The first house of the Brothers in Montreal, orphanage Saint-Fran<;ois Xavier, situated in the middle of the city, was not suitable for the solitude required for a novitiate. So, Br. Louis Bertrand, Provincial, looked for a more quiet place. A property was bought in the Visitation parish at Sault-au-Recollet on 22 May 1891. The house, called Saint-Louis, was blessed on the following 2nd August. It became at the same time Provincial House and house of formation for the juniors, the novices and the scholastics. A second house, named Saint-Gabriel, was built in 1909 about 150 meters from the first. There were complicated transfers from one house to another in the following years before the juniors came to Saint-Bruno in 1925, the. novices to Pierrefonds in 1942, and the scholastics to the inter-community house in Montreal in 1965.

In the middle·of the 20th century, even while the scholastics were occupying the Saint-Gabriel’s, the Saint-Louis house was not without some resemblance to the Mother House at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre. It housed 60 Brothers working at the Provincial House, in charge of studies, at the Ave Maria office, at the Service bookshop for schools and at all the services of a big house: infirmary, shoe-mender’s shop, printing press, bakery, confectionery, binding shop, bar, garden… The decision taken in 1963 by the Brother Provincial to go with his team to settle down near the university and the Albert the Great pastoral Institute speeded up matters. In 1968, the Saint-Louis’s was sold to various buyers including the Berthiaume-du-Tremblay foundation, a centre for old people.

One part however escaped the sale: n° 1601, boulevard Gouin. The Provincial House was to be shifted there in 1970, where it still stands, with the Provincial Bursar’s office and the archives. Several agencies too have their social centre or conduct meetings there: the Montfortian Associates, the federation of the friends of St Gabriel (former Brothers), Saint-Arsene alumni association, the St Gabriel choir and the missionary Service.

The House at Sault-au-Recollet is associated through history and geography to a church and two schools. The church is that of the Visitation, whereto his day are held the obsequies of Brothers of the Montreal Region. The parish of the Visitation, started in 1736, had quite early its parish school which was entrusted to the Brothers from 1892 to 1918. One other school, that of Ahunstic- a town borough carved out of Sault in 1897- was also managed by them, but only from 1903 to 1906.

Bibliography: Br. Adelard Faubert and Br. Andre Forget: Presence gabrieliste au Sault au-Recollet, 1891-1991, Montreal, 1991, illustrated album of 124 p.