UMCE emphasizes contributions of Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Université de Moncton, Edmundston Campus (UMCE), paid tribute to the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, the pioneers of post-secondary education in Madawaska, during a ceremony Friday, October 13, at the library Rhéa- Larose, located on the campus.

One hundred invited guests took part in the activity, including many religious Hospitallers and graduates of the former Collège Maillet in Saint-Basile.

At the ceremony was the unveiling of the Walk of Hospitallers, which will identify the road section which passes the flag of Forestry and Louis Cyr residence, along the Hebert Boulevard in Edmundston.

The St. Joseph Religious Hospitallers took advantage of the meeting to give the gift of a portrait of Sister Rhéa Larose. The painting will be hung in the Heritage Room of the library that bears her name. Sister Larose (1899-1979) was the founder of Maillet College in 1949, an institution dedicated to college and university education of young women in the Northwest and beyond.

“The Religious Hospitallers [have] greatly shown leadership and determination [and] have greatly marked the debut of postsecondary education in the region,” said Raymond Théberge, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Moncton. “They now have a lasting impact in New Brunswick province and the homage we pay is well deserved. They carried the torch of higher education and have laid the foundation for what would become one of the constituent of the University of Moncton.”

“It is also essential to acknowledge the contribution of Sister Rhea Larose Maillet College,” recalled Théberge. “She dreamed of giving a living space to intellectual and spiritual young women of Madawaska. In particular, it established the Bachelor of Nursing Science of Maillet College, in addition to BA and a number of cultural and artistic activities.”

Professor of French and literature, Sister Bertille Beaulieu, has  belonged to the Congregation of the Hospitallers for 57 years. She was a student at Collège Maillet and remained there as a teacher, joining the faculty at UMCE until her retirement in 2003. Sister Beaulieu was the spokesman of the Religious Hospitallers during the announcement.

“During its 23 years of existence, Maillet College has contributed significantly to the evolution of the role of women in society,” she said. “The students were sensitized to human, social, religious and cultural. A solid foundation has been established allowing them access to the profession of their choice or to second and third cycles of studies.”

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