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The Grey Nuns Essay

  • Submitted by: teiptygg61
  • on October 11, 2008
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 3,380 words

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Below is an essay on "The Grey Nuns" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Louis Riel, leader of the Métis, founder of Manitoba. This man is widely acknowledged as the Father of Manitoba due to his involvement in the history and creation of the province of Manitoba. In the late 1800s, women did not get the same recognition for their efforts as the men did. There was a group of important women who moved to the Red River Settlement that has not been given the credit it deserves for their work in establishing a thriving community, which became Manitoba. This group of women was known as the Grey Nuns, or “les Soeurs Grises”. For one to understand why the Grey Nuns were so vital to the Red River Settlement, one must first know the history of the Grey Nuns, the hardships that they endured on their way to the Red River Settlement, the Nuns’ accomplishments in the settlement, and their legacy.

The Grey Nuns originated in Montreal in the 1700s. The founder of this organization was a woman named Madame Marie-Marguerite d’Youville. After the death of her husband, she became poor but still managed to make a living for herself and her family. Looking around, however, she noticed many other people were not well off. Using what money she made from her shop and needlework, she helped those in need as much as she could. In 1753 Madame d’Youville, along with a few other women who had been assisting her in helping others, was asked to take over the operation of Montreal’s General Hospital. The hospital “was in poor condition and had no money” (King p. 3) but d’Youville and her followers were very committed to their people. They cleaned, repaired and refurnished the almost ruined building. Although Madame d’Youville took in sick patients, the majority of people she aided were the elderly who had no one to take care of them. The women also took in abandoned or orphaned children and babies. “The women of the hospital ‘staff’ begged for food and clothes for all their needy charges, often doing without themselves” (5, King, Dennis). They were willing to do...

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