Convent of the Immaculate Conception – Bouctouche

Musée de Kent, Bouctouche, NB

Convent of the Immaculate Conception – Bouctouche

The Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Bouctouche was established and constructed in 1880 under the guidance of Father François-Xavier-Joseph Michaud to offer education to young girls. The building symbolizes the significant contributions of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and the Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur in the realm of education, and stands as a testament to Father Michaud’s influential role as a priest, builder, and organizer.

Convent Students, Bouctouche. PA1-2968

A teacher named Marguerite Maillet donated a 40-acre parcel of land for the convent’s construction. She later became a nun with the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), adopting the name Sister Marie-Julienne. In 1892, she was appointed Sister Superior at the Bouctouche convent, a position she held until her passing in 1911.

Bouctouche Catholic Cemetery

Local carpenters generously volunteered their time to build the convent using wood donated by families. After a long day of work, they would spend two hours at the construction site in the evenings. Upon completion in 1879, the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception accepted Father Michaud’s invitation to Bouctouche, and the building was named the Convent of the Immaculate Conception in their honour.

Nuns at Bouctouche Convent 1932
This is a photo of young women dressed as Evangeline at the Bouctouche convent in 1932. The Convent of the Immaculate Conception opened in 1880. The Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur sisters taught there from 1924 to 1969. Seen here from left to right: Marguerite Bastarache, Thérèse LeBlanc, and Lorraine Allain (later to become Lorraine Robitaille). Marguerite and Thérèse later became nuns.

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

Musée de Kent - Bouctouche

At the same time as the convent’s construction, the parish built a grand neo-gothic style church, which was completed in 1898. However, a fire tragically destroyed the church on December 18, 1921.

Most Rev. Philippe Hébert, who served as a priest from 1923 to 1940, laid the foundation for the new church. From 1926 to 1954, parishioners attended mass in the basement of the current church, located in the village center on Irving Boulevard.

Musée de Kent - Bouctouche

Bouctouche Presbytery
The old Presbytery in Bouctouche, New Brunswick! From the New Brunswick Provincial archives in Fredericton.

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. 

Bouctouche Presbytery

  

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