Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Organization: Immaculate Heart of Mary School

The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate were founded in Ukraine in the 1890s to enrich the education and training of children, especially those living in poor villages. On the urging of Winnipeg’s Archbishop Langevin, who was concerned for the Catholic education of the city’s Ukrainian children, two Sisters of the Order arrived in June 1905, where they immediately set about establishing the first Ukrainian Catholic day school in North America, named St. Nicholas School. Initially, they held classes for 34 students at the corner of McGregor and Selkirk. Being located on a busy thoroughfare, it was a hazardous location for children so the school transferred in 1906 to the basement of St. Nicholas Church at the corner of McGregor and Stella. Conditions there were not ideal – the basement was dank and water seeped through the windows after rains. The Sisters worried that parents would transfer their children to the local Polish school if conditions did not improve. Archbishop Langevin authorized the construction of a two-storey school at the corner of Flora Avenue and McKenzie Street, and he made a personal contribution of $1,000 toward its construction. The school opened in the Fall of 1911. In the spring of 1961, the Parents’ Committee of St. Nicholas School decided to construct a new building to replace the old one which, by this time, was badly in need of repair. When it opened in April 1963, the name was changed officially to Immaculate Heart of Mary School. Today, the 18 Sisters and lay staff of the school offer a Catholic education to 225 students of all ethnic backgrounds, while playing a vital role in developing the spiritual and teaching foundations within the Ukrainian Catholic community in North End Winnipeg.

An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented by President Gordon Goldsborough to the Sister Anne Pidskalny, Director of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School on 23 April 2006.

Page revised: 15 May 2011

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