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ASGM L082_11Y3A Maison mère, Juvénat École normale, s.d.

The Grey Nuns devoted ample classroom space throughout the Mother House to several separate schools. In 1905 the Family Institute began to offer classes in traditional domestic work like housekeeping, dressmaking, childcare and cooking, but also advanced courses in psychology, anatomy and French. More closely aligned with their spiritual mission, the Grey Nuns also opened a theological college in 1937, the Scolasticat-École Normale, to train future generations of teachers and nuns.

ASGM L066_Institut familial, Cours de couture, 1963.

Foremost among these endeavours were the nursing classes at the Institut Marguerite d’Youville. Founded in 1934, it offered Canada’s first French-language baccalaureate program in nursing. Many of its graduates went on to establish nursing curricula in other Grey Nuns hospitals around the world, or applied their knowledge closer to home at Montreal’s Hôpital Notre-Dame. The institute remained in the building’s Saint-Mathieu wing until 1963, when it moved to new facilities on Côte-Ste-Catherine Road, before finally merging with the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Nursing in 1967. Grey Nuns were also instrumental in launching the Montreal Heart Institute in 1954, serving as its first administrators and faculty trainers. The first nurse to complete a doctorate in Canada, Sister Denise Lefebvre, was a teacher at the Institut Marguérite d’Youville.

Many of these schools were located in the Saint-Mathieu wing, which Concordia redesigned into residence rooms.

ASGM L066_Institut familial, Classe de Sr Yvette Côté, 1963.
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