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Sinnett, Sask. and the Sisters of Service Collection

By Collections Curator Ruth Bitner
March 2013

Located a few kilometres northeast of Lanigan, Sinnett was the heart of a district known as the Irish Colony. The village was named after immigration agent and missionary priest Father John Sinnett who founded the settlement in 1905.

By 1910, St. Ignatius and St. Patrick’s churches along with Loyola and Manresa Schools had been built to serve the spiritual and educational needs of the community.

Sisters of Service

In 1940, Sister Catherine Donnelly, a member of the Sisters of Service in Toronto, arrived to teach in the new Loyola Continuation School or high school. Other Sisters followed in the early 1940s and 1950s. The Sisters were enthusiastic supporters of drama and oratory as well as Catholic education. For nearly 30 years, the Sisters were an integral part of Irish Colony life. In the late 1960s when the school closed due to low enrollment, the Sisters left the community.

Sisters of Service, Sinnett, SK, 1942.
WDM, Sisters of Service collection, WDM-2012-S-88

Telling the Story

Though today there is little trace of the once flourishing community, the Sinnett story is told in Jack Coughlin’s book, The Irish Colony of Saskatchewan published in 1995 and by the Sisters of Service Archives in Toronto. The Sisters recently donated a 1960s grey dress and hat to the WDM and generously offered to share photographs that document their stay in Sinnett.

More Information

For more information and pictures, visit the Sisters of Service website:

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