(Translation from an old journal)

Dieppe – Monday, September 28, at 12.45 a friendly crowd attended the departure of the ocean liner from Dieppe to Newhaven. It was rumoured in Dieppe that a group of Sisters, Augustinian Hospitallers, would embark to found a new monastery of their order in Southern Africa, in the province of Natal.

These Augustinian Hospitallers called of the Mercy of Jesus, have been in Dieppe since the 12th century; but then they wore a black habit, were not enclosed, and besides managing the Hotel – Dieu, they went to nurse the sick in the town.

It was in 1625 when they were reformed and took on strict papal enclosure and changed to the white habits of the Canonesses of St Augustine.

The quarter of a century that followed was a period of vigorous growth; they founded several monasteries of their Order in Normandy, in Maine, and Brittany, over and above that reformed other monasteries that already existed.

Not content to spread over the old world of France they also crossed the seas and the monastery of Dieppe, on the request of the Duchess of Aiguillon niece of Richelieu, in March 1639 sent three Religious to Quebec to found a Hotel-Dieu. March 1640 and April 1643 saw more departures from the Monastery of Dieppe to New-France. An Augustinian Sister from Bayeux also went to Quebec about this time. Today four beautiful monasteries exist in Canada with the Monastery of Dieppe as their first cradle.…

On Monday it was not the cradle of the congregation making the foundation but the Monastery of Pont L’Abbé in the diocese of Quimper, Mgr. Jolivet, Vicar Apostolic for the last 17 years, comes from Pont L’Abbé, and naturally turns to the Monastery of that town to find Religious to found a hospital in Estcourt in his diocese.

Pont L’Abbé gave him five sisters: Rev Mothers Therese of Jesus, (Superior), and Mary of the Sacred Heart (Assistant) with Sisters Saint Agnes, Saint Felix and Saint Dosithée. To these were added Sisters Saint Irenée and Mary of the Cross from the Monastery of Vitré, Sister Saint Martha of Fougéres, and finally Sister Saint Clare who is from Dieppe.

For the last 8 days these holy women have received the hospitality of the Monastery of Dieppe and have been edified by their sweet virtues.

From Newhaven they will go to London under the guidance of their Bishop who has come to meet them in Dieppe. With the Bishop of Natal there are also two priests and two Brothers, Oblates of Mary Immaculate who are going to their missions.

On Wednesday morning the 30th September everyone, Bishop, Priests, Brothers and Religious Sisters will board the Ocean Liner which will take them from London to Natal.

May God protect these pious travellers as they cross three thousand leagues over the waves of the ocean; that he will bless them down there at the other end of Africa, these daughters of St Augustine, the saintly doctor of Hippo; finally that he will increase their number for his glory and the salvation of souls as he multiplied the sisters who went to Canada.