Women Religious (and the four congregations of Men Religious) were not only pioneers of health care delivery and nursing education in Canada, but furthermore, their scope of service was national. In fact, they did not operate hospitals
only in large urban centres. On the contrary, they took particular care to provide service to often small and remote communities in under-serviced areas.

Secondly, they provided a style of compassionate and values-based health care that made its mark on health care delivery in Canada. Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, the Sisters exemplified a mission and level of service to those in need that has become the hallmark of the health care system today, enshrining and culminating into a humane
and communal approach to care outlined in the Canada Health Act.

From 1639 (when the Augustinian Sisters opened the first hospital in Quebec City) to modern times the Sisters undertook an indefatigable enterprise of outreach to the citizens of Canada. Regardless of the creed, social standing, or a person’s ability to pay they shaped the kind of health
care delivery that hospitals and Nursing Homes provide to this very day.

In short, these congregations of Women Religious and Men, who owned and operated hospitals in Canada, made a significant and lasting contribution to the health care that we all rely on, and are thankful for, today.

In 129 Catholic hospitals and long term care homes today they continue to provide compassionate and professional healthcare delivery throughout Canada.