In 1884, Fr. Charles Dauray, pastor of Precious Blood went to Sillery to request educators for his parish. In September, six Religious of Jesus and Mary arrived in the industrial center of Woonsocket.
The religious resided with the Sisters of Mercy, took their meals in the rectory and held their classes in the church basement. By the end of a year, a convent and suitable school were constructed.
After a few years, the property could no longer meet the needs of teachers and students. The sisters purchased a parcel of land across from Precious Blood Church.
The opening of this new site ushered in a glorious era: more spacious classes, a boarding school and a wing for day students.
St. Clare Academy and St. Clare High School became the most up-to-date establishments for educating young girls at that time.
In 1908, the Religious of Jesus and Mary were called upon to help in the foundation of a new parish, dedicated to the Holy Family, in another part of Woonsocket. At first, the sisters travelled there each day by train from Precious Blood.
When the church was completed, a large school and convent were built and eventually a permanent community was established in Holy Family. In 1941, the school contained more than 800 boys and girls from Kindergarten to eighth grade.
Providence, a large manufacturing center in the state of Rhode Island attracted thousands of emigrants, among them many Canadians. A parish dedicated to St. Charles was founded there by Father Gaboury. A church and school were opened in 1887. Three Religious of Jesus and Mary travelled from Woonsocket to take charge of the school. On the first day of classes, 200 students were admitted.
The greatest challenge facing the religious was the extreme poverty of the parish. For ten years, the sisters were obliged to undertake fund raising activities. In 1887, students were asked to contribute a minimum amount to their education. The following year, the Religious of Jesus and Mary purchased a house on Harrison St. near the school.
In 1904, a new French Canadian parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, was established in Providence. In 1912, at the request of the pastor sisters from the St. Charles community went to work in this parish. Here again, instruction began in the church basement. The religious lived at St. Charles. Each morning and evening, the horses were hitched to provide transportation.
When the pastor built a new rectory, the sisters began living in the old rectory and ten years later, a large school was built to accommodate more than 800 pupils.