Sisters of the French Canadian Church

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Introduction

Following Champlain's founding of Quebec in 1608, serious efforts were made to colonize New France. The Counter-Reformation, which took place in the 16th and 17th century, was a movement for revival and reform in the Catholic Church, largely rising from within the church itself (Brown). For decades, France was wracked by religious warfare between Catholics and Protestants. In the 1620's the Catholics won a decisive victory and an evangelical revival swept through the court. Higher education in the area came as a direct result of Jesuit missions, as women such as Marie de l'Incarnation set up schools to educate young girls. The Jesuits in New France modeling their teachings based on the Old World, teaching science, philosophy, rhetoric and Latin. Their aim was to convert Indians, to teach their pupils, as well as to help the poor and sick with hospital work and social service. Missionary missions in Quebec led to expanded colonies, greater populations, and the introduction of higher education to New France. The Church embarked on missionary missions inside and outside of Europe. The women discussed in this paper moved from France to Quebec, Canada in the 1600's and the 1700's on missionary missions. Some of the first female missionaries in New France, they wanted to bring the word of God to the native population of Huronia and devote their lives to the service of those in need.