Sisters of Providence

A female religious congregation founded in 1844 in Montréal by the widow Marie-Émilie Gamelin, née Tavernier, under the name of Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor (the present name has been in official usage since 1970). The congregation works in the fields of education and social services but always with emphasis on direct service to society's downcast. From 1828 on the founder was active in a variety of charitable works. Her bishop, Ignace BOURGET, tried to find French sisters to work with her and, after their negative response, asked her to establish the present foundation. In 1996 there were 1455 sisters in Canada and the US (down from 2129 members in 1986).