The Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Bouctouche was founded and built in 1880 under the direction of Father François-Xavier-Joseph Michaud to provide education for young girls. It is a symbol of the importance of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and the Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur in the field of education. The building also stands as a testament to Father Michaud’s significant role as a priest, builder and organizer.
Marguerite Maillet, a teacher, donated a 40-acre piece of land for the construction of a convent. Soon afterwards, she becomes a nun with the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and takes the name of Sister Marie-Julienne. In 1892, she is named Sister Superior at the Bouctouche convent, a position she will hold until her death in 1911.
The carpenters of Bouctouche work, free of charge, at building the convent, with wood given by the families. In the evenings, after a hard day at work, these carpenters walk to the construction site and give two hours of their time. Finished in 1879, the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception accept Father Michaud’s invitation to come to Bouctouche and the structure is named Convent of the Immaculate Conception in their honour.
Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur nuns made it one of the great teaching institutions in Acadie beginning in 1924. It was completely renovated after its closing and became a museum.
While the convent was being built, the parish also built a majestic neo-gothic style church with construction ending in 1898. Fire would destroy this church on December 18, 1921.
Most Rev. Philippe Hébert, priest from 1923 to 1940, laid the foundations for the new church. From 1926 until 1954, parishioners celebrated mass in the basement of the present church which is situated in the heart of the village on Irving Boulevard.
The sumptuous home built by Archibald Irving would become the new rectory and the old rectory would be transformed into a diocesan retreat house which would close its doors in 1929.
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