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altIn the face of Father Gauvreau’s pleas, Monsignor Rogers, bishop of the diocese of Chatham, accepted to ask for the services of nun nurses to take care of the lepers in Tracadie.  Negotiations between the bishop and the civil authorities lasted a few years.  The nuns finally accepted.  However, Monsignor Rogers had to be absent from his diocese for two years.  He entrusted his responsibilities to Monsignor Paquet, his vicar general, who was then parish priest of Caraquet and who took the initiative to ask the Religieuses Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph of Montréal to come and take over management of the Lazaret as nurses.

The Mother Superior of the Religieuses Hospitalières of Montréal asked for volunteers for this mission.  All the nuns, without exception, submitted their names.   Six of them were chosen with Mother Marie Pagé as their leader.  On September 12, 1868, they boarded a steam ship called Le Secret.  After six days of sailing, the ship entered the port of Chatham, now Miramichi, where they faced a bitter deception: the government had not given the promised funding.  They would not go to Tracadie.

altWith a heavy heart, they accepted the decision of the bishop, but two days later, a ray of hope appeared on the horizon.  Monsignor Rogers thought it appropriate to inform his vicar-general Monsignor Paquet of his decision and he asked Mother Pagé and Sister Quesnel to accompany him to Caraquet.  And so, they arrived in Tracadie on September 21.  The day after, the bishop went to the Lazaret to announce to the lepers that the nuns would not stay in Tracadie.  Highly disappointed, the lepers became indignant and insulted Monsignor Rogers who had great difficulty to seek shelter in the chapel. 

altAfter mass, Monsignor Rogers travelled to Caraquet with the two nuns.  That’s where he had to give in to Monsignor Paquet’s arguments.  The nuns would go to Tracadie for at least a year under the protection of the vicar-general.  After that period, they would decide.  The future would prove Monsignor Paquet right.