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Diocese of Three Rivers
DIOCESE OF THREE RIVERS (TRIFLUVIANENSIS)
Formed from the Archdiocese of Quebec, to which it is now suffragan, founded on 8 June, 1852. The diocese at first comprised on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence, the Counties of Champlain and of St. Maurice - the County of Maskinongé being at that time a part of the County of St. Maurice; on the southern bank, the Counties of Yamaska, Nicolet, Drummond, and twenty-four townships in the County of Sherbrooke. Later on, this territory was divided, especially for the erection of the diocese of Sherbrooke and of the Vicariate-Apostolic of Pontiac. Lastly, in July 1885, all the parishes of the southern shore were erected into the Diocese of Nicolet. It now comprises forty-three parishes and eight missions. The Catholic population is 84,000; non-Catholic 800, of whom 600 are Protestants.
The first bishop, Mgr. Thomas Cooke, died in 1870 and was succeeded by Mgr. Louis-Francois Lafleche, administrator of the diocese from 1869-1898, year of his death. Mgr. F.-X. Cloutier is the present and third Bishop of Three Rivers; born at Ste-Genevieve de Batiscan, Champlain, Quebec, 2 November, 1848, he was ordained priest, 22 September, 1872, appointed Bishop of Three Rivers, 8 May, 1899, and consecrated on 25 July following by Mgr. L.-N. Begin, Archbishop of Quebec. The diocese contains 100 secular priests; 1 convent of Franciscan Fathers; 1 house of Oblate Fathers; 10 schools of brothers; commercial colleges, academies, etc., 4 under the direction of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, 3 under the direction of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, 2 under the direction of the Brothers of St. Gabriel, 1 under the direction of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. There is also a juniorate in charge of the Brothers of Christian Instruction.
The institutes of women are: Ursulines, 7 convents; Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, 2 convents; Sisters of the Assumption, 4 convents; Sisters of the Good Shepherd, 1 convent; Gray Nuns of the Cross, 1 convent; Daughters of Jesus, 2 convents, 1 kindergarten for boys and 13 schools for girls and boys; the Sisters of Charity of Providence, with 4 orphanages, 2 boarding-schools for girls, 4 asylums, and 1 hospital; Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary, 1 orphanage, they also have charge of 2 religious institutions; Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood, 1 monastery.
The churches, mostly all of them remodeled, are remarkable in structure and in size. The cathedral, erected in 1854, and restored in 1904, is a magnificent monument of Gothic architecture. The schools in each parish are numerous and well conducted. the Seminary of Three Rivers, founded in 1860, has a yearly attendance of 300 students. Religious and benevolent societies are numerous and flourishing. The diocese has also literary circles, Young Men's Associations, savings' banks, parochial libraries, and temperance societies.