Fonds - Sisters of St. Ann, St. Joseph's Province, Provincial Administration fonds

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Sisters of St. Ann, St. Joseph's Province, Provincial Administration fonds

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  • 1858-1995 (Creation)
    Sisters of St. Ann. St. Joseph's Province. Administration Centre

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26.06 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

The Provincial Administration of St. Joseph's Province, also referred to as the Provincialate, was formed in 1891 and was incorporated with the approval of the general council by an act of the Province of British Columbia on the 23rd of April, 1892 (Sisters of Saint Ann (Incorporation) RSBC Chap. 58). Prior to this, a body known as the Vicariate served as a central administration for the Sisters located in B.C. and Alaska. According to the Constitutions and Rules of the Sisters of Saint Anne, article 115, "Under the jurisdiction of the general superior the province is a part of the Congregation governed by a provincial superior assisted by a council. The establishment, suppression and modification of a province are the responsibility of the general superior in council. They are determined as much by the number of sisters and the number of local communities as by the geographical and/or cultural situation." The Province continues to encompass all the western provinces and the two territories of Canada as well as Alaska and Washington State. Each of the local house, though reasonably autonomous, is subject to the leadership of the Provincial Administration which governs matters affecting all houses in its jurisdiction. The Administration is composed of the Provincial Superior or Leader, her secretary and Councillors, the Provincial Bursar or Treasurer, the Provincial Archivist, and at one time, the Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Music, Mistress of Novices, and Directress of Juniorate. As it is an intermediate form of government, the Provincial Administration will raise issues with the General Administration on behalf of the local houses, but is free to act on its own within the constraints of the Constitution and Rules of the Sisters of Saint Anne, particularly with regard to dispensations, permissions, finances, and establishment, or closing, of ministries. The Provincial Administration of St. Joseph's Province has always been maintained in Victoria, B.C., as a separate juridical entity and until 1974, was housed at St. Ann's Academy in Victoria. After the closure of the school and the sale of the buildings, the administration centre was moved to Begbie House at 1550 Begbie Street, Victoria, B.C. By this time, many Provincial offices were disbanded, particularly those connected with novice training and public education, the latter of which was phased out between 1970 and 1973. After Vatican II reforms of 1962, novices declined in number and among other things, sisters began using their family names in preference to their assigned religious name. The functions of the Provincial Administration are to provide leadership in the educational, financial, personnel, and records management of St. Joseph's Province to further its apostolic ministries. This is accomplished through the delegation of responsibilities to the officers and committees led by the Provincial Superior and her Council. The Province has historically served as a unifying and support body for the community of local houses in its jurisdiction. Its functional sphere of responsibility was greater prior to the 1970s when the Sisters operated numerous schools and hospitals and had a larger community. Other functions then included overseeing the quality of education being given to their students and hospital patients, and preparing novice sisters for ministry. However, to the present day the Provincial Administration maintains representation on various healthcare and educational boards.

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The fonds consists of seven sous-fonds of textual records, some photographs, and an album of the Provincial Administration of St. Joseph's Province. These sous-fonds belong to: the Provincial Superior, Provincial Bursar, Provincial Prefect of Studies, Prefect of Music, Mistress of Novices, Directress of Juniorate, and Provincial Archivist. All these officers maintained their own offices and records at St. Ann's Academy (Victoria) until its closure in 1973. Today, only the Provincial Superior, Provincial Bursar, and Provincial Archivist maintain active file systems. Recording activities, transactions, and persons has always been a policy with the Sisters of St. Ann and these are to be found in ledgers, registers, and forms throughout the fonds, particularly in the context of schools. There are files of correspondence relating to certain subjects or activities, reports and copies of reports made to counterparts in the General Administration and vice versa, minutes of meetings, chronicles (house journals), journals of official visitations, school records, records of sisters' studies, and a great deal of miscellaneous reference, "orphaned", or ephemeral material. The records span the years 1858 to 1995 with the bulk of it being generated between 1900 and 1990. The dates prior to the Province's formation in 1892 can be explained by predecessor bodies, most notably the Vicariate which performed a number of the Province's current functions and whose records were absorbed by the Provincial Administration.

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BCAUL control number: SSA-3211

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BCAUL control number: SSA-3211

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