History

The history of the St. Vincent’s Hospitals and the founding Sisters of Charity goes back more than 400 years.

St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 into a poor peasant family in the village of Pouy in rural France. He was ordained at the age of 19, a priest of the Catholic church who was dedicated to helping the poor. Known for his humility, compassion and generosity, St. Vincent de Paul was canonized in 1737.

The Sisters of Charity

Inspired by St. Vincent de Paul’s work, the Sisters of Charity was founded in 1809, across the ocean, in what would eventually become North America. The Sisters worked primarily in hospitals, schools and orphanages. In 1852, Thomas Louis Connolly, a Bishop of Saint John, New Brunswick called for assistance in caring for his community during a time when a large influx of impoverished and uneducated immigrants was arriving on North American shores.

A group of volunteers from the Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Vincent responded to the call, including Superior Honoria Conway, a native of Galway, Ireland. The work of these pioneer Sisters prospered. Their numbers and institutions grew, expanding throughout the United States and Canada.

The Original St. Vincent’s Hospital

The Sisters of Charity reached Vancouver, BC in 1939 with the opening of the 100-bed St. Vincent’s Hospital on Heather Street. In 1952, an additional 100 beds were added. Extended Care and Geriatric Psychiatry programs were added to the hospital in 1970.

St.Vincent’s: Langara

In the late 1980s, Langara Hospital was approached by the government to build and operate a 225- bed extended care facility. In 1991, St. Vincent’s: Langara opened, focusing on extended care and geriatric psychiatry.