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4 October

Bernarda Morin-Rouleau, SP

Born on December 29, 1832 in Saint-Henri-de-Lévis, a rural village of Quebec, Bernarda Morin-Rouleau enters the novitiate of the order of the formerly called Sisters of Charity of Providence on May 11, 1850, in Montreal. Six months later, on November 21, she receives the habit. On August 22, 1852 she takes her perpetual vows. In October 1852, with four other sisters, she is designated to go to Oregon to found an establishment of Providence. Though, once they arrive in Oregon City, they find out that the situation is not favorable to the practice of the Community works. Therefore they decide to return to Canada.

They travel to California by land and in San Francisco, on March 30, 1853, board a Chilean vessel. After a troubled three month journey, they arrive in Valparaiso on June 17. Practically incapable of returning to Canada because of health issues, they put themselves at the disposal of the Archbishop of Santiago, Valentín Valdivieso, who missions them for the administration of an orphanage while expecting the approval of their Canadian Superiors. With the permission of their Superiors, the Sisters of Providence open a novitiate in Santiago on January 3, 1857. Mother Victoire Larroque, cofounder of the Community of Montreal, is appointed as the Superior. At her death, the following month, Sister Bernarda Morin becomes Superior of the Mother House of Santiago.

On March 17th, 1880, an apostolic decree from the Holy See constitutes the Sisters of Providence of Chile as a new congregation distinct from the Mother House of Montreal. On December 7th, 1905, the Constitutions of the Sisters of Providence in Chile are approved definitively by Pope Pius X. On June 27, 1925, Mother Bernarda Morin receives the highest decoration of the country, the Medal of the Merit, from the hands of the president Arturo Alessandri. She dies the on October 4, 1929 in Santiago of Chile. She is buried in the Mother Church of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence in Santiago, in the Providencia neighbourhood. It is the Church that she had built herself in 1892. On July 1st, 1970, the Sisters of Providence of Chile and the Sisters of Providence of Montreal are reunited. The Chilean Congregation becomes the Bernarda Morin province.

LINK: http://www.providenceintl.org/en