Élisabeth Bruyère (1818-1876), a member of the Sisters of Charity, known as Grey Nuns of Montreal, a religious congregation founded by Marguerite d'Youville(1701-1771), was sent on mission to Bytown, (today known as Ottawa), to assist the unfortunate and for the education of young girls. A woman of bold faith and active hope, Élisabeth multiplied her acts of love and charity in response to the needs of her time and her milieu: school, home care, hospital, home for the elderly, orphanage, evening courses for mothers, etc. She was 26 years old when she arrived in Bytown in 1845.
Eventually the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa became autonomous in 1854. How could she not be totally devoted to all types of afflictions? Her model, Marguerite d`Youville, was truly the hand of Providence reaching out to the unfortunate; she was the face of compassion, the personification of tenderness.