Elisabeth Bruyère, Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa
Elisabeth Bruyère is the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa (Grey Nuns of the Cross) whose members have been staffing and administering Ste Jeanne d'Arc School for over 100 years.
At the age of 21, Elisabeth joined the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Grey Nuns), the congregation founded by Ste Marguerite D’Youville. She was attracted by the mission of these sisters which was to reflect the compassionate and loving face of God the Father as they reached out to the needy and the marginalized without distinction throughout the Montreal area. In 1880, the sisters were invited to Lowell to open schools for the French-Canadians whose families had come to find a better life in the textile mills. In 1930, they brought new life to the Lowell Corporation Hospital by staffing St. Joseph Hospital. In 1960, they launched what is now D’Youville Life and Wellness Communiy to respond to new needs, those of the frail elderly.
Elisabeth appears as a model of prayer, trust in God, courage, daring, compassion openness, and availability to those in need. The Sisters of Charity of Ottawa have all been challenged to follow in her footsteps. Their long legacy to the population of Lowell attests that the effort has borne abundant fruit. The students of Ste Jeanne d'Arc School have been the direct beneficiaries of the sisters’ dedication to the mission of education.
The Elisabeth Bruyère Award Dinner honors those individuals, businesses or entities who immulate the compassion for those in need demonstrated by Elisabeth.