Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Early Church Ministries: Catholic


The Sisters of the Propagation of the Faith began working in Pembina, in the mid 19th century...

1856 - These sisters, seven in number, conduct an English, French, and Indian school, and by their knowledge of the languages used by different tribes they are particularly qualified for the instruction of persons of their own sex and of children. They have one hundred pupils in their schools. They receive boarders at the rate of $30.00 for six months. These sisters intend, as soon as circumstances permit, to extend their charitable labors to the sick.

1859 - This new order of sisters has been established especially for the instruction of children amongst the numerous half-breeds and the Indian tribes in the northern part of the diocese, as soon as their means will permit. They have now charge of St. Francis Xavier's Academy at Pembina, on the Red River of the North, Dacotah Territory.

From: A history of the Catholic church within the limits of the United States: from the first attempted colonization to the present time, Volume 4, by John Gilmary Shea
Even into the 1870's, St. Vincent Catholics were being ministered to by priests coming from St. Boniface...

In September, 1818, William Edge arrived at Pembina from Fort Garry to help construct a school as part of the St. Francis Xavier Mission. A log cabin was built adjacent to the first log church and served as the schoolhouse for many years...

From: The Challenge of the Prairie: Life and Times of Red River Pioneers by Hiram M. Drache