Les Soeurs du Sacré Coeur de Jésus de St. Jacut
Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus de St. Jacut was founded in France in 1816 by Angélique Le Soud, who was dismayed by the state of moral and spiritual decay following the French Revolution. She and three companions decided to live together, pooling their resources to do good works in their community. They dedicated their lives to the education of youth, the care of the sick and to assist at local church services.
Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus de St. Jacut were installed in Welland in 1946, charged with the responsibility of providing children with Catholic education and enhancing their French-language conversation skills.
Led by Sr. Marie-Adrienne, superior, St. Joan of the Trinity and St. Thérèse des Anges, the first French Catholic instruction took place in a former church. The program was so successful, parents once again signed up their children and the following year, Sr. Colombe de Jésus, an experienced primary teacher, arrived to teach students. In 1950, Les Soeurs du Sacré-Coeur finally had a school to call their own. l’École Sacré-Coeur opened that September and was blessed on June 24, 1951.
A second French Catholic school opened in Niagara in 1953. By 1955, l’Ecole Massé offered children in Port Colborne two French classes and l’école Berthold had one French class.
A new French school opened in Niagara Falls in 1957, with 81 students registered. Two years later, l’école Ste. Antoine opened its doors to 175 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8. That same day, the nuns moved into their new residence on the adjacent church ground. They were active in the school until June 1974.
As interest in French-Catholic education continued to grow, secondary schools opened in Welland and Port Colborne. The first bilingual secondary school in Niagara, l’Académie St-Louis, opened in Port Colborne in 1959, around the same time a new group of Sisters arrived in the community.
The Sisters maintain a presence in Welland through Sr. Gisele Pilon and Sr. Norma Brisson, who continue to do the work of Angélique Le Sourd nearly 200 years after their Order was founded.
Inducted: January 29, 2010