The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have been involved in many ministries since their foundation in 1861.

Some ministries, such as health care, education, and orphanages, directly served the vulnerable; other ministries, such as the Printing Room, the Vestry department and the Altar Bread department, helped to generate income to support their works; and in the last 50 years new ventures, standing committees and ministry offices were established to address the needs of the times. 

Over time the needs of society and the congregation have changed and developed, leading the Sisters of Providence to close some ministries and start others. This section covers ministries that have come to completion only. Click here for information on current ministries.


The Ecology Committee was founded in 1997 to promote the re-discovery of our spiritual relationship with the earth through on-going education and action. The Ecology and Earth Literacy ministry came to completion in January of 2020. Its work will be carried on by the Providence Centre for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

Healing Violence

This committee of Sisters and Associates was founded in 1998 and had been working together until the work came to completion in June of 2018. In that time they addressed – to heal – the many ways violence is expressed in our society.

Heirloom Seed Sanctuary

The Heirloom Seed Sanctuary operated on the Providence Motherhouse property in Kingston from 1999 to 2019, successfully maintaining a living heirloom seed collection and offering educational workshops and activities. The Heirloom Seed Sanctuary closed in 2019 and the seed collection was transferred to partner groups.

Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation

The Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) office was founded in 1991 as the Justice and Peace office and the Integrity of Creation component was added in 2009. Through numerous campaigns and activities the JPIC office sought to advocate for social justice, peace, and climate justice. The JPIC office closed in December 2021 and the work passed onto the new Providence Centre for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario (CHSO).  

The Printing Room

The Sisters of Providence opened the printing room in 1897 and continued to own and operate it until 1989. The Printing Room was opened as a museum in 1999. The Printing Room Museum closed in the Fall of 2019, when the equipment was donated  to Carleton University’s Book Arts Lab.

Providence Spirituality Centre

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul established a retreat centre at Providence Motherhouse in Kingston, Ontario in October 1977 at the request of Archbishop Wilhelm, the Archbishop of Kingston. Heathfield Retreat Centre opened on October 15th, 1977 to serve the Archdiocese’s need for a space where retreats could be held for the priests and other diocesan groups. PSC closed on December 31st, 2022. Some of its work is being carried on by the new Providence Presence Ministry.