Canada was the first foreign mission of the Brothers of Charity, with a group of brothers leaving Belgium in 1865. Their first task was the care and support of elderly people, quite in line with the apostolate of the first brothers upon their foundation. Later, the care of wards of the court became a special apostolate, leading the Brothers of Charity in Montreal to acquire a great reputation. Later still, they started the traditional apostolates of the Congregation: education and care for the mentally ill.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the Saint Anne province of Canada was one of the Congregation’s most prosperous provinces. Near the end of the last century however, the brothers were forced to pass on various apostolic works due to the lack of new vocations. They would still welcome foreign students in Montreal for a while, they remained closely involved with St. Bernard’s College in Drummondville, and they continued to serve in a centre for people affected by substance misuse in Quebec. In 1975, the brothers in Montreal developed a new initiative: ‘The Lighthouse’, a health centre for disadvantaged people.
Today, all brothers are in Saint-Sulpice, which is where the Congregation’s convent rest home and the community of the regional administration are located.