This book traces the journey taken by the Canadian Province of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM) from their establishment in Manitoba in 1898 until 2008, when the congregation as a whole redefined its mission and vision. Using archival research conducted in Winnipeg, Manitoba as well as in England and Italy, and incorporating oral interviews with RNDM sisters, this book explores the historical work of sisters in schools and the part they played in the educational state in formation.
The details of the congregation's activity in schools show how the sisters' educational work was related to the social characteristics of the communities (e.g., those of French Canadian settlers, British immigrants, the Métis population, and continental European immigrants), first in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and later in Ontario and Quebec. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions examines the impact of Vatican II in the 1960s, and into the 2000s, as well as the dismantling of neo-scholasticism and the process of secularization of consciousness in society at large. The emerging issues led the congregation and the province to examine their individual and collective identity at the intersection of feminist theology, eco-spirituality, and a critique of western cosmology.
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