MP-0000.2821 | Old Men's Refectory, Grey Nunnery, Montreal, QC, about 1890
Old Men's Refectory, Grey Nunnery, Montreal, QC, about 1890
James George Parks
1889-1894, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
7 x 14 cm
Gift of Mrs. J. B. Learmont
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , religious (1331)
Keys to History
While bishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget strengthened the influence of the clergy by persuading a number of French religious orders to come to Canada and by promoting the growth of those already established in Montreal. Women's orders played a major role in this process, administering hospitals and being involved in social services and education.
One of the social services provided by nuns was the lodging of the elderly in establishments called hospices. This photograph taken by James Parks shows the interior of a men's hospice run by the Grey Nuns. Meals were served in a common room called a refectory.
The Order of Grey Nuns (or Sisters of Charity) was founded in Montreal in the 18th century.
In the second half of the 19th century, women's religious orders expanded significantly in Quebec, with their membership increasing tenfold.
The Order of Grey Nuns was founded by Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais (1701-71), widow d'Youville, better known as Marguerite d'Youville, or Mother d'Youville.