Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 12, 2003
Sisters hand over Castor Hospital
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Daughters of Wisdom congregation has turned its Castor hospital over to the Alberta Catholic Health Corporation. The official transfer of Our Lady of Rosary Hospital took place May 2 in Edmonton.
The ACHC is an organization of the Alberta Bishops that operates health facilities formerly owned and operated by religious congregations. Its purpose is to preserve the Catholic identity of the institutions.
"We feel sad that we have to leave but it is something that we have to do because we don't have anyone to replace us," said Sister Claire Charlebois, superior of the Daughters of Wisdom.
"We have no sisters to replace us. That's why we have to give up our ownership. But we are transferring it to the Catholic corporation. I have great hope that it's going to continue as a Catholic hospital under the ownership of the corporation."
There are 16 Daughters of Wisdom in Alberta - 10 in Red Deer and six in Edmonton. Their average age is about 76, Charlebois noted.
The Daughters of Wisdom, an international congregation based in France, built Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor in 1910 and operated it until 1992, when the first lay administrator was appointed.
The original building was expanded in 1920 and again in 1930. Then, in 1962, a new 30-bed hospital with more modern facilities was constructed alongside the old one and connected to it by a corridor.
In the 1990s, when provincial health regions were created, Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital was downgraded and its beds reduced to five. It currently has five acute care beds and 20 extendicare beds.
Charlebois, a native of Ontario, worked at Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital for 33 years - the first 14 as an accountant secretary. She served as director from 1973 to 1992, when she retired from the hospital.
"When I left, I was replaced by a lay administrator," she recalls. "I was the last sister to be administrator of the hospital."
Charlebois continued as a member of the mostly-lay hospital board until the institution was turned over to the corporation.